The IRS harassment of conservative groups hits close to home – try our very own Peach State where at least one local Tea Party group was targeted in order to smoke out its legitimate coalition with AFP-Georgia! The Georgia Tea Party Inc has been around since the birth of the tea party movement. The Marietta-based group has worked with AFP-GA to promote and staff the Constitution Day Festival of GA, rallies, protests, policy education initiatives and more. They meet weekly in Cobb County, just north of Atlanta’s metro area and several other local groups have spawned off of them. Nevertheless, the IRS targeted them in 2012, issuing a threatening letter and requesting items like a comprehensive list of all past (and future planned) activities, resume copies of each employee including their total compensation (if any), a full target list of individual board members and their past political or volunteer activity, and on and on it goes. The full list of 28 action items are listed here.
The list also sought to “smoke out” the group’s volunteer-driven coalition relationship with Americans For Prosperity-GA (see page 2, question 22).
The White House has tried to distance itself from the growing IRS scandal, but there is a clear pattern emerging that connects undue scrutiny from the IRS with President Obama’s own rhetoric. It’s now clear that at the same time President Obama was attacking AFP by name, the IRS was harassing tea party groups and asking them about their association with AFP. Don’t believe it, watch the video smear compilation.
Tim Phillips, president of AFP said, “The connection between Obama’s rhetoric and IRS action seems more than coincidental. It points to a clear agenda to silence those who oppose Obama’s big-government policies like Obamacare, Cap & Trade, and the failed Stimulus. Today Obama acknowledged the abuse taking place under his watch, but he needs to apologize to the American people who were targeted, take direct responsibility, and demand a full investigation.”
The Georgia Tea Party, Inc. did finally receive their non-profit status approval, despite a severe delay. We now know that delay was likely by design, aimed at honest conservative grassroots groups who dare challenge the agenda of an Administration off the rails.