WASHINGTON — “We want to know what they are doing and who is doing it,” said Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell in announcing a lawsuit intended to force the Obama administration to reveal the IRS’ new plans for tea party groups.
The Tea Party Patriots, or TPP, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. against the IRS and the Treasury Department, asking the court to force the release of documents related to proposed regulations for 501(c)4 tax-exempt organizations that the group find “unduly restrictive, unreasonable and burdensome.”
The TPP believes the documents will also shed light on the roles played by former IRS official Lois Lerner and other administration officials in developing the regulations.
The documents the suit seeks concern the IRS’ “Guidance for Tax Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities,” announced November 29, 2013.
The TPP said it filed a Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, request on December 10, to try to obtain information on the proposed regulations, but filed suit after the IRS refused to provide any documents.
President and co-founder Jenny Beth Martin describes Tea Party Patriots as a national grassroots coalition with more than 3,400 locally organized chapters and more than 15 million supporters nationwide.
“Citizens shouldn’t have to go to court to find out what sort of secret activities their government is up to,” said Martin, adding, “It’s truly shameful; President Obama promised a transparent government but instead, people have to file lawsuits just to learn the truth.”