Today, Tea Party organizations joined GOP leaders like U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah in a press conference put together by Tea Party representative Michele Bachmann.
Bachmann is the Chairwoman of the House Tea Party caucus and has joined fellow Tea Party leaders in voicing her outrage over the revelation that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups with stricter scrutiny, additional reviews and intrusive questions that represent a pattern of harassment based on political affiliations.
Bachmann noted the turbulent treatment of the Tea Party by entrenched politicians and defended the Tea Party Movement as a grassroots movement that believes in the fundamentals of liberty. “We believe the America people are taxed enough already. We believe that the government should not spend more money than we take in. And we believe in a Constitutionally-limited government,” Bachmann stated.
The scandal has rocked the Obama Administration who demanded and received the resignation of the acting IRS Commissioner who had planned to resign from the position anyway. However, the face-saving move is likely too little, too late for Tea party leaders.
The IRS did not merely vet the nonprofits for tax-exempt status, but instead asked intrusive questions as to the nature of the political advocacy by the members of the organization including questions regarding the discussions and reading materials found at meetings. Todd Cefaratti, Freedom Organizer for TheTeaParty.net stated, “They wanted things like our donor lists, our private emails for the last three years… This has got to make a chill go down your spine. Why would the government want this information?”
In a statement, Cefaratti demanded action by the government into the egregious abuse of power, stating,
“Members of Congress and the media must apply Watergate-style scrutiny to the egregious crimes committed by this administration. There can be no double-standard. The evidence is mounting that President Obama is engaged in a war on dissent. The millions of Americans who count themselves proud Tea Party members will not be silenced by a band of a Chicago thugs employing Al Capone tactics on the Constitution and our right to free speech. Nor will we stop until everyone involved in targeting us is identified and fired — whether in the IRS, the Justice Department and possibly even the White House.”
Niger Innis, TheTeaParty.net’s chief strategist, added,
“From IRS targeting of tea party groups to wire-tapping reporters’ phone conversations and covering up operations from Fast and Furious to Benghazi, this administration has shown that it will stop at nothing to get exactly what it wants and take punitive action against anyone who disagrees. Bipartisan hearings should be held to determine who led the charge to target groups like ours and why. Congress should also pass a new independent counsel law to investigate the Obama administration’s enemies list and determine just how far-reaching their assault on our citizens goes.”