It was just days ago that tea party-backed former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell and her political action committee asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and revoke its tax-exempt status.
Now on the heels of that complaint, a new report released by the Capital Research Center is raising more questions about the organization’s practices.
O’Donnell announced that she was seeking the revocation of CREW’s tax-exempt status over its alleged electioneering against her, stating, “I am ready to stand up to CREW and work toward ending their practice of using the justice system as a political weapon.
“It is simply wrong to ask taxpayers to subsidize an organization that acts in blatant opposition to the law,” she said. Her complaint said she also has asked the Delaware attorney general and U.S. attorney for Delaware to investigate CREW and its director, Melanie Sloan, for allegedly making false statements and testimony when complaints about O’Donnell were submitted last year.
Those complaints against O’Donnell have been dismissed.
Now comes the new report from Capital Research. Written by Fred Lucas, a White House correspondent for CNSNews.com, it explains CREW often makes “lofty pronouncements about its nonpartisan status but it still attacks Republicans more than Democrats.”
One such attack was on American Crossroads, an independent political group. CREW wanted the conservative organization to release information about its donors.
However, the organization’s complaints “fail to recognize that 501(c)(4) nonprofits are not required to make the names of their donors public,” the report said.
“CREW focuses its complaints overwhelmingly against conservative groups – ignoring that Crossroads … complies fully with the same laws that govern 137,000 nonprofits, all of which can legally engage in advocate,” said Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Gallegio.
“It’s interesting that CREW, Sloan’s group, refuses to disclose its donors, a policy CREW spokesman Garrett Russo confirmed to the Washington Examiner,” the report noted.
CREW has been supported significantly by George Soros’ Open Society Institute as well as his Democracy Alliance.
“These days CREW is continually in the news and the media takes little notice of its liberal tilt. A search of news stories from July 2006 to July 2011 finds that the New York Times mentioned CREW in 85 different stories, describing the organization as liberal in just five stories,” the report said.
Some of its current efforts include a complaint against the American Action Network, founded by former Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and others.
There are occasional cases where CREW blasts a liberal.
“The organization has not been reluctant to shine a glaring spotlight on the transgressions of Democratic congressmen such as New York’s Charlie Rangel, Louisiana’s William ($90,000 in the freezer) Jefferson, West Virginia’s Alan Mollohan and the late Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania,” the report said.
However, it confirmed, “CREW’s board of directors and 15-person staff has longstanding ties to leftwing advocacy groups and Democratic politicians.”
In an example of its choices, the report described how in June CREW “went after” House Speaker John Boehner when he promised the House would pay for an attorney to defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act when the president said he would not defend it.
But CREW didn’t pursue a complaint against Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, who refused to follow the requirements of his office and defend what is a valid federal law, the report said.
“Boehner and House Republicans would not have hired attorneys to defend the law if Holder had done his job and defended the law,” the report said.
CREW later withdrew the complaint when the Government Accountability Office said it found no violation of the law.
The report details other cases handled by CREW, also.
“It is clear that CREW gleefully targets Republicans and conservatives more than
Democrats and liberals. But there are also
conservative government watchdogs that
focus their research on the Left. That’s to
be expected in a free and pluralistic society
with diverse interests. As long as everyone
plays by the same rules, the truth will out,” the report concluded.