Portage County TEA Party

4682 State Route 43 • Kent, Ohio • 44240 • 330-474-3878 • 330-673-4672 (Fax)


September 18, 2013
Contact: Tom Zawistowski


Kent, Ohio – Late Tuesday, September 17, 2013, USA Today published a story that indicated that “newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about “anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status. The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.” The complete IRS Document can be view at this link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/17/irs-tea-party-target-list-document/2827925/

At least 10 Ohio groups were named in the documents and were being flagged for “polling members to see who they would vote for”, because their “website is less educational and more emotional commentary”, and they participated in “voter education activities” or were possibly “lobbying”. Ohio TEA Party/Conservative Groups listed in the IRS Documents include the Ohio Liberty Coalition, Sidney Shelby County Liberty Group, Southeastern Ohio 912 Project, Liberty Township TEA Party, Cincinnati 912 Project, Faith and Freedom Coalition of Ohio, Dayton TEA Party, Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, Portage County TEA Party, and Ohio First for a Better Government.

Tom Zawistowski, Executive Director of the Portage County TEA Party, and former President of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, who first exposed the IRS Targeting in February of 2102, said “The release of these documents shows clearly that there was a coordinated effort by the IRS to target conservative groups across the nation and in Ohio and this was not directed by low level employees in Cincinnati. Furthermore, it is clear that this activity is politically motivated in an effort to deny our members their constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech, particularly after the Citizen’s United ruling by the Supreme Court. If it were not politically motivated, these cases would have been resolved long before the 2012 election, but instead, as was the case with the Ohio Liberty Coalition, they were intentionally withheld until after the election. We look forward to criminal charges being made against those who orchestrated this outrageous infringement on the rights and privacy of American citizens and to Congress taking action to reign in the power of the IRS and defunding the Taxpayer Advocacy Agency that was created to prevent this type of purely political activity within the IRS and failed to do so.”

The TEA Party is not a political party but a grassroots cultural movement. The movement is educating American citizens about the Constitution and the uniquely American form of self-governance that has made our country so successful. Through this education, the movement is attempting to re-define what it means to be an American citizen, by encouraging individual to vote, to run for office and to attend government meeting in their area so that they can participate in their self governance. The acronym TEA stands for Totally Engaged Americans.