Tags: irs | targeting | tea | party

True the Vote's Engelbrecht: Group Is Still Being Targeted by IRS

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 06:17 PM

By Todd Beamon and Kathleen Walter

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Three years after it applied for tax-exempt status from the IRS, True the Vote is still being targeted by the agency, Catherine Engelbrecht, the voters rights group's founder and president, tells Newsmax TV.

"We filed our application in July of 2010," Engelbrecht tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "Here we are, July of 2013. We are still waiting for non-profit confirmation from the Internal Revenue Service.

"We've answered nearly 300 questions. We've submitted thousands of pages of documentation — and nothing; nothing except bobbing and weaving, again, from the administration. It is far from over.

Story continues below.



"There are still far too many unanswered questions — and, if you ask me, this goes deep into the West Wing. Before it's all said and done, I hope that we get those answers."

Earlier this month, an IRS agent told an investigator from the House Ways and Means Committee in closed-door testimony that the agency was still singling out tea party and conservative groups in their applications for tax-exempt status.

The information was disclosed in a transcript of the Aug. 1 testimony released last week by Dave Camp, the Michigan Republican who chairs the committee.

But Danny Werfel, the acting head of the IRS, told Congress six weeks ago that no such screening was still occurring at the agency.

In May, True the Vote sued the IRS and its employees who participated in harassing the organization. It seeks a declaratory judgment and nearly $85,000 in damages.

"We actually have since amended that filing to include more agents and individuals, as we've become increasingly aware of the web of people who have been involved in this," Engelbrecht tells Newsmax. "We are determined to stay the course with this lawsuit and try to do everything we can in the discovery process to understand who knew what when.

"We're going to find more, sadly, than any of us bargained for," she adds. "But we'll confirm some of our worst suspicions."

On Monday, True the Vote announced that it had discovered 173 cases of voter fraud in Florida and Maryland. It has since notified election officials in those states and the U.S. Department of Justice of instances of voters casting ballots simultaneously in both Maryland and Florida during federal elections.

While only fewer than 200 cases have been found, "I often like to compare it to death by dust mites," Engelbrecht says. "It certainly only points to one aspect of the problems that we face in our electoral process.

"If states were allowed to maintain their voter rolls and remove voters who have not voted in two or more election cycles, as federal law mandates, we wouldn't see these kinds of problems.

"But, instead, what we have is a Department of Justice who actively sues states for trying to clean their voter rolls — and when you don't clean house, at some point the dust starts to cover up the truth."

In fact, Justice has said that it may pursue legal action against Texas — possibly even North Carolina — for enacting new laws that would require residents to present photo identification at polling stations.

"It is a sad commentary that we continue to see this administration engage in overtly partisan gamesmanship, coming down on states when you have Supreme Court rulings saying that photo voter identification and other measures are appropriate and that the Voting Rights Act no longer reflected where we are as a nation.

"Where we are as a nation is a point where a majority of Americans do want photo voter identification," Engelbrecht tells Newsmax. "We do want to believe that our elections are being conducted with integrity —and that requires a level of accountability that this administration seems unwilling to allow to go forward.

"I'm very encouraged that states are moving to assert their Tenth Amendment rights and run their elections as they see fit," she says. "I only hope that citizens stay engaged and continue to stand by their states and against the continued federal government encroachment into what is a state process."


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