9 Mar

Even the violent and illegal Occupy Wall Street has not been subjected to this horrific treatment!

IRS Accused of ‘Intimidation Campaign’ Against Tea Party Groups

( – A conservative civil liberties group accuses the  Internal Revenue Service of attempting to “intimidate and silence” a  number of tea party groups that have applied for tax-exempt status.
The  American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) says IRS requests for  information about the groups included “probing questions” that violate  the free speech and freedom of association rights guaranteed by the  First Amendment. “This appears to be a coordinated attempt to  intimidate Tea Party organizations by demanding information that is  outside the scope of legitimate inquiry and violates the First  Amendment,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ’s chief counsel.
“These  organizations have followed the law and applied for tax exempt status  for their activities as Americans have done for decades. The problem  here is the IRS has gone beyond legitimate inquiries and is demanding  that these organizations answer questions that actually violate the  First Amendment rights of our clients.”
Among other things, ACLJ  complains that the IRS is demanding that the tea party groups reveal  the internal workings of their organizations, including the  identification of members, how they are selected, who they associate  with, and even what they discuss.
“This intimidation campaign is  as onerous as what the IRS did to the NAACP in the 1950’s and is simply  unacceptable. We will aggressively defend our clients and are prepared  to take the IRS to court if necessary,” ACLJ said Wednesday in a news  release. The ACLJ says the IRS information demands sent to the  Tea Party groups (almost 20 groups) are not in response to complaints of  wrongdoing, but instead in response to applications by the  organizations for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. Sekulow,  who served as a trial lawyer with the Office of the Chief Counsel for  the IRS earlier in his career, said many of the questions are simply  inappropriate and fall well outside the scope of legitimate IRS inquiry.  (See following examples)
The ACLJ also is calling for Congressional oversight hearings on the matter.
What follows is an incomplete list of some questions the ACLJ finds overly burdensome and inappropriate:
— How many members do you have currently?
— Provide member application/registration form
— Provide membership agreement and rules that governs members.
— Provide copies of your website that your members can only access.
— The names of the donors, contributors, and grantors.
— The amounts of each of the donations, contributions, and grants and the dates you received them.
— How did you use these donations, contributions, and grants? Provide the details.
— The amounts of fundraising income received for each year.
—  Do you have a close relationship with any candidate for public office  or political party? If so describe fully the nature of that  relationship.
— Submit the following information relating to your past and present directors, officers, and key employees: a) Provide a resume for each. b) Indicate the number of hours per month each individual has provided or is providing services to you. e) Provide a description of all the services each individual provides or has provided to you. d) Indicate the total compensation provided to each individual. e) Describe how each compensation package was determined. f)  Indicate if any of your current and former officers, directors, and key  employees are related to each other (include family and business  relationships) and describe the nature of the relationship.
— Have you sold or will you sell merchandise? If yes, provide the following: a) A vendor list. Indicate if the vendor is a related party. b) A list of items sold. c) Your cost for each item. d) The selling price of each item.
—  Have you conducted or will you conduct voter education activities  (voter registration drive, get out the vote drives, publishing voter  guides, distributing voter guides, etc.) If so: a) provide the Location, date and time of the events.
—  Has your organization engaged in any activities with the new media? If  so, please describe those activities in further detail and, if  available, provide copies of articles printed or transcripts of items aired because of that activity.
—  Have you conducted or will you conduct candidate forums or other events  at which candidates running for public offices are invited to speak? If  so, provide the following details and nature of the forum including: a. The names of candidates invited to participate b. The names of the candidates who did participate c. The issues that were discussed d. The time and location of the event e. Copies of all handouts provided and distributed at the forum, f. Indicate the percentage of time and resources you have spent or will spend conducting these activities…
— Have you attempted or will you attempt to influence the outcome of specific legislation? If so, provide the following: a.  Provide copies of all communications, pamphlets, advertisements, and  other materials distributed by the organization regarding the  legislation. b. Provide copies of any radio, television, or internet advertisements relating to your lobbying activities C. Please indicate the percentage of time and resources you have spent or will spend conducting these activities…
—  Do you directly or indirectly communicate with members of legislative  bodies? If so, provide copies of the written communications and contents  of other form of communications.
— Please provide the following information for your board of directors and officers: a) Provide all copies of your corporate minutes from inception to the present. b)  Provide the titles, duties, work hours, and compensation amounts of  your board members, officers, and employees. If they only work for a  certain time yearly, bi-yearly, or quad-yearly, please provide the  periods they had (have) worked and will work. Please identify your  volunteers. c) If you nave a board member or officer who has run or will run for a public office in the near future, please describe fully.

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