CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) -Tea Party supporters marched outside IRS offices around the country Tuesday calling for an independent counsel to investigate the tax collection agency.
"The scandal gets worse everyday," said Bill Hennessy of the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. He and others are angry about the delays their organizations have faced in seeking tax exempt status with the IRS. "We originally filed in October of 2010," Hennessy said. The group filed again in April of 2011 and still has not heard anything.
Conservative blogger Jim Hoft, who writes the Gateway Pundit blog, cited national news reports indicating the IRS had not approved one conservative group for a 501c-4 status in 27 months. 501c-4 groups are not-for-profit organizations that support that engage in some form of social welfare advocacy. They are permitted to lobby on legislation, engage in public advocacy and to a limited degree advocate for candidates.
At least one hundred protestors marched outside the Town and Country IRS office off Woods Mill Rd. during the Tuesday lunch hour. " I'm a mom and a grandmother and a wife, not a terrorist," shouted one woman.
IRS critic Dottie Bailey noted some conservative groups were drilled on questions about what they say in prayer, what groups their members belong to and their political affiliations.
St. Louis Tea Party Coalition leader Bill Hennessy is highly suspicious of the IRS. He noted the head of the union that represents IRS workers visited the White House just before the agency began holding back applications.
Hoft questions the IRS focus on conservative groups. "So if they want to say maybe these groups need to be checked out, well then why did you let all the progressive groups go ahead and this was before the election too," Hoft said adding "So it is very concerning to a lot of people."
Members of the U.S. Congress from both parties are questioning IRS officials over how the special treatment began. Tea Party members had been complaining for several years that the IRS was being intrusive and delaying their requests for tax exempt status.
Tea Party supporters coalesced in 2009 around an anti-big government movement opposing Wall Street bailouts originating in President George Bush's administration and the federal stimulus program that President Obama supported. A wide variety of organizations have formed around the Tea Party banner but it is not a formal political party.
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