IRS scandal tops agenda at local Tea Party meeting - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

IRS scandal tops agenda at local Tea Party meeting

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Dozens packed the room at the Chattanooga Tea Party's monthly meeting to learn more about the IRS scandal that rocked the nation -- a scandal that drove Marshall Willis out to the meeting for the very first time.

"What's going on in Washington right now has gotten me somewhat riled up, and I think it's time for everybody to get involved," Willis said.

The Chattanooga Tea Party was under the watchful eye of the IRS. It took nearly four years for the local chapter to receive tax-exempt status. That process typically takes up to a year. Chapter leaders said the agency asked scrutinizing questions that seemed unnecessary.

"We just started getting an inkling that this is not right. And then we started reaching out to other Tea Party leaders, reaching out to us, and find out they were having some of the same problems too," said Chattanooga Tea Party Vice President Gregg Juster.

Chattanooga Tea Party President Mark West is in Washington this week telling Congress about the local chapter's story. He spoke to members over the phone at the meeting Thursday evening.

Despite the IRS commissioner resigning and the Justice Department launching a criminal investigation, the Chattanooga Tea Party wants more.

"In Watergate, which was just a break-in, and they stole some Democrat information, guys went to jail, and a president lost his job. This is far worse. If people aren't thrown in jail for this, then there's no justice," Juster said.

Juster wants people to know that this issue goes beyond party lines.

"I don't care if you're on the right, you're on the left, you're on the far right, left, middle, it doesn't matter. The IRS has gone way overboard," he said.

That's a thought some said they see more clearly than ever.

"I think we all need to stand together and fight against it," Juster said.

The Chattanooga Tea Party did finally get its non-profit, tax-exempt status last month, almost four years after it had applied.

The local chapter meets on the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at the Century Club Banquet Hall.

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