A Wisconsin Tea Party Founder Worries About IRS Blowback
Meg Ellefson is a Rib Mountain mom who founded the Wausau Tea Party in 2009. Today she shares her concerns that she and her family could still be subjected to blowback from the IRS.
Today, in light of the revelation that the IRS has been targeting and discriminating against conservative individuals and organizations, we are reminded of the McCarthy investigations. We are left wondering if President Obama’s IRS scandal will be thoroughly investigated and accurately reported by the media. For government to single out a sitting President’s political opponents with such blatant disregard for people’s right to free speech should send a chill down the spine of every American citizen.
As the leader of the Wausau Tea Party, dealing with the IRS has been confusing and intimidating. In retrospect, I question whether my frustrations were because of no past experience with non-profit organizations or because we were a Tea Party group. Although we are recognized by Wisconsin as a 501c4, after numerous phone calls to the IRS, I was told that we "do not have tax exempt status, but for income tax purposes, we are treated as a tax exempt organization" by the federal government. I do not understand this policy, but I was apprehensive about questioning the IRS.
As a citizen exercising my First Amendment right to free speech through the tea party movement, will my family be subjected to unfair scrutiny by the IRS? Will the privacy of our supporters be jeopardized? Am I now flagged by other governmental agencies or in the queue for an audit? Based on current events, I'm justifiably concerned. Regardless of political affiliation—we all should be.
Americans have always had a tempestuous relationship with the IRS. Prior to this scandal, receiving a phone call or letter in the mail from the IRS generated grave concern. Now that it’s been established President Obama’s IRS was deliberately targeting individuals because of their beliefs in less government, fiscal responsibility and economic freedom, the American public has received confirmation that we cannot trust our government and we should fear it.