MILWAUKEE (AP) - A Texas tea party group said the Internal Revenue Service asked about its involvement in verifying signatures provided in the effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, of Wisconsin.
IRS officials asked for extensive information about its activities, including an explanation of its involvement with Verify the Recall, which worked to confirm signatures in last year's effort to recall Walker, who eventually retained his position, said Northeast Tarrant Tea Party of Fort Worth, Texas.
Northeast Tarrant president Julie McCarty told the Journal Sentinel for a story published Friday that she thinks her group was unfairly targeted by the IRS and is still waiting for a decision on its tax-exempt status. Her group had minimal involvement with the recall fight in Wisconsin or Verify the Recall, she said.
"I don't know what's behind that," she said of the recall question. "I know that I don't trust them."
The IRS is accused of improperly targeting conservative groups who were applying for tax-exempt status.
The ousted chief of the IRS told Congress Friday that his agency made errors in targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, but he says the mistakes were not the result of partisan views.
In a prepared statement, former acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller was ready to tell the House Ways and Means Committee that the screening system agency workers set up was designed to deal with a growing caseload of groups seeking tax-exempt status. Miller said it was not due to "any political or partisan viewpoint."
He says that the IRS has instituted new processes designed to prevent the problem from occurring again. Miller was testifying in Congress' first hearing into the targeting of tea party and other conservative groups by the IRS.
The IRS did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the claims of the Texas tea party group.
Verify the Recall effort attempted to check whether more than 900,000 signatures to recall Walker were genuine. Verify the Recall was a joint project by the GrandSons of Liberty, We the People of the Republic and True the Vote, said Catherine Engelbrecht, leader of True the Vote. Engelbrecht's group provided the computer application used for verification.
Engelbrecht said True the Vote received many of the same extensive IRS questions when it applied for tax-exempt status, but was not asked about Verify the Recall.
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