Video: Tea Party activist describes IRS intimidation tactics

Meet Karen Kenney, the first in what will undoubtedly be a parade of victims of the intimidation tactics of the IRS aimed at conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.  Twitchy captures Kenney’s statement and the immediate Twitter reaction to it.  With President Obama attempting to pre-empt the hearing with an odd live statement on judicial nominations — usually a matter left to press releases — coverage of the hearing has been spotty, but this needs to be seen and read in full:

Just how intimidating was this effort? Sixteen months after applying, SFVP finally heard from the IRS on its application, with a deadline cast in ominous tones:

In October 2010, the San Fernando Valley Patriots, a not-for-profit corporation in California, applied with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for 501(c) 4 status as a tax-exemptsocial welfare organization. We were then and remain a “tea party” group affiliated with the national Tea Party Patriots.

We heard nothing until February 2012 when I received a packet from the IRS Exempt Organizations Office in Cincinnati, OH, which included a questionnaire with 35 items divided into 80 subpoints of inquiry.

A cover letter indicated we had 20 days to comply without penalty including “penalties of perjury” for failure to answer all questions with facts that are “true, correct, and complete.”

Generally, the questions were a demand that read like the chilling words from the 1950s: “Are you now or have you ever been…”

Kenney says her personal favorite among the raft of questions was #33, which demanded that the applicants incriminate themselves:

My personal favorite was question No. 33, which in relation to protests asked for a listing of our “committed violations of local ordinances, breaches of public order or arrests” then requested
details on how we “conduct or promote” illegal activities.

I think the IRS needs to fix its labeling machine: We’re the San Fernando Valley Patriots, not Occupy Oakland.

We’re going to be hearing from plenty of victims, and Obama can’t call a press conference every day to suck away the coverage.