Ira Stoll notes at The Future of Capitalism that Congressman Tom McClintock, a Republican of California, has made the following remarks about the “IRS Harassment of Tea Party Groups.”

It seems that Tea Party groups are now being treated very differently than their counterparts on the political Left. For the last two years, many have been stone-walled by the IRS when they have sought to register as non-profits and most recently, they have been barraged with increasingly aggressive and threatening demands vastly outside the legal authority of the IRS. Indeed, the only conceivable purpose of some of these demands could be to intimidate and harass.

A Tea Party group in my district is typical of the reports we are hearing from all across the country. This group submitted articles of incorporation as a non-profit to the state of California, and received approval within a month. Then, they tried to register as a non-profit with the IRS. Despite repeated and numerous inquiries, the IRS stonewalled this group for a year and a half, at which time it demanded thousands of pages of documentation – and gave the group less than three weeks to produce it.

The IRS demanded the names of every participant at every meeting held over the last two years, transcripts of every speech given at those meetings, what positions they had taken on issues, the names of their volunteers and donors, and copies of communications they had with elected officials and on and on.

Perhaps most chilling of all, the organizer of this particular group soon found herself the object of a personal income tax audit by the IRS….