This is the second of two parts introducing the victim organizations that testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on June 4, 2013 regarding targeting by the IRS.
San Fernando Valley Tea Party (CA) – Dr. Karen Kenny, Founder
About: The San Fernando Patriots (“SFP”) is a non-for-profit corporation in California. They are a Tea Party group affiliated with the national Tea Party Patriots.
IRS Targeting: In October 2010, the SFP0 applied with the IRS for 501(c)(4) status as a tax-exempt social welfare organization. Their first communication from the IRS was in February 2012 when they received a questionnaire with 35 items and 80 subpoints of inquiry with 20 days to comply under penalty of perjury. She testified that the questions were chilling reminders of the 1950s: “Are you now or have you ever been“
Potentially Unconstitutional and/or Illegal Information Requests: The IRS requested video & audio transcripts, political parties of speakers, identifying information on employees and volunteers, EINs for businesses SFP associated with (donors) and for tax-exempt organizations, communications with their legislators, and a listing of “committed violations of local ordinances breaches of public order or arrests, and how they promote illegal activities.” In July 2012 they stopped their activities because of costly and exhausting process.
In conclusion, Dr. Kenny said: “This dialogue is about the jackboot of tyranny on the field of our founding documents. To whisper the letters I.R.S. strikes a shrill note on Main Street USA. But when this behemoth tramples upon America’s grassroots, few hear the snapping sounds.”
Coalition for Life of Iowa – Susan Martinek, President
About: The Coalition for Life of Iowa (“CFLI”) was founded in 2004 to provide prayer, education, and related activities on the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. They engage in peaceful, prayerful activities.
IRS Targeting: In 2008, CFLI sought 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS. Ms. Martinek testified that the IRS’ questions centered on their educational and potential political activities, prayer groups, and their signage. On April 27, 2009, Ms. Richards from the IRS sent CFLI a letter asking about their educational forums, whether they were trying to influence legislation or political campaigns, questions that were already answered on the application. Subsequent to her response, Ms. Richards contacted her by telephone but when Ms. Martinek asked questions, she would be put on hold while Ms. Richards checked with her superior(s).
Potentially Unconstitutional and/or Illegal Information Requests: In June 2009, Ms. Richards informed Ms. Martinet that CFLI needed to send a letter, under penalties of perjury, signed by all Board members that their organization would not picket, protest or organize in front of Planned Parenthood and once received was received she would permit CFLI’s application to go through.
Wetumpka Area Tea Party (AL) – Becky Gerritson
About: The Wetumpka Area Tea Party (“WATP”) formed because of economic issues facing America. In her statement, Ms. Gerritson expressed that the Committee needed to also understand what the IRS was trying to stifle. The WATP started because of the September 2008 $700 billion bailout followed by the $787,000 bailout in January 2009 that went to foreign nations, unproductive industries, failing banks. They believed, as did millions of Americans that our government was out of control, mortgaging America’s future and DC would not stop itself.
IRS Targeting: Fighting back tears, Ms. Gerritson said: “I’m not here as a serf or a vassal. I’m not begging the Lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother, and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. The post that you occupy exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty and you have faltered.”
Potentially Unconstitutional and/or Illegal Information Requests: The WATP applied for a 501(c)(4) status in October 2010. The WATP received a letter from Robert Cho dated November 2, 2010 stating they should hear something within 90 days. In actuality, they didn’t hear anything for 459 days. On February 3, 2012, they received a letter stating their application could not be processed until the enclosed questionnaire was completed and returned. They were required to provide their donor list, the amount given and the contribution dates; the identity of their volunteers; whether any donors or volunteers had run or would later run for office; details of all speeches, speakers & credentials; any communications to any legislative body including her own representative. They are represented by the ACLJ. They received their approval 639 days after they applied.
In closing, Ms. Gerritson stated: “Government employees made invasive and excessive demands for information they were not entitled to…This was not an accident. This is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view. What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, AL is un-American…Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They believe they are out masters and they are mistaken.”
What IRS employees contributed to the HRC organization? Will the House Ways and Means or Government Oversight Committee subpoena the HRC’s or OFA’s donor records and trace them to IRS employees? Did HRC make any contributions, monetary or in-kind, to the Obama 2008 or 2012 campaigns? Is any member or volunteer of HRC also a member or volunteer for the Obama 2012 campaign or his OFA nonprofit organization? Will Congress have the courage to abolish the IRS and implement a flat tax? These and other questions must be answered. Demand the truth. Demand accountability. We are a Red Nation Rising.