Wednesday, July 24, 2013
The Washington Post reports that “True the Vote,” a Houston-based voter watchdog group with tea party ties that has sued for determination of tax-exempt charitable status and damages for allegedly unlawful conduct by the IRS, has expanded its lawsuit in view of recent disclosures of the involvement of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in the processing of applications for exemption by tea party groups. According to the story, the lawsuit now names as a defendant the IRS Chief Counsel, William Wilkins, and also adds “five senior IRS employees — four of whom were working at headquarters, one of whom was based in Cincinnati.” Further, the plaintiff’s complaint now alleges violations of the Administrative Procedure Act.
It is important to note that this entity is not among the many tea party groups seeking recognition of federal income tax exemption under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4). Rather, this group has sought recognition of tax exemption as a section 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization. Interested readers can view a copy of the entity’s first amended complaint here.
The organization appears to be on a mission to expose what it believes to be governmental misconduct spurred by the entity’s perceived tea party links, as both the amended complaint and the following excerpt from the Post suggest:
“This lawsuit is the only way to get all of the answers involving this national scandal,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement. “Our goal is not a speedy settlement or a quiet Washington deal. We will sue, depose and expose every person who came near this illegal scheme to suppress voters’ First Amendment rights. The American people — not just True the Vote — deserve answers.”