- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tea partyers apparently have a New Year’s resolution: Fight the Internal Revenue Service and halt the agency’s new regulatory clamp-down on tax-exempt groups.

The IRS in November announced new rules aimed at reining in tax-exempt groups that engage in political activity — a move seen by the tea party crowd as a slight-of-hand trick to curb conservative activism and drown out center-right voices for the upcoming elections. But tea partyers aren’t taking kindly to the regulations, and have vowed to fight, ABC reported.

“They seem hell bent to do whatever they’re setting out to do because of the way they issued the rules and the fact that the comment period happens during the holiday season,” said Matt Kibbe, president of Freedom Works, decrying in the ABC report the Thanksgiving release of the IRS rules. “I think changing the rules in an election year is extraordinarily unfair and unprecedented.”

Mr. Kibbe sent out a rally cry to urge members and ideological partners — including tea party groups around the nation — to send in comments to oppose the proposed rules. And response has been massive.

More than 10,000 people have responded, and more than 3,000 have submitted comments, Mr. Kibbe said, in the ABC report.

Meanwhile, another group tied to tea party politics called ForAmerica launched its own counter-effort to the IRS proposal. And this group has some significant money to fight off the rule — in the arena of six-figures, ABC reported.

The new IRS rules would prohibit certain nonprofit and tax-exempt groups from engaging in voter registration drives and in events with political candidates within 30 days of a primary election, or 60 days of a general election.