Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, a Woodstock-based national group, said Monday that members of Tea Party Patriots, the Canton Tea Party and the Cherokee Tea Party Patriots were among those going to the nation’s capital in hopes of bringing further attention to what they call the politically biased actions of the Internal Revenue Service against conservative groups.
Once in Washington, Dooley said the tea party members will stage a rally on the lawn of the Capitol building Wednesday, where conservative Glenn Beck will speak.
Dooley’s group is among the numerous conservative groups which have complained recently of unfair scrutiny from the IRS and extreme delays in filing for their nonprofit status. In a report released by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS is said to have subjected nonprofit applications from groups with “tea party” in their names to “inconsistent treatment.”
Alan Dye, an attorney who has represented Tea Party Patriots in their nonprofit filing, said Monday that it is now almost three years after the group filed, and they still have not been approved.
“Originally, I just thought it was bureaucracy,” Dye said, but “I’m beginning to think it is (political). We don’t know of any progressive organizations that have been caught up in this net.”
Dye said Tea Party Patriots has been waiting for about 31 months to have their nonprofit filing pushed through the IRS system, a process which he said normally takes more like nine months.
“You don’t need 30 months to do this,” he said. “If you’re diligent you can do this in an afternoon.”
Before leaving for Washington on Tuesday, local tea party members were scheduled to hear a farewell speech from former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, who is running for Congress in Georgia’s 11th District.
Barr said later on Monday he was “pleased and honored” to see the members off and that their cause was just.
“I think it confirms what a number of us have been worried about,” Barr said of the recent reports on the IRS. “The government truly has gotten out of control. We now know factually that (IRS agents) have been abusing their power and targeting groups.”