Even as ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is building up a huge cash reserve, it has formed a political-action fund to step up its attacks against conservatives.
The Washington Free Beacon reported on the SPLC’s $518 million in assets, including $121 parked in offshore accounts, based on financial filings in the State of California.
Now, PJ Media is reporting that the SPLC last summer created the SPLC Action Fund to fight legislative battles at all levels of government and to push for ballot initiatives.
The SPLC is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3), meaning it cannot participate in political activities. The Action Fund applied for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4) so it can lobby and participate in advocacy, PJ Media and The Washington Free Beacon reported.
The SPLC website solicits funds for both the SPLC and the SPLC Action Fund on the same webpage.
The SPLC is also busy educating Tennessee teachers its ideology, The Tennessee Star reported.
Williamson County Schools will send teachers to a series of workshops in Franklin this coming May that is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to a source. Those workshops, called Teaching Tolerance, are scheduled for May 3 and May 4 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Franklin, according to tolerance.org
The event’s website clearly states that Teaching Tolerance is “a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy discussed the steady advance of a so-called social justice doctrine into the public school systems of Tennessee.
Even as the SPLC raises a huge cash reserve and indoctrinates teachers, many conservatives question whether the SPLC stays within the boundaries of its tax-exempt status.
The organization’s highest-paid independent contractor is Grassroots Campaigns Inc. of Boston, which received $1,028,324, The Star reported, basing that information on SPLC Oct. 31 Form 990 filed in California. The company’s website says it “is a progressive organization that specializes in running face-to-face campaigns for political parties, candidates, and advocacy groups. We build membership bases and mobilize citizens for groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Democratic National Committee, the Nature Conservancy and Oxfam America.”
PJ Media says:
Baltimore attorney Glen Keith Allen filed a RICO and defamation lawsuit against the SPLC, demanding (among other things) that the IRS strip the organization of its tax-exempt status. Last month, the SPLC hired a high-powered lawyer to defend against this lawsuit. Between October 2015 and November 2016, the smear group slammed Republican (and only Republican) candidates for president. Yet in its 2017 Form 990, the SPLC claimed under penalties of perjury that it did not engage in political campaign activities.
If anything, the SPLC Action Fund is likely to undermine the group’s credibility on its “hate group” labeling. If the SPLC is legally a partisan outfit as well as a “hate group” watchdog, that should cast aspersions on its extremely biased reporting.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.