(Read Wayne Allyn Roots Exclusive Column: Root: I Am on Obama's Enemies List')
Wayne Allyn Root, the 2008 Libertarian Party's vice-presidential nominee, is an outspoken political commentator. The politico, who recently announced that he's rejoining the Republican Party and supporting Mitt Romney for president, also has a new purported role: An active member of President Barack Obama's enemies list. Root is now alleging that the president is targeting him and using the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to do it.
The problems started in January 2011, when Root, who claims to have a perfect tax record, was put through a surprise audit. At the time, he claims to have received a call from an IRS agent who said that he is a fan of Root and that it would be "an honor" to audit him -- sentiments that struck the commentator as odd. The agent also told Root that he has read his political columns, listened to him on radio and visited his web site, and that he agrees with his politics.
"I found that very strange, actually chilling. It did not feel right. I got a sick feeling in pit of my stomach," Root told WND in a recent interview. "Why would an IRS agent say such personal things? Why would he disclose that he’s a fan of mine and agrees with my politics? Isn’t that a conflict of interest?"
Watch: Wayne Allyn Root describes his ordeal in this interview with TheBlaze Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker:
Three months ago, the ordeal came to a close, with a tax court finding that Root owed no monies in his past filings. But just when he assumed that the situation had been resolved, something bizarre happened: Root, who was previously seeing his 2007 and 2008 filings under audit, was hit with a new IRS investigation just five days after the last one. In the new audit, the IRS began exploring his 2009 and 2010 filings. The closeness of the two audits is something that Root's lawyer claims to have never seen or heard of before.
Root, of course, sees this as nothing short of a plotted attempt to silence him. After all, he has been an anti-Obama crusader for years. In August, you may recall his now infamous allegations about the president's student records -- claims that were widely viewed across the media world and blogosphere. In his commentary, he called on Obama to release his college records and contended that the president was hiding something that his Columbia documentation would expose.
As for the audit, Root is certain it was politically-motivated, seeing as he has made thousands of media appearances during which he has decried the president and his policies.
"That order had to come from the highest levels of government," Root proclaimed. "Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics."
And Root isn't taking the alleged political persecution sitting down. He's calling for Congress to investigate to ensure that the Obama administration is operating within its bounds. Citing his wife and four children, he lamented what he sees as a top-down, government-led "witch hunt."
"It is time to demand an end to government witch hunts ordered by powerful politicians," he said of the situation. "It is time to shine the light of day on government attempts to intimidate and silence political opponents. This just isn’t right, but especially to a small businessman who happens to have a media megaphone."
As for his tax history, Root claimed that, in thirty years of filings, he had never had a problem. Prior to the 2011 audit, he was selected at random two other times and was found to owe "not a single dollar."
"I’ve never been late with a tax bill in my life," he told WND. "I’ve never owed money on a payment plan to the IRS. Nothing. I’m a model citizen and taxpayer for 30 years. And now this?"
What was even more odd about the entire ordeal was the way in which Root was informed about the audit. Rather than receiving a letter -- the means through which his accountant claims audits are typically commenced -- Root received the aforementioned cryptic phone call. The politician claims that his fears were recognized, as the "agent clearly had an agenda" and "was acting unreasonably."
Root said every conversation with the agent was increasingly disconcerting and problematic. From his mortgage deduction to legal deductions, the agent challenged portion after portion of his tax record during the 18-month ordeal. Then, Root claims his accountant was flagged for his own IRS investigation.
After getting a tax attorney to review his case, Root said that he was found to owe no taxes and that the tactics being used by the IRS were "unusually aggressive." The attorney appealed Root's case to IRS tax court in California and Root inevitably won. However, the commentator claims that the experience may have cut years off of his life and that it led to sleepless nights, bills he couldn't afford and damage to his marriage.
But the case didn't close there. As noted, five days later, Root received notice that he was being audited again -- this time for his 2009 and 2010 returns. Again, he claims to have received the same poor treatment and bizarre inquiries from a separate agent just days after winning his case against the IRS.
In the end, Root said he isn't angry with the IRS, but that his frustration is pointed at the Obama administration.
"The IRS is filled with good people. They are just like you and me. They are just trying to do their jobs, as best they can," he told WND. "My outrage is towards President Obama and his henchmen."