Tea party groups call IRS process a 'nightmare'

Steve Peoples and Stephen Braun, Associated Press
May 16, 2013
Tea party groups call IRS process a 'nightmare'

In this May 14, 2013 photo, Tom Zawistowki, founder of the nonprofit Ohio Liberty Coalition, one of the region’s largest groups affiliated with the national tea party movement, poses with a binder of documents he gave to the IRS, in Kent, Ohio. For years, Ohio Liberty Coalition would raise thousands of dollars to bus activists to rallies, run phone banks, rent a tent at a local fair, and knock on roughly 40,000 doors across Ohio to challenge the president and his fellow Democrats in the 2012 elections. All the while, the organization was locked in a battle with the nation’s tax enforcement agency over whether it should be granted tax-exempt status. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Anger over President Barack Obama's policies drove businessman Tom Zawistowski to file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service nearly three years ago to create the Ohio Liberty Coalition.

His nonprofit organization largely attracted conservatives who were new to politics. It eventually swelled to more than 20,000 members, becoming one of the region's largest groups affiliated with the national tea party movement that emerged in the early months of Obama's first term.

Over the next few years, the Ohio Liberty Coalition would work to oust the president and his fellow Democrats — and battle the IRS.