To: Chairman Michael McCaul:
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a private, non-profit organization that promotes itself as a pro-civil-rights group combating “hate” groups.
As such, it receives public support through grants from the federal government, in particular the Department of Homeland Security.
Through SPLC’s relationship with DHS, the organization runs the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, works directly with state FUSION Centers; and helps produce special reports for DHS designed to define and target “hate” groups and potential terrorist groups.
However, it appears SPLC is abusing ties to the Department of Homeland Security to threaten and accuse pro-Constitution groups and activists across the nation of potential domestic terrorism. For example, SPLC and DHS documents they have influenced, have so labeled many who simply advocate Constitutional government; opposition to abortion; and opposition to various economic programs. It appears that federal funds have been used for this activity.
Such accusations may lead to government action that could deny First Amendment rights to those so labeled. SPLC has already incorporated such unsubstantiated and outrageous charges in reports published by DHS, including the “Domestic Extremism Lexicon;” a 2009 report by the Missouri Fusion Center; and through the DHS’ Countering Violent Extremism Working Group,” to name a few examples. Such charges are a dangerous threat to individual freedom and an abuse of government funds against loyal and law-abiding American citizens.
Therefore I, the undersigned American citizen, request that your committee begin an immediate investigation into the activities of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), its ties to the Department of Homeland Security, and its tax-exempt status.