State leaders speak out about IRS debacle

Published 11:42 pm Thursday, May 16, 2013

Alabama’s leaders are speaking out regarding recent developments that show the Internal Revenue Service improperly targeted conservative political groups.

“The revelation that the IRS has targeted conservative groups is deeply alarming. Any federal effort to undermine and bully conservative organizations, and my own constituents, is unacceptable,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions. “We have been in touch with tea party groups in our state about this matter and will not tolerate any abusive conduct from the IRS.

“All responsible parties in government must be held to account. We cannot accept any situation where the IRS uses its vast powers to intimidate patriotic Americans who gather together to promote the betterment of our country.”

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IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller was ousted from his position late Wednesday, five days after an IRS supervisor publicly revealed that IRS agents improperly targeted groups with “tea party” or “patriots” in applications for tax-exempt status.

“The resignation of the acting IRS Commissioner is a positive step, but I doubt that alone will restore Americans’ faith in this administration,” said Rep. Martha Roby.

Tea party groups, including some in Alabama, were reportedly asked inappropriate questions about donors and political affiliations. That caused an average delay of two years for those applications to be processed.

“It is downright un-American for any group to be targeted based on political ideology by the federal government, and particularly by the IRS. This debacle is real to Alabama. Groups from the Second District, including the Wetumpka Tea Party were among those wrongfully targeted,” Roby said. “I join my colleagues in demanding answers as to how this could have occurred, and why the American people weren’t told the truth from the beginning.”

Three congressional committees are investigating the matter and the FBI is looking into potential civil rights violations by the IRS.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.