Waco Tea Party Wants IRS Probe After Apology - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Waco Tea Party Wants IRS Probe After Apology

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WACO -

The Waco Tea Party wants a congressional investigation after the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for targeting and harassing conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election.

"We deserve a phone call or letter saying "I'm sorry".  It cost us a huge amount of time and funding to defend this and all the stress and aggravation for political reasons," Tea Party Director Toby Marie Walker said.

The group, along with similar organizations nationwide, was applying for tax-exempt status, and the IRS asked them for thousands of pages of additional documents during the process.  Those requests included lists of donors, which violates IRS policy.

Walker said they knew early on the requests weren't legitimate because some of the requests came on letters and envelopes that did not have IRS letterhead.  But the Tea Party didn't get approval for tax-exempt status until two months after the November election.

"It's funny, just a couple months after they took office, it was - oh, never mind, here's your tax status," Walker said.

Congressman Bill Flores (R-Texas) wrote a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R- Cal)  requesting he look into the targeting. 

"I think it was one of the things that started the ball rolling," Flores explained.  "I also talked to him on the House floor and he said he would work it into the agenda, and he actually had the Oversight Committee staff call the IRS."

The Tea Party credited Congressman Flores for getting results, and both Walker and the congressman took issue with the agency's officials who said the targeting was insensitive and inappropriate, but they only recently learned about it happening and no high level officials were aware it was happening.

"One of the things I find peculiar about the apology is they blamed it on low level staffers," Flores said.  "We pointed out to them ten months ago they had an issue they needed to investigate.  They stiff-armed us until after the election."

When asked what she would say to the IRS if they called her specifically to apologize, Walker said she would than them, and then immediately ask, "Now, who are you going to fire?"

"I would be happy to go to Washington," she added.  "I'd be happy to testify and stop this from happening to any other organization."

 

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