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Georgia tea party groups protest IRS

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Tea party groups and Georgia Republican leaders are gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS (Photo by Paul Yates/myfoxatlanta) Tea party groups and Georgia Republican leaders are gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS (Photo by Paul Yates/myfoxatlanta)
ATLANTA -

Tea party groups and Georgia Republican leaders are gathered at the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and other officials, including some political candidates, were part of the group that spoke out against the IRS scrutiny of conservative groups.

"The one thing we don't want in this country is for political party points of view to be prevalent and to pervade and to control the basic powers of government," Deal said.

Similar gatherings took place across the country on Tuesday.

While congressional hearings are already under way, the protesters said that they would like to see a separate independent criminal investigation of IRS actions.

"When the average American citizen is targeted by a government agency because of their political beliefs, that is a scary time in America and we're here to stand together today united and say enough is enough," said Julianne Thompson of the Atlanta Tea Party.

This rally attracted Republican political candidates including Bob Barr, who hopes to return to Congress... and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who is running for the Senate.

"The IRS is out of control, targeting us not because we did anything wrong, targeting us because we are conservatives, patriots and defenders of the Constitution," said Handel.

The White House has said that President Barack Obama and other top administration officials were not aware of the IRS targeting of conservative groups. A leading Senate Democrat, Max Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee, has called the actions of the IRS "intolerable." He has begun a second hearing in Congress on the IRS actions.

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