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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Is the tea party getting its groove back? Shouts of vindication from around the country suggest the movement's leaders certainly think so.

They say the IRS acknowledgement that it had targeted their groups for extra scrutiny -- a claim that tea party activists had made for years -- is helping pump new energy into the coalition.

And they are trying to use that development, along with the ongoing controversy over the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attacks and the Justice Department's secret seizure of journalists' phone records, to recruit activists incensed about government overreach.

A Dallas-based tea party leader, Katrina Pierson, says this is the defining moment to say "I told you so."

Pierson was among activists who traveled to Washington last week as the political problems for President Barack Obama unfolded.