After clashing in court with a powerful Virginia environmental group, farmer Martha Boneta faced a second threat: an ominous U.S. Internal Revenue Service audit notice she received in the mail.
Boneta suspects the events are related, that her struggle to protect her property rights is part of a larger national story involving IRS harassment of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. A former IRS commissioner who serves on a council that has sparred with Boneta over her property said the concerns are unfounded.
"You are humbled and terrorized by the whole process," Boneta told Watchdog. "You wake up every day with a terrible feeling, and initially you don't want to tell anyone what has happened. But as I gradually began to speak out, more people began to join with me. Anyone who is a farmer, or a concerned citizen, has a stake in this fight. But I came into the process very reluctantly."