Maui Tea Party Group: IRS Intimidated Us

Courtesy The White House

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A tea party group on Maui says it was among those targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny when it petitioned for tax-exempt status.

The focus on conservative groups angered many on both sides of the political spectrum. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced the resignation of the IRS’ acting commissioner and called the agency’s targeting of conservative groups “inexcusable” and an “outrage.” Even so, the former head of the Maui group said he suspects there's more to the mess than just the low-level bureaucrats that have been blamed.

Bill Doyle served as a board member and then president of the Tea Party Maui during the two years it sought tax-exempt status from the IRS. He said he believes the unusually high level of scrutiny received by tea party and other organizations came from “higher up,” though he said only congressional investigations into the scandal will determine whether it reached the White House.

In an interview with Civil Beat, Doyle described a 26-month ordeal with the IRS that involved the agency asking what the Inspector General has called “unnecessary” questions regarding the identity of its donors, membership and activities. “As I tell this story I have chicken skin because it’s chilling,” Doyle said.

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