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March 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the left-wing group best known for attacking mainstream organizations because of their mainstream religious and political views, is commonly depicted in the press as nonpartisan “extremist” watchdogs but has established a little-noticed political action branch to intervene in ideological policy battles.

Revealed Tuesday by Washington Free Beacon, SPLC created the SPLC Action Fund in June 2018 to little fanfare. The Fund exists to “engage in legislative battles at every level of government and to support critical ballot initiatives,” according to its web page, for the purpose of “creating a nation where the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity are a reality for all.”

The details was contained in tax and financial documents recently submitted to the state of California. The forms also show that the SPLC reported $518 million in total assets from November 2017 to the end of October 2018, including $121 million in offshore investments. The group’s total assets rose $41 million from the previous year, despite a $15 million decline in total revenue.

PJ Media added that causes the Action Fund has taken up include stricter building standards for private and charter schools in Florida (a requirement most left-wing organizations bitterly oppose when applied to abortion centers) and opposing Georgia legislation to leave Confederate monuments standing (a debate that concerns how to formally recognize controversial parts of American history, not whether to celebrate or excuse the racist views of historical figures).

SPLC has a long history of labeling mainstream conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups,” and attempting to get them blacklisted from various online platforms and services. Despite being forced last June to make a public apology and pay $3.4 million in defamation damages to Maajid Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation, various ostensibly neutral companies continue to listen to SPLC’s recommendations.

Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Amazon all partner with SPLC to varying degrees to help identify and restrict allegedly “hateful” groups and content from their platforms, and the organization has managed to pressure companies like Mastercard and GoFundMe to (at least temporarily, in some cases) deny services to conservative figures and groups. The FBI used SPLC as a resource on hate crimes until 2014, when it was removed during the Obama administration. The Pentagon under President Donald Trump dropped it as a resource in October 2017.

“While it may be smart for the SPLC to separate its de facto political campaigning from its ‘non-partisan’ ‘charitable work,’ it seems far more likely the far-left smear group will keep plugging away, demonizing those who disagree and launching insidious campaigns against its opponents in the name of fighting ‘hate groups,’” PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil wrote. “If anything, the SPLC Action Fund is likely to undermine the group's credibility on its ‘hate group’ labeling.”

This week, the Los Angeles Times also reported that the SPLC has fired co-founder Morris Dees for unspecified “inappropriate conduct.” The Times reported that the self-styled equality organization “has been wrestling with complaints of workplace mistreatment of women and people of color,” but could not confirm whether those allegations are connected to Dees.

“If SPLC is ordering ‘a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate & workplace practices’, but Dees hasn't even been in the office much recently, then it sure seems like he's being made the fall guy for a deeper rot at the organization,” Center for Immigration Studies executive director and National Review contributor Mark Krikorian observed.