Today, Wetumpka Tea Party leader Becky Gerritson delivered a thumping to the Internal Revenue Service and to politicians in Washington. Gerritson explained how she came to be an activist, then told members of the House Ways and Means Committee that her group of Americans had come together because “our representative government had failed us.” The IRS abuse of her group provided proof, if more was needed.
“I am not here as a serf or vassal. I am not begging my lords for mercy. I’m a born free American woman, wife, mother and citizen. And I’m telling my government that you’ve forgotten your place. It’s not your responsibility to look out for my well-being, and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty. And you have faltered.”
Gerritson went on to detail the invasive questions that the IRS asked of her group, including contents of all their written communications, information on group members and speakers, and more. Gerritson says she and her husband considered dropping their application due to the IRS’ actions. Gerritson also dropped a bombshell on the committee: Her group received an inquiry letter bearing Lois Lerner’s signature. Lerner has claimed that the IRS abuse of groups like Gerritson’s was the work of a couple of “rogue employees.” Lerner has since plead the Fifth Amendment in her refusal to testify on the abuse, and has been placed on administrative leave.
Gerritson described the IRS abuse: “This was not an accident. This is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view. What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama, is un-American. It isn’t a matter of firing or arresting individuals. The individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should in a government culture that has little respect for its citizens.”
Government workers often think “they are our masters,” Gerritson said, “and they are mistaken.”
“I’m not interested in scoring political points,” Gerritson said, “I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in. The America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of. And I’m terrified it is slipping away.”