Tea party plans suit against IRS for 'unfair' targeting - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Tea party plans suit against IRS for 'unfair' targeting

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

The tea party said it will sue the Internal Revenue Service following revelations the agency targeted conservative groups to see if they were violating their tax exempt status.

The IRS admitted it targeted dozens of conservative groups with the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their tax-exemption applications.

The agency apologized and acknowledged the targeting was "inappropriate."

Tea party activists for the past two years have claimed the Internal Revenue Service was unfairly scrutinizing them.

Debbie Dooley, an organizer with the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots and a member of the national board, said the national tea party Thursday will announce it will file a lawsuit against the IRS.

"They asked us for our donor list. They asked us for a list of congressmen who supported our cause," Dooley said. "It cost us tens of thousands of dollars for attorneys fees."

President Barack Obama said the IRS should be held accountable if the agency is engaged in unfair targeting.

"That's outrageous and there's no place for it," Obama said. "The IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have the confidence that they're playing it in a non-partisan way."

Virginia Galloway, state director of Americans for Prosperity, said the conservative advocacy group has worked closely with the Georgia Tea Party, which is separate from the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.

Galloway said the IRS sent a letter to the Georgia Tea Party, asking about their social media activity and their relationship with AFP.

"This is just an abuse of power. They asked for all kinds of information about their relationship with Americans for prosperity and things we thought were very inappropriate," Galloway said, adding "I would like to see the president take the lead on this."

President George Walker Bush appointed the man who headed the IRS when the groups were targeted, commissioner Douglas Shulman.

Galloway said, however, Obama should take responsibility since it happened while he was in office.

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