Photo Credit: APTea party groups’ allegations that the IRS has long been targeting them for their political beliefs were recently confirmed by an apology from the IRS. The scandal gained traction as congressional leaders began efforts to hold the IRS accountable and understand the depths of the federal government’s politically-motivated abuses of power.
Yet given the history of such abuses, the problem may extend further than the IRS, and require a “government-wide” probe across several agencies, as Senate [Minority] Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has suggested.
The issue was initially believed to only involve groups with “Tea Party” or “patriots” in their names being singled out for greater scrutiny by the IRS, but recent admissions reveal that a wide range of conservative and constitution-oriented groups were singled out by the federal government. Most media outlets have focused on 2012 as the year the abuses occurred, but one prominent Tea Party-initiated organization, True the Vote, began to run into alleged federal government abuses in 2010–from a variety of agencies.
True the Vote, a Houston-based nonprofit which focuses on election integrity issues, was formed by Catherine Engelbrecht and her King Street Patriots Tea Party group. True the Vote applied to the IRS for their 501(c3) non-profit status in July 2010, and almost immediately their problems began.
Within two years, multiple federal agencies, along with an EPA-affiliated Texas state agency, began auditing True the Vote and its founders, visiting their group, their businesses, and asking questions of people who knew them. The IRS was not the only governmental agency involved.
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