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Despicable: After Obama joked about using the IRS as a weapon, tea party groups were targeted for harassment

Last year, the Ohio Liberty Coalition announced that their IRS application for non-profit status was being delayed by the government, along with being asked intrusive questions about their donors and families. One demand was even to send in photocopies of their Facebook page. From a February 12, 2012 press release, the OLC rightly refused to comply.

“We find that your requests are unreasonable, overly burdensome, intrusive and possibly politically motivated and that they have little to do with determining our organization’s qualifications for non-profit status. Instead we believe that your requests force our organization to either forfeit our First Amendment Rights to Free Political Speech and Freedom of Assembly or deny us the non-profit status we are entitled to under IRS regulations. Neither of which is acceptable.”

Today there was an apology from the IRS, who acknowledged that if a group’s name had “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names, they were flagged for further review and burdening demands before their applications would be accepted. However, they blamed it on low-level people working only in the Cincinnati office.

We don’t buy it, and neither does OLC.

“We will accept Ms. Lerner’s apology as being appropriate, because what the IRS did was wrong and we proved it was wrong. However, we can not accept her statement that this attack on our organizations and our liberty was orchestrated by low-level IRS employees in the Cincinnati office. We have proof that the same questions were being asked of groups from Virginia to Hawaii. We have further proof that agents admitted that they were being told by “higher ups” not to process applications from “TEA Party Groups”.

This was a clear abuse of power by the Obama administration.

What makes it even scarier is that in 2009, President Obama “joked” about using the IRS as a weapon against his political adversaries.

Obama had been refused an honorary doctorate by Arizona State University, and Obama remarked, “President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.”

This is a serious offense, though one that is not surprising out of this White House. Props to the Ohio Liberty Coalition for standing up to this kind of tyranny (didn’t Obama just tell us that such talk was ludicrous?) and helping to expose it.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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