NorCal Tea Party leader claims IRS delayed their application


The NorCal Tea Party is one of those targeted by the IRS on Californian woman says the IRS held up her application for tax-exempt status for three years. ABC7 News spoke with that woman.

Ginni Rapini is one of the leaders for the NorCal Tea Party. She lives in Auburn in the Californian Gold Country. She was heading home from Disneyland with her son and granddaughter when we met her at the Sacramento International Airport.

Rapini says she just found out about the inspector general's report and the accusations of IRS targeting Tea Party groups.

"I got a phone call from a reporter saying, 'Hey can I interview you because I heard you were one of the ones targeted,'" said Rapini.

But she's known for years that her request for tax-exempt status from the IRS was getting the runaround; she first applied in 2009.

"After numerous phone calls, my accountant tried to get ahold of them to find out why this delay," said Rapini.

It wasn't until January of this year that she got a letter from the IRS requesting additional information.

"They wanted to know the names, addresses and telephone numbers of anybody who had ever donated to us, even though I was applying for a 501(c)(4) which doesn't require that I give that information," said Rapini.

Rapini says the IRS wanted the names of every candidate and every proposition her group had ever endorsed.

"They wanted every email I had ever sent out. They wanted the transcripts of every speech from any speaker at any event, meeting or anything that we had had," said Rapini.

Rapini called her Congressman Tom McClintock, R-Roseville, to complain.

"They were making demands for information from these groups including their agendas for the last two years, everyone who had spoken at these groups," said McClintock.

On Wednesday McClintock called for a clean sweep of anyone involved.

"And assuring that they are exposed, disgraced, dismissed and ultimately debarred from any position of trust in the United States government," said McClintock.

On Wednesday afternoon, the president said those responsible will be held accountable, starting with the acting commissioner of the IRS.

"Today Secretary Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS," said Obama.

However, Rapini doesn't believe him.

"No, I think he's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar and so he's going to say, 'Oh yeah, shame on them' and it's going to be somebody else's fault. But nothing is going to be done by him," said Rapini.

The IRS did not return our calls for comment. But in their latest statement, released Wednesday, the agency said it's required by law to determine if tax exempt organizations are engaging in legally permissible levels of political activity. They're calling the flagging of organizations with Tea Party in their name an inappropriate short cut.

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