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Washington - Tea Party Groups Emotionally Describe Harassment By IRS

Published on: June 4, 2013 12:02 PM
By: AP
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 Becky Gerritson (front) of the Wetumpka Tea Party, appears before the US House Ways and Means Committee hearing on 'Organizations Targeted by Internal Revenue Service for Their Personal Beliefs', on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 04 June 2013. The Obama administration reportedly continues to face criticism during the ongoing scandal regarding the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Also in the picture (L-R); Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage John Eastman, Karen Kenny of San Fernando Valley Patriots and Sue Martinek of the Coalition for Life of Iowa.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS Becky Gerritson (front) of the Wetumpka Tea Party, appears before the US House Ways and Means Committee hearing on 'Organizations Targeted by Internal Revenue Service for Their Personal Beliefs', on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, USA, 04 June 2013. The Obama administration reportedly continues to face criticism during the ongoing scandal regarding the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Also in the picture (L-R); Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage John Eastman, Karen Kenny of San Fernando Valley Patriots and Sue Martinek of the Coalition for Life of Iowa.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Washington - Tea Party and other conservative groups delivered an emotional plea for Washington to rein in government overreach on Tuesday as they told lawmakers about how the Internal Revenue Service targeted them with relentless paperwork and intrusive questions when they sought tax-exempt status.

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The House Ways and Means Committee invited a collection of groups to speak about their experiences as details continue to emerge about how and why IRS officials in a Cincinnati, Ohio, field office began targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

“This was not an accident. This is a willful act of intimidation intended to discourage a point of view,” said Becky Gerritson, president of a Tea Party group in Wetumpka, Alabama.

She tearfully described how she and her husband had to seek legal counsel when confronted with questionnaires about their donors, communications with legislators and their voter education activities.

“I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America I grew up in,” Gerritson said.

Multiple congressional committees and the Department of Justice have opened probes into the matter, which has become a distraction as President Barack Obama pursues an aggressive second-term agenda.

They are trying to determine if the IRS had a political agenda in subjecting these groups to extra scrutiny, or if workers in the tax-exempt division chose partisan criteria as a way to cope with a flood of applications starting in 2010.

Current and former officials have defended IRS employees by saying they were given a challenging task of determining the level of political activity among 501(c)4 groups. Those social welfare groups are eligible for tax-exempt status as long as their activities are not primarily political.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle on Tuesday condemned the IRS and pledged to find out who was responsible for the targeting and what their motivation was.

“We have found a cancer someplace in Cincinnati…and we have to find out what caused this,” Democrat Representative Charles Rangel of New York said during the hearing.

The leaders of Tea Party and religious groups said they were harassed by IRS officials and said the demanding questionnaires reflected an intolerance for their views.

Coalition for Life of Iowa president Sue Martinek recounted how an IRS employee asked that her group, which opposes abortion rights, agree in writing not to picket the abortion provider Planned Parenthood.

“We had done nothing wrong. We had not indicated that we would do anything but peaceably assemble and hold up signs like ‘Stop abortion’ and ‘Pray to end abortion,’” she said.

Democrat Jim McDermott, while expressing outrage at the IRS mismanagement, challenged some of the groups’ assertions that they were repressed by the IRS’s treatment. He said the groups were seeking a tax exemption and the IRS had to ask questions.

“None of your organizations were kept from organizing or silenced. We are talking about whether or not the American public will subsidize your work,” said McDermott. “Each of your groups is highly political.”


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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 04, 2013 at 01:41 PM Realistic Says:

In all the hype and important issue is forgotten. Should the law allow political organizations to hide under a charitable 501(c)(4)? They could easily elected to be treated as a 527 group, which would mean full disclosure of your donors and where your money is spent. Do you want a system where donors can funnel through huge sums of money to help specific candidates, without any way of tracking that?

The only things that differs between a 527 group (Which requires full disclosure) to a 501(c)(4) (Which doesn't require disclosure) is 1) Your primary objective should be social welfare, not electioneering, and 2) Your not allowed to help individual candidates. Anyone with some common sense knows that these are rules without teeth. Any political cause can be explained as a "Social Welfare"

Now some folks will watch Congress with קעלבערנע התפעלות how they're taking care of Americas problems, without touching their potential big cash cows.

!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: I mean democrats as much as republicans, and I'm not in any sense defending the IRS.


Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization#501.28c.29.283.29

Part: 501(c)(4)

2

 Jun 04, 2013 at 03:10 PM Brian Says:

America under Obama makes the soviet union look like the tea party.

3

 Jun 04, 2013 at 08:06 PM anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Brian Says:

America under Obama makes the soviet union look like the tea party.

America under Obama has saved America from a financial collapse if the tea baggies has their say

4

 Jun 04, 2013 at 08:52 PM jpeditor Says:

Reply to #1  
Realistic Says:

In all the hype and important issue is forgotten. Should the law allow political organizations to hide under a charitable 501(c)(4)? They could easily elected to be treated as a 527 group, which would mean full disclosure of your donors and where your money is spent. Do you want a system where donors can funnel through huge sums of money to help specific candidates, without any way of tracking that?

The only things that differs between a 527 group (Which requires full disclosure) to a 501(c)(4) (Which doesn't require disclosure) is 1) Your primary objective should be social welfare, not electioneering, and 2) Your not allowed to help individual candidates. Anyone with some common sense knows that these are rules without teeth. Any political cause can be explained as a "Social Welfare"

Now some folks will watch Congress with קעלבערנע התפעלות how they're taking care of Americas problems, without touching their potential big cash cows.

!!!!!!!!!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: I mean democrats as much as republicans, and I'm not in any sense defending the IRS.


Read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization#501.28c.29.283.29

Part: 501(c)(4)

The issue is the 527's were approved by SCOTUS and the IRS is targeting virtuallY ONLY groups that oppose this administration AND those groups THAT SUPPOT ISRAEL

PLENTY of pro-Obama, anti-Israel 527 groups got fast approval of their non-profit status.

Stop asking like this is some problem for both parties. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING THE LAW and is acting like the nazis and the soviets in sabotaging the press and the opposition.

Anyone who tries to white wash that is a fool or working with Obama.

5

 Jun 04, 2013 at 08:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
anonymous Says:

America under Obama has saved America from a financial collapse if the tea baggies has their say

You're very uninformed and/or on welfare.

If we are "teabaggers", you're must be a teabaggee.

6

 Jun 05, 2013 at 01:39 AM Realistic Says:

Reply to #4  
jpeditor Says:

The issue is the 527's were approved by SCOTUS and the IRS is targeting virtuallY ONLY groups that oppose this administration AND those groups THAT SUPPOT ISRAEL

PLENTY of pro-Obama, anti-Israel 527 groups got fast approval of their non-profit status.

Stop asking like this is some problem for both parties. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING THE LAW and is acting like the nazis and the soviets in sabotaging the press and the opposition.

Anyone who tries to white wash that is a fool or working with Obama.

All I said is, should these people file for a 527 and provide full disclosure, there would not be what to investigate. they came in through a back door, so there are obvious questions to ask.

7

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