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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/15/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The IRS even asked for members to interview for their thoughts.

The IRS had many questions for tea party applicants seeking nonprofit status from the agency. As the story breaks across the nation, tea party groups and others are sharing some of the most outrageous questions the IRS asked. Here is a list of our favorites.

Many of the IRS questions would be laughable, if they weren't serious.

Many of the IRS questions would be laughable, if they weren't serious.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/15/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: IRS, questions, corruption, tea party, conservitive, non-profit, Obama


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The letters start off quite cordially, "Dear Sir or Madam:" they begin. After that, they launch into a litany of dozens of questions, often with questions buried beneath the original questions.

The aim of the questions appears clear, to inundate applicants with so many vague and impossible questions that they cannot comply with the extraordinarily unreasonable and illegal request for information.

These letters had a rather chilling effect with at least 25 tea party and conservative organizations saying they withdrew their requests after being presented with these ridiculous challenges from the IRS.

How ridiculous were they? See for yourself.

-- Please identify your volunteers.

-- Provide the following information for all of its programs you have conducted... detailed descriptions, copies of handouts, names and credentials of the organizers... the text of speeches, the names of speakers and their credentials, and proof if participants were not paid that they volunteered to participate in the event.

-- The amount of time each person spent on each event or program staged by your group.

-- Copies of your current webpages in your presentations on other webpages such as social networking sites and blog sites.

-- Please provide copies of all Facebook posts for the organization.

Copies of all communications, advertisements, and other materials distributed by the organization.

-- Copies of any advertisements relating to your activities.

-- Lists of organizations you work with and any shared employees, volunteers, resources, office space, etc. with the organizations.

-- What does membership in your group consist of? Are they mostly individuals?

-- What services and benefits to provide especially for members only?

-- Provide copies of your website that your members can only access.

-- Please provide comments from fans posted on Facebook.

-- Other groups were asked to provide reading lists, the synopsis of books, and even contact information for members so the IRS could personally interview those individuals for their thoughts even though they were not officers within the organization.

Groups were also asked to predict their future activities including income and expenditures, and were then sternly warned that they could face penalties for perjury.

This means that an organization would have to commit in writing to the IRS what activities it would engage in over the course of the "near-term" and any deviation from those plans, for whatever reason, could be construed as perjury.

Naturally, this had an incredibly chilling effect on free speech and the First Amendment rights of the organizations and their memberships. Some groups gave up altogether rather than fight the administration.

This is as thuggish and criminal as it gets. This is a textbook case of government officials abusing their power to stifle one political agenda in favor of another. This is something that is commonly seen in repressive states with governments that only wish to allow opposition in name only. It is a form of government tyranny against the people.

Fortunately, the media and the people are outraged over these events and Congress has begun hearings into the matter.

Hopefully the individuals responsible will be brought to justice. However, it's unlikely that the highest individuals who are ultimately responsible for this blatant violation of individual First Amendment rights, will ever face justice. After all, it's pretty hard to impeach and imprison a sitting president.

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