The Internal Revenue Service scandal involving the apparently unjustified targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups has also hit home with the Hispanic community.
George Rodriguez, former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, said that when the organization applied for non-profit status, leaders were intimidated by IRS workers with excessive paperwork and meddling questions.
“They asked us all sorts of things that were out of the norm,” Rodriguez, now head of the conservative South Texas Alliance, told Fox News Latino. “We knew these questions were not the norm and we had our suspicions about them.”
The complaint from the San Antonio group is just one of many nationwide leveled against the federal agency, which surfaced last Friday when Lois G. Lerner director of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, let slip that low-level IRS staffers had given extra scrutiny to conservative groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.
The public slip started a furor among conservative groups and pundits and forced U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to announce that the Justice Department would open a criminal investigation into the matter.
Rodriguez said the group received a questionnaire from the IRS with “well over 50 questions,” including inquiries into who the group met with, where they held their meetings, who was in attendance and what the subject of their internal emails were.
“They should have been worried about the numbers, not who we were meeting with,” he added. “It was flat-out dirty politics.”
The complaint from the San Antonio group is one of many nationwide leveled against the embattled federal agency, in the escalating case that surfaced last week when Lois G. Lerner, director of the IRS’ exempt-organizations division, let slip that low-level IRS staffers had given extra scrutiny to conservative groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.
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