Nancy Garcia, then-President of the Nevada County Tea Party in Northern California, wore a white sweater, a red Tea Party shirt, big glasses, and a plastic name tag as she introduced me as the evening’s guest speaker. She was standing in front of homemade signs featuring the Statue of Liberty and inspirational quotes as she introduced me to the mostly-senior crowd. It was 2013 and when Garcia — my mother’s seventy-something year old best friend –invited me to say a few words in a meeting hall at the fairgrounds, I didn’t hesitate.
“We’re so blessed to have one of the original co-founders of the Tea Party Patriots,” she smiled. “He’s always so ‘up,’ you’ll feel better after you hear him.” The crowd welcomed me warmly as I strode to the front in my black cowboy hat and a western-style shirt, my nod to Ronald Reagan’s influence on our state and nation. During the speech, I talked about how the Internal Revenue Service had unfairly targeted tea party, pro-Israel, pro-Constitution, and other patriotic groups.
Thankfully, the lawsuit funded by my organization Citizens for Self-Governance brought the truth to light. In October, the federal government admitted they targeted these patriotic Americans and agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and a tea party challenge in the District of Columbia. If the court approves the class settlement, the government will have to fork over $3.5 million, including compensation to the tea party groups, merely the first step in showing the public how the IRS was turned into a political weapon against Americans. Thankfully, recordings and transcripts of the depositions of former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner could give the public a really great glimpse into their targeting.
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