The Texas Patriots Tea Party [TPTP] is part of the FIRST lawsuit against IRS filed by Citizens for Self-Governance and based on the politically targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.
The selective targeting of groups for additional IRS scrutiny based solely on their political values or ideology is a civil rights violation. Also, revealing sensitive tax information to other unrelated parties should concern EVERY TAXPAYER and should not be tolerated. That is exactly what has happened to tea parties and other conservative groups across the country and IRS has attempted to repress certain conservative views, groups and activities from influencing the last two election cycles [2010 and 2012]. Such government behavior violates our 1st Amendment assurances of freedom of speech and association. This politically-biased or –prejudiced phenomenon seems to be systemic within the Obama Administration.
In response to this scandal, on May 14, 2013, TPTP wrote to the IRS with the following words that show our frustration and a bit of our anger:
“It appears that you are in trouble, according to the news reports, so I urge you to approve our application for 501(c)(4) status immediately, while you are still employed and have the power to do so….”
For us, taxes are NOT the problem, but CORRUPT Tax Collectors are. Being a group that values small, limited government, we truly believe that the IRS cannot be FIXED in light of these recent scandals. We believe that the IRS should be sued for their irresponsible and intimidating actions against us and that the agency be abolished completely because of their decades-old IRS corruption. Replacing a few IRS individuals will not change the obvious culture present in such an organization.
Here is our Press Release that we issued today:
LOCAL TEA PARTY IS PLAINTIFF IN IRS LAWSUIT
Burleson, Texas August 14, 2013
On August 5, 2013, the Texas Patriots Tea Party headquartered in Burleson, Texas became a named plaintiff* in a class action lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service [IRS] filed by Graves Garrett LLC and Langdon Law, in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio.
The Texas Patriots Tea Party [TPTP] was formed in July 2010 in protest of the Federal government’s heavy tax burden, massive government growth and wasteful spending. On June 19, 2012, the TPTP filed for tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status with the IRS as a social welfare organization and paid the application fee of $400. Approval is usually a routine process, but it became clear that the IRS was intentionally delaying the approval of the application. Since this was a critical pre-election period in 2012, the TPTP believed the delay was politically motivated. After the 2012 election, in Jan/Feb 2013, the group received their first reply from the IRS with 12 unusual questions requesting hard-copies of the website, Twitter and Facebook pages, agreements between the TPTP and their PAC group, agendas and invitations of all meetings, published materials and fliers distributed by the group, the process for selecting speakers and the TPTP’s role in any fund-raising events.
After seeing these questions, several of the TPTP’s board members recommended that the group abandon the pursuit of the 501(c)(4) application. Unfortunately, the IRS had all the power. The TPTP had to address their questions in order to get their approval. TPTP responded to these IRS requests within their specified timeframe even though the group felt that these questions were clearly unusual, intrusive and seemingly politically-based. As of August 2013, the TPTP is still waiting for IRS approval. During this time, the group filed income tax returns as a non- not-for-profit corporation.
Dr. Barry Schlech, VP Communications for TPTP said “In light of the current IRS scandal in Washington, DC, we now knows that we were not alone in being singled out for additional tax scrutiny based on our conservative views. This scrutiny was apparently solely based on the fact that the Texas Patriots Tea Party had words like ‘tea party’ or ‘patriots’ in our name.”
About Texas Patriots Tea Party:
The Texas Patriots Tea Party [texaspatriotsteaparty.org] was formed in July 2010 by a group of veteran Tea Party activists in Burleson, TX area [Burleson, Crowley, Alvarado, Keene, Cleburne] and is a grass-roots organization that evolved in early 2009 in protest of the Federal government taxation policies and wasteful spending of citizens’ money. The Texas Patriots Tea Party is open to citizens from Johnson, Tarrant and Hood Counties and surrounding Texas areas: U.S. Congressional Districts: CD25, CD6, CD11, CD12, CD30, CD33; TX Senate Districts SD22, SD10, SD23; TX House Districts H58, H60, H96, H10, H8.
Barry A. Schlech, Ph.D., VP Communications
Texas Patriots Tea Party [d.b.a., “We, the People of Texas, Inc.”]