SALT LAKE CITY -- Politics sometimes makes for strange bedfellows.
The left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah has signed on to a class action lawsuit being brought by a number of Tea Party groups against the Internal Revenue Service over the targeting of their non-profit status.
Alliance for a Better Utah claims it was also caught up in the 2013 political scandal where the IRS was accused of putting extra scrutiny on the tax-exempt status of certain groups. A government report claimed groups with words like "tea party" and "patriots" had their applications held up. Alliance for a Better Utah said it happened to them, too.
"We were just trying to make Utah a better place and they decided to hold us up just because we said that was our purpose," said Chase Thomas, the policy and advocacy director for Alliance for a Better Utah.
The IRS has said it does not comment on pending litigation.
The political scandal led to congressional hearings and an apology from the IRS. A federal appeals court in Ohio recently allowed a class action lawsuit to move forward. If they win at trial, Thomas said Alliance for a Better Utah would probably get about $1,000.
He disagreed with Tea Party groups' claims that the IRS was conducting a "political witch hunt." But Thomas said they were pursuing the lawsuit because it was non-profits of all political stripes that were targeted.
"We're just trying to make a point that they were targeting non-profits under certain criteria that they normally don't have to go through heightened scrutiny that they don't need to for these non-profits," he said.