A major tea party group is planning protests at Internal Revenue Services nationwide Tuesday following revelations earlier this month that the tax agency had flagged organizations with the words "tea party" or "patriot" for additional scrutiny.
The protests were originally scheduled only for Cincinnati, where the IRS has said employees responsible for the targeting were based. But Tea Party Patriots head Jenny Beth Martin tells Whispers she received requests to protest across the country. A call to action on the group's web site tells supporters that "the IRS is out of control" and so it is "calling for anyone and everyone to protest the IRS' complete abuse of power" on Tuesday at noon. The site helpfully includes a map of local IRS offices for protesters, as well as sample protest signs (such as "Abolish the IRS") and a form for those who believe they were inappropriately reviewed by the IRS to fill out and get help.
"The purpose is to make sure that American citizens across the country understand that this scandal spreads far and wide," Martin tells Whispers. She believes at least 30 groups affiliated with the Tea Party Patriots were targeted by the IRS. "And that's not to mention the people that gave up or quit because of all the paperwork."
Martin says she is also planning a lawsuit against the tax agency.
Other tea party groups have responded to the scandal by working Capitol Hill. Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips says the group is pushing lawmakers to introduce legislation that would prevent future abuses at the IRS.
"Let's change the standard for IRS investigations and audits. Let's make the 4th amendment to apply to the IRS...because if the IRS is not an unreasonable search I don't know what is. I'm working to change those laws," he says.