IRS Targeting of Tea Partiers Draws Ire of Rand Paul

IRS Targeting of Tea Partiers Draws Ire of Rand Paul

The IRS did not have a good 2013.

Early that year, it came out that the office had used specific words – like “Tea Party,” “constitution,” and “Patriot” – as a way to flag groups who applied for non-profit status. Essentially, groups that used those words (and other similar ones) were being treated differently than groups who didn’t use them. They were facing more scrutiny, more questions, and more doubt – just because the IRS didn’t like their name.

Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky who touts many Tea Party values, laid into the IRS at an “Audit the IRS” rally in the midst of the crisis.

His speech got the crowd rocking. As the folks at WDRB reported:

“Saying, ‘I think we can have freedom and security and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, all at the same time,’ he added, ‘I’m, like most Americans, horrified that my government has gotten out of control and is persecuting people for their religious and their political beliefs, and it needs to end, and it needs to end now.’”

The rally took place at the U.S. Capitol, and was organized by Tea Party Patriots. It reportedly drew thousands to the Capitol’s West Lawn, and also featured speakers like Senators Ted Cruz (the Republican from Texas) and Mike Lee (a Republican from Utah), as well as U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, and more.

Members of organizations who were unfairly targeted by the IRS also had time to speak.

It might have been Paul who hit the highest, loudest note though, when he asked:

“’Anybody want to fire some IRS agents?’ was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s fiery beginning to his speech…”

He also accused an employee of the IRS of bullying Republican candidates, attempting to force them to not campaign or run for office by promising to leave them alone.

As Paul said:

“’She’s been using this bullying nature of government and we’re sick and tired of government bullies and we need to send them home.’”


Photograph courtesy of Fibonacci Blue, via Flickr Creative Commons

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