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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/14/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (

IRS harassment will be investigated starting this week.

The Daily Mail has published an exposť revealing the harassment the Richmond Tea Party endured as it waited to receive its tax exempt status. The IRS sent the organization a list of 55 revealing questions, including a request the organization name its volunteers.

Was Obama involved in stopping Tea Party applications?

Was Obama involved in stopping Tea Party applications?

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

5/14/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: IRS, harassment, Tea Party, questions, investigation, Obama

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although it should be concerned with finances, the IRS asked the Richmond Tea Party for a list of names for all of its volunteers, according to the Daily Mail. The IRS has no business with this information and should not be asking for it.


The question is perhaps one of the more egregious ones asked by the IRS as part of what appears to be organized, sanctioned, harassment of conservative organizations.

Other questions include a detailed description of events hosted by the organization including copies of the event programs, the credentials of organizers, and even the contents of speeches delivered at events.

Another question reads, "Provide copies of your materials on Face Book[sic]."

None of this information should genuinely matter to the IRS, whose sole concern is the proper handling of money and the reporting of transactions to the government for review for taxation.

Of course, if the IRS were to harass an organization, the Tea Party would be it. The TEA in tea party is actually an acronym for "Taxed Enough Already" and the strongly conservative movement is opposed to the tax and spend policies of the Federal government. It is particularly critical of the harassment which the IRS deals on an annual basis in an attempt to squeeze taxpayers for a few extra dollars.

However, the harassment the IRS has dealt the Richmond Tea Party is so egregious, that even Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, apologized for the nature of the tactics the IRS was using against conservative groups.

The letter to the Richmond Tea Party was sent in January, 2012 and was part of a larger movement that began in 2010. According to preliminary investigation, the Cincinnati-based IRS office which vetted tax-exempt organizations,  began targeting groups with "tea party," "patriot," or "9/12" in their names for greater scrutiny.

According to records, the IRS targeted 300 groups, mostly affiliated with the Tea Party.

Obama and the Democrats have become wary of the Tea Party because they have held a strong line on new taxes and against excessive government spending. Their political influence was integral to the congressional mid-term elections in 2010, and nearly kept Obama out of a second term of office in 2012.

So far, of the 300 groups that have applied to the IRS for their status, 150 are still waiting for approval. The remaining 25 have simply withdrawn their application.

For his part, Obama has come out publicly against the IRS scandal, condemning it before the press. Although Obama has known about the scandal since mid-April, he has only now addressed the problem. He certainly did not issue any calls for investigation or order any changes in IRS procedures.

In point of fact, as chief of the executive branch, Obama is personally responsible for the conduct of the IRS. Unfortunately, harassment and thuggish tactics are part and parcel of his administration's repertoire. It makes sense considering his background as a "community organizer" from Chicago. 

His abject failure to investigate or sack IRS officials involved in this scandal suggests he himself could be complicit in it.

That's okay, however. Congress is beginning its probe into the IRS and its harassment of Americans seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights starting Wednesday.

It is hoped by many that Congress will use its power of subpoena and will question all involved, including President Obama himself. Why didn't Obama deal with this immediately?

And if he lies, there's always impeachment.


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