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Political group may have been targeted by IRS

By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com
Published On: May 13 2013 06:38:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2013 08:26:53 PM CDT
FORT ATKINSON, Wis. -

An area political group thinks they may be the victim of unfair targeting by the IRS.

President Barack Obama responded to reports Monday that the IRS may have been giving extra scrutiny to politically conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.

"If you have the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous," said Obama.

The Rock River Patriots says that may explain their recent troubles.

Marv Munyon serves as the secretary and treasurer of the group. He has spent hours on the phone and online trying to get to the bottom of why their group hasn't gotten a tax-exempt status. The groups leaders thought they'd applied for 501(c)4 status in 2010. Munyon joined a year later and helped file their 2011 taxes. He was then notified that the group hadn't been given the designation. He reapplied in April 2012 and sent in a filing fee. The check was cashed within a week, but to date they still have no answer on their status, except for a letter sent in January saying their application needed to be assigned to a specialist for "further development."

"I think it definitely has a political aspect to it because they said these were all organizations that either had 'tea party' or 'patriot' in their name," said Munyon. "We're the Rock River Patriots, Inc., and I guess 'patriots' and 'tea party' send a red flag up to the government that 'these are bad people.'"

Munyon said he simply wants an answer for his and other tea party groups.

"First of all, I'd like to see them deal with our application," said Munyon. "Then if they've done this on purpose and it's proven they've done this on purpose, I think somebody needs to be held accountable for that. Whether that will happen or not, who knows?"

The inspector general of the IRS is expected to release the full report on the IRS actions sometime this week. Munyon said they will be watching closely to see if their group was on the list that was singled out. Congress has also set a hearing on the matter for this Friday.

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