Tea Party Leader: IRS Probe Has Had 'Chilling Effect On My Life'

Friday, 16 May 2014 08:20 PM

By Sean Piccoli

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Rusty Humphries, a tea party organizer who landed in the crosshairs of the Internal Revenue Service, said Friday that his tax troubles aren't over and neither is the Obama administration's targeting of politically conservative groups like his.

Humphries, a radio talk show host and spokesman for the Tea Party Leadership Fund, told Newsmax TV that the IRS, which came to his house with questions and demands for paperwork, is still investigating him and his political action committee.

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"I'm still in the middle of this, to be honest, and it's not fun," Humphries told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "And let's just say I've been to their [the IRS's] office now a couple of times and they'd like every document.

"I believe they still want my report card from second grade at this point, but I'm not positive," he quipped.

Jokes aside, Humphries said of his IRS encounter, "Well I know it has had a chilling effect on my life."

Story continues below video.

He said he wasn't too surprised at news of previously undisclosed emails — obtained by Judicial Watch — showing that orders for extra scrutiny of tea party paperwork did come from IRS headquarters in Washington. The agency had previously claimed the targeting of tea party applicants for nonprofit status was not coordinated, but confined to a few regional IRS offices.

After visiting him at home, the IRS "went after a tea party leader who lives in the same neighborhood a week later," he said. "But I'm sure it was just a coincidence."

Humphries said the IRS scrutiny dovetails with efforts by others — including the Republican establishment — "to demonize the tea party."

He also described how the political establishment in Ohio marginalized his primary candidate, J.D. Winteregg, in a contest against one of the state's most powerful politicians, House Speaker John Boehner.

"We could not get an interview in Ohio," said Humphries. "People didn't want to talk. John Boehner was able to make it so that this candidate was unheard of."

But Humphries sounded less concerned about electoral maneuvering than about the power the IRS can exert over an administration's perceived political enemies.

"The question is, are people going to give up?" said Humphries, adding, "If this was George W. Bush going after Democrats, I would stand up and say it was wrong. Barack Obama doing this is wrong. This is not what an elected official should have the power for.

"This is not what the IRS is for. This needs to be stopped, and the Democrats should be yelling about this just as loud as Republicans."

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