BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The idea of a federal agency targeting politically conservative groups doesn’t sit well with many Alabamians.
Mike Frederick volunteers with the tax reform group, FairTax.
“I think we have a first amendment issue here that is obvious,” Frederick says, “And I think it’s obvious that they were targeting the organizations that are coming from the right side of the political spectrum.”
According to the CBS News timeline, a group of IRS specialists was instructed to focus on organizations seeking tax-exempt status that had “political sounding names” as early as Spring of 2010. By July, specialists were told to be on the lookout for Tea Party applications, specifically those with references to “Tea Party” or “Patriots” and with statements criticizing how the country was being run.
Bill Armistead, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, says he has no doubt high-level IRS officials knew about this practice.
“What group next, I mean, this time it’s this group, next time it’s another group,” Armistead says. “We just need fairness in the administration of the tax laws in America.”
Democrats, too, are beginning to demand congressional action. President Obama calls this practice “outrageous,” if true. Results of the federal investigation into the allegations against the IRS are expected to be released later this week.