Complaint: SPLC Violated Tax-Exempt Status With Anti-Trump Campaign

Clifford Cunningham
Apr. 06, 2017

An immigration reform organization has called on the IRS to revoke the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), alleging the far-left "hate-monitoring" organization directly campaigned against President Donald Trump.

The Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal affiliate of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), filed the complaint with the Internal Revenue Service alleging the SPLC violated its tax-exempt status by directly campaigning against Donald Trump on more than 50 occasions during the 2016 presidential election.

"The SPLC used politically charged language in its publications and statements as well as linked publications in a blatant effort to stir opposition for prospective Republican presidential candidates and the eventual Republican nominee and influence the electoral decisions of voters nationwide," FAIR said in a press release.

Specifically, the lawsuit focused on two publications released by the SPLC: "Hatewatch," which is described as a program that "monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right," and a "periodical monitoring the radical right" called "Intelligence Report."

On July 6, 2016, the Intelligence Report published a thirteen-page report entitled "Hate in the Race," and subtitled, "A remarkable level of vitriol has characterized the Republican contest for president." The article contained at least 41 negative statements attacking Donald Trump or his campaign staff and supporters, and fourteen statements attacking then-candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

On May 11, 2016, Hatewatch released an article entitled "Donald Trump's Continuing White Nationalist Problem," which attempted to link Donald Trump to what the SPLC considered "white nationalists."On May 6, 2016, after Donald Trump was declared the presumptive Republican nominee, Hatewatch published an article entitled "Right-Wing Extremists Hail the Ascension of 'Emperor Trump' as GOP Nominee."

"To vindicate itself as a fair and balanced agency, the IRS must strip the SPLC of its privileged tax-exempt status," Dale Wilcox, general counsel of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said in an interview with Breitbart. "Their attacks on the President during his campaign were some of the most egregious I've ever seen."

Wilcox suggested the SPLC can afford to pay taxes as the organization is "hoarding over $300 million in donor contributions."

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