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Sen. Tom Cotton, R-ARMichael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.

WASHINGTON, D.C. April 5, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas sent a letter to the IRS calling for an investigation of the leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and whether the federal government should continue to designate it a nonprofit charity.

According a release from the senator’s office, media reports have confirmed that the leftist SPLC “regularly engages in defamation of its political opponents. In fact, the SPLC's defining characteristic is to fundraise off of defamation.”

Cotton told Tucker Carlson of Fox News, “They've really become kind of a hate group themselves,” adding, “Serial repeated defamation against what you see as a political opponent is not a tax-exempt purpose.”

“I don’t know many charitable advisors say it’s best practice to send your endowment to overseas accounts in the Caribbean,” said Cotton. “That’s why Charity Watch gives them an ‘F’ rating.”

The release said that SPLC now has more than $500 million in assets, including $121 million offshore in non-U.S. equity funds. The release stated, “The SPLC uses these assets to pay its executives lavish salaries far higher than the comparable household average.” It also noted that CNN reports that the SPLC has been criticized for its “pervasive racist culture.” The New York Times cited employees’ claims that SPLC leadership is “complicit in decades of racial discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment and/or assault.” A former staffer, Bob Moser, labeled the SPLC a “highly profitable scam.”

Besides the concerns raised by the conservative Sen. Cotton, 25 Christian and conservative leaders sent letters to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter urging that the companies terminate their working relationships with the SPLC. The letter charged, “It is now clear that the SPLC has proven to be a hate-filled, anti-Christian, anti-conservative organization and nothing more than a weapon of the radical Left, whose goal is to bully people into compliance with their ideology.” “Fail to comply with their demands, and you will be labeled as a hate group or an extremist.”

The letter said:

The SPLC’s track record includes targeting faith-based organizations like the Family Research Council (FRC) for speaking out about principles found in the Bible. Sadly, the result of SPLC’s labeling of FRC a “hate group” was a 2012 shooting at FRC’s headquarters. After that tragic incident, the FBI appeared to have dropped SPLC as a partner in determining who is and is not a hate group. Last year, SPLC was forced to settle a $3.375 million lawsuit for falsely labeling a Muslim individual as an extremist. Maajid Nawaz had long ago abandoned his once held Islamic radicalism and formed a foundation to fight this extremist ideology. But he was branded as a hate monger by the SPLC for criticizing the radical ideology he once embraced.

The Family Research Council, Prager University, and the Alliance Defending Freedom are among the groups targeted by the SPLC.

Despite the resignation of SPLC President Richard Cohen and the dismissal of co-founder Morris Dees in the wake of workplace misconduct claims, the organization has continued its barrage of accusations against Christian, conservative, and pro-family groups. The group tweeted on Thursday, “At the anti-LGBT hate group World Congress of Families’ annual conference in Italy last week, speakers dog whistled against immigration while lamenting low European birthrates & celebrated a strict gender binary — and vowed to win in Europe's next elections.”