The scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service's targeting conservative political groups may just now be getting headlines in the media, but it's been well-known to Tea Party groups for years, according to Virginia Tea Party co-founder Jamie Radtke, who shared her group's story Wednesday on WMAL's Mornings On The Mall.
"When I was President of Richmond Tea Party, we tried to apply for non-profit status back in 2009, and [the IRS] kept dragging their feet," said Radtke. "We finally heard from them 10 months later, with a list of questions that we needed to answer, and never heard from them until 2012, [when] the Richmond Tea Party received a form that had 17 questions and 53 parts to it," she added.
Radtke said the form was outrageous.
"It wanted the name, address and phone numbers of every donor, every volunteer. And the thing that caught my eye the most was that it said in there that the information would be available for - quote - 'public inspection.' So it felt very much like 'we're going to take every one of your volunteers and every one of your donors and we're going to let everyone know who's involved in this organization.'," said Radtke. At this point, she says the Tea Party group received help from a team of lawyers at the American Center for Law and Justice to bypass the form process and convince the IRS to grant non-profit status to the Richmond Tea Party in July of last year.
Radtke is calling on Congress to hold hearings to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, and she'd like to see anyone involved in the case to be fired. She's also worried, in light of this scandal, about having to provide even more personal information to the IRS.
"The IRS is going to be collecting on their new forms information about whether or not you have health care," Radtke told WMAL. "Now they're going to start following you and determining whether you have Obamacare or not. I mean, people start to wonder what the IRS is going to do to you, how public they're going to make things, whether they're going to punish you for not following certain ideologies," she added.
"It's very disconcerting, whether you're a conservative or not," she said.
(Copyright 2013 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved.)