Tea Party Patriots Dare the IRS to Act

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February 14, 2011; Source: Mother Jones | Stephanie Mencimer of Mother Jones has written an excellent three part investigation of the Tea Party Patriots, serving as an interesting update to the Cohen Report's three part Tea Party series last August, September, and October.

Among the MoJo revelations are TPP's expensive telemarketing and direct-mail fundraising firms linked to mainstream Republican Party operatives and candidates, fears among local Tea Party operations that TPP is raising money from their members with a lot of it staying with the national group to pay for salaries and consultant expenses and little going back to the grassroots movement, the failure of TPP to apply to the IRS for 501(c)(4) tax status (despite public statements that it was a (c)(4)), TPP's unwillingness to be even minimally transparent with its finances (as well as not filing any 990s since its February 2009 founding), forcing potentially critical Tea Party organizations and TPP staff out (for asking for public disclosure of TPP's financial doings), and the tight, almost dictatorial control of the organization by founder and national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin and her husband.

The organization's hiring of telemarketers, its increasing links to mainstream Republican Party operations, and the personal aggrandizement being practiced by the organization's leadership are neither surprising nor particularly unusual. But TPP's failure to file any paperwork for its 501(c)(4) status or any public documents on its finances was predictable. As we said in our series, the Tea Party movement's strident opposition to anything governmental was evident in the failure of many local organizations to seek (c)(3) or (c)(4) status – and now that applies to the Tea Party Patriots itself, which had received big money donations from many sources, including $1 million from an anonymous donor.

It isn't that TPP doesn't know about the IRS regulations. This is a movement that doesn't really care about the niceties of nonprofit law, structure, finances, and government. In their animus toward government, they are flaunting the basics and daring the IRS or any governmental agency to go after them. If this really is an "I dare you" strategy on the part of the Tea Party Patriots, the strategic flaw is that Martin and others so alienate the local Tea Party membership that there may be little mobilized opposition from the grassroots if and when the IRS knocks on the Patriots' door.—Rick Cohen

  • Sam Krawczyk

    Just read an article that the Tea Party is going to dump some of the people it supported in the past because they have become too moderate. The problem with the Tea Party and the other parties is that they back “career” politicians and they move to the center to maintain they’re careers. You need to back people that are truly concerned about America and America first and have no ambitions as to staying in Washington their whole life and sucking the Treasury dry for personal gain.
    We need people in there that will do what’s right for America not what’s right for their career ! In other words we need people that don’t give a crap if they get re-elected if they upset the “apple cart” in Washington !

  • Jim Hunt

    Everything but talking about how to bring this country back to where it should and needs to be is a distraction. Lets talk about the “real” issues!

  • Jim Hunt

    Good luck with that!

  • mike waskow

    I have just finished a book about a turning point for freedom in American history,”1913″ by Oliver DeMille. I recommend it to everyone

  • Huyen Van Pham

    Thank you for your effort . You’re patriotically correct ! ( no need to be politically correct ; this phrase is just a suppressive slogan from the left to shut up the patriots ).

  • Ronald Libby

    The TPP is in fact a loose coalition of about 3,500 autonomous, grassroots Tea Party organizations with a virtual membership of about 15 million. It does not depend upon so-called “Super PACs” for its existance. See Ronald Libby’s “Purging the Republican Party: Tea Party Campaigns and Elections” just released.

  • Jostin Talcott

    Today I saw this report on Free Speech TV. a totally leftist network talking about a movie about something done by leftists back in the 1970s. Here is the address and story title.

    Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s secrets http://retroreport.org/

    It is an interesting story about how anti war radicals broke in to the FBI and stole their secrets and reported to the News media, the Washington post about all the illegal stuff the FBI was doing to keep track of anti war folks in that time period.

    I kind of wonder if something like this needs to be done to reveal the IRS secrets of how they attacked the TEA party.

  • RICO

    Doesn’t anyone know the law:
    The lRS has violated RICO, and if the DOJ doesn’t prosicute then they have also violated the RICO ACT:

    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

  • Johnny Templeton

    Given the evil reported acts of the IRS, why have no groups-Republican politicians, Democrat citizens, or ESPECIALLY TEA PARTY- called for elimination of the IRS to be replaced with a FAIR TAX? Now would be such an opportune time. Instead of “whining” about mistreatment, why devote our efforts to get rid of the evil agency?