For Julie McCarty, president of the thriving Northeast Tarrant Tea Party, the breaking open of the IRS scandal was cause to rejoice.
“I’m excited,” McCarty said Tuesday. “It’s finally getting some light shed on this thing that we’ve been dealing with for two years.”
Her group applied for tax-exempt status in early 2011, a request that is still pending after the IRS asked for what she said were reams of information – including every tweet, flier, Facebook post, email, fund solicitation and the names of every volunteer.
McCarty’s group is one of a number of tea party groups represented by Jay Sekulow and the American Center for Law and Justice in the matter, and she said that while her group did compile data for center to help it press its case against the IRS, that data wasn’t passed on to the IRS.
“The whole thing was an attempt to get us to stop, to give up, to focus so much of our time we can’t do our education activities,” McCarty said. “Let me tell you, the tea party is all about educating people about what’s really going on in the political process, because if they knew they would be outraged. This is a huge step in bringing that home. That’s what makes me so happy. This shows we’re not just some wacko conspiracy theorists. They really did target us.”
“Everybody, every single American should be freaking out,” McCarty said.
In Washington, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, took to the Senate floor to call on IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller to resign. He said the new revelations confirmed that complaints he had received in 2011 and 2012 from constituents that they were being targeted by the IRS were on the mark. Those groups included the King Street Patriots, San Antonio Tea Party, Waco Tea Party and True The Vote.
Cornyn said he wrote the IRS at the time asking them to look into it, and that when IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman later testified before Congress, he had “categorically denied that any type of targeting was, in fact, taking place.”
“Well, last Friday we learned that my constituents were correct and the Internal Revenue Service is wrong,” Cornyn said. “It turns out, the Internal Revenue Service really was targeting American citizens for exercising their most fundamental rights,” he said.
“These abuses are not simply inappropriate, they’re a breach of faith with the American people, and they are potentially violations of our criminal law,” Cornyn said.
Apparently, Austin groups weren’t targeted. Torin Archbold, a board member with the Austin Tea Party Patriots, said nobody affiliated with a tea party organization locally has had contact with the IRS of the kind now in the headlines.