Local nonprofit says it's been targeted by IRS

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- A controversy unfolding at the Internal Revenue service is causing an uproar across the nation and here in the Grand Valley.

Workers inside the IRS have admitted to targeting conservative groups to make it harder for them to get tax exemptions. Local nonprofit conservative groups say they've been targeted as well.

For one group here in Western Colorado, the problems started back in 2010.

Just a few years ago, Kevin McCarney, filed for a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit status for his organization, the Western Slope Conservative Alliance. That's when McCarney received his red flag from the IRS.

“We got an eight page document with 12 questions, and under those 12 questions, each had about five or six sub questions that we had to answer," said McCarney.

The WSCA answered those questions, but in 2012 they received another document requesting more information about their group.

“Just insane questions that no other group I think in the country other than conservative groups would have had to answer,” said McCarney.

Questions like number one, “Have you conducted or will you conduct rallies or exhibitions for or against any public polices, legislations, public officers, political candidates, or like kinds?”

And question number 11, “Will you, or have you ever, conducted voter education activities, including voter registration drives, get out to vote drives, or publish or distribute voter guides?"

Finally McCarney decided to change the name of his organization to Freedom Colorado!, hoping to get off the IRS’s radar for have the word conservative in his group’s name.

Karen Kulp was a part of the WSCA -- now Freedom Colorado! -- and says the nonprofit is just a range of members in our community seeking to spread a message.

“We're a grassroot conservative group. We're here to educate the people about what is happening here in our country; we're just a bunch of plain individuals, moms and pops and grandmas and grandpas and business people," said Kulp.

Now the controversy is leaving taxpayers with the unanswered question about who's responsible.

“I've got no patience for it. I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened with this,” said President Obama.

Freedom Colorado! says they will continue to rally for our rights and educate the public about what's going on in our country.

Republicans are urging Congress to do its own investigation. They say it's hard to believe that this is an idea hatched by employees of the IRS.

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