FreedomWorks Likens IRS Scandal to 'Third World Juntas'

Monday, 13 May 2013 12:38 PM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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More people and groups will begin to step forward as the investigation of the IRS for its scrutiny into conservative causes in the 2012 elections becomes more widespread, FreedomWorks leader Matt Kibbe tells Newsmax.

"The IRS used its power to discourage and intimidate Americans from speaking out against bad policies, stifling the First Amendment right of every citizen to hold government accountable," said Kibbe, president and CEO of the grass-roots limited government organization, on Monday.

"This is the stuff of Third World juntas, not the greatest constitutional republic in human history," he said.

Groups who previously were fearful of speaking out will likely be more willing to air their grievances now that Congress has begun an investigation into conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, Kibbe said in an interview Monday with Newsmax.

"There's safety in numbers," said Kibbe. "The only way we are going to hold government accountable is through transparency, to allow all these citizens to speak up and have their stories heard."

Kibbe sent out a scathing press release on Monday, saying the IRS' actions were an "ominous stifling of free speech that can never happen again in America, and there needs to be a full accounting of who knew what, when did they know it, and who is responsible."

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight has demanded that the IRS provide by Wednesday all communications involving the words "tea party," "conservative," or "patriot."

The tax-collecting agency admitted on Friday that conservative groups had been improperly targeted and made to comply with cumbersome requests for information outside normal IRS procedures.

Kibbe told Newsmax the larger outrage that will come to light is that the targeting by the IRS didn't necessarily focus on nationally recognized organizations backed by millions of dollars, but on smaller groups.

Kibbe said FreedomWorks is reaching out to organizations throughout the country to come forward and provide documentation of harassment by the IRS, and not just those based in its Cincinnati offices where the agency administers files and forms for tax-exempt organizations.

"We're talking to groups all over the country," Kibbe told Newsmax. "I think this scandal is going to go to the very core of why the tea party organizations were formed in the first place. I think the outrage is deeper than people have touched on so far."

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