IRS admits to targeting conservative groups

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Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 5:25 pm | Updated: 9:26 pm, Mon Jun 10, 2013.

SARASOTA--As more details emerge of a wide-spread effort by the IRS to target conservative groups, Congressional leaders are weighing in.

"This is the most outrageous thing that I've ever heard at least since I've been there in the last six years," said Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-District 16), who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees the IRS.

While he doesn't believe the Obama administration is behind the effort, he says this was an organized plan.

"I think this is a very broad-based effort to try and demonize or go after people that don't support the administration's views or the government's views," said Buchanan.

This isn't the first time accusations of political profiling have been leveled at the IRS; accusations that were denied by the IRS Commissioner.

"We've had the Commissioner in front of our committee a year ago, saying that none of this was going on, even though people thought that it was, and now that they've come out and apologized for it I think it's going to be pretty scathing," said Buchanan.

Local tea party activists say while they're not surprised conservative groups were targeted, they're still disturbed.

"Our tax code should be anonymous, and so if people choose to use those designations of non-profit, then that shouldn't point them out as a target," said Randy McClendon of Englewood. He says he'd feel the same regardless of who was sitting in the oval office.

"Whenever you have an administration trying to use their authority to bully some other group, or a particular group of people, that's disturbing, no matter who's doing it," said McClendon.

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