MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- An Alabama tea party group says it gave up its bid for tax-exempt status amid what seemed like delays and unusual scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service.
Now, the head of the group says it appears the organization was caught up in the IRS's admitted practice of targeting conservative groups.
Pete Riehm is chief executive of the Mobile-based Common Sense Campaign. He says the IRS asked for the names of donors and their employers while considering whether the organization should be exempt from paying taxes.
Riehm says the group dropped the request as it was faced with continuing delays and mounting expenses. He worries that the IRS actions will have a chilling effect on the political system.
The Justice Department says it is launching a criminal probe into IRS actions.