Ga. tea party may be part of IRS targeting of conservative groups

by: Lori Geary Updated:

Geary caught up with Martin at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport moments before she was headed to Washington for congressional hearings on the actions of the IRS.

ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned a conservative Georgia group could be one of dozens the Internal Revenue Service targeted for extra scrutiny.

Channel 2's Lori Geary tracked down a letter from the IRS to the group in the Atlanta area.

"I think it's chilling, it's actually disturbing what the IRS is doing right now," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the National Tea Party Patriots.

The IRS in Cincinnati sent a letter to the Georgia Tea Party, requesting five pages worth of information

Geary caught up with Martin at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport moments before she was headed to Washington for congressional hearings on the actions of the IRS.

Martin told Geary she's complained about this issue for years and is relieved the truth is finally coming out.

The federal agency admitted publicly it singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

Martin said her group was one of them.

"It concerned me they were asking for information they had no right to ask for. They would ask for our press releases, communication with the media," Martin said.

Geary obtained a copy of the five-page letter from Sen. Johnny Isakson's office.

In it, the IRS requests information from the Georgia Tea Party on its relationship with another conservative group, Americans for Prosperity.

Geary went to Dunwoody Tuesday and talked to Rep. Jack Kingston, who's running for senate.

"I could not believe it," Kingston said. "This appears to be orchestrated and deliberate."

Kingston showed Geary a letter he sent to the IRS commissioner, calling for a full investigation on who ordered IRS employees to target the groups.

"I don't think it could be low-level because this is extensive so I think absolutely there was a green light given," Kingston said.

"The IRS is not supposed to be a political weapon," Martin said.

Martin said even if you disagree with her politically, you should care that this could happen to any group and it reminds her of a dictatorship.

"This is not what we expect to see when we turn on the news in the United States," Martin said.