Stefano: "the IRS suppressed so many people's voices"
the irs is apologizing, believe it or not, for targeting the conservative groups during last year’s elections. officials wrongly singled out organizations which used the word tea party or patriot in their filings, flagging them for extra investigation.Lets be clear we are in no way criticizing the IRS but so please, please, please, don’t audit us. Next guest a tea party group, Americans for Prosperity. Long time tea party activist and apparently a victim of politically oriented bias from the internal revenue service. what happened?
Stefano>> sure. when i started getting involved in politics a few years ago, I was a pregnant stay at home mom. We were organizing and we found out people were giving it you can’t run it through your bank account. You have to file with the IRS, but going to lawyers and trying to get this done, they just said it’s going to cost you thousands of dollars and that if you make even the slightest mistakes because the codes are so complex and because stories coming in from other groups getting harassed you just can’t do this. We had to shut everything down. We couldn’t take any money for help it was really a big problem and really suppressed our voice in our community in Pennsylvania.
>> alisyn: what makes you think that you though as a tea party activist were targeted rather than just this just being bureaucracy?
Stefano>> no, no, no. the stories were coming in from everywhere else in the country. we had people calling saying 25 page — on the phone with the IRS when i was trying to get the information they were holding it up. you were going to have to turn over all of your donors, all of your members. things you were doing on intrusive. social media it felt very invasion of privacy. I had little children. I’m a stay at home mom. I didn’t have a lot of money it suppressed so many people’s voices and their ability to just exercise their first amendment rights.
>> tucker: that’s right. one of the things the irs did apparently was slow walk these applications for 501 c 3 status. nonprofit status which you need in order to get donations. it strikes me as an attack not just on tea party groupings or conservative groups but on the rule of law itself. you can’t enforce these laws selectively.
Stefano>> that’s what the tea party stands for limited government. people wonder why do you want limited government? for this reason you? have unelected unaccountable rogue bureaucracy in the irs that is historically abusive towards people and political enemies that can literally shut down your life. this organization the irs can shut down your life. they can bankrupt you. they can take everything from you. this is not what america was founded on. and when you start to undermine the rule of law, you are no longer civil society. this is what we are fighting for. the very thing that’s happening is what we are fighting for. no matter what your political point of view you should fight this.
>> alisyn: the IRS is now apologizing and admitting that in fact they did target tea party and conservative groups. here is what the statement says, it says we fully support the irs the treasury department expects all individuals to be treated fairly by the irs. anything else is inappropriate and unacceptable. are you satisfied with that?
Stefano>> absolutely not. you have the president’s political opposition being thugged up by the irs and we’re apologizing? we’re reviewing? no, no, no. hearings, resignations, firings, trials, i want it all taken care of.