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February 7, 2023

CREW Goes After Grover Norquist, Compares His ATR Works to Those of Al Capone

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — or CREW, as they are lovingly and lazily known for those of us who love acronyms and hate organizations with long complicated names — has filed a complaint with the IRS and DoJ in the hopes they will investigate Americans for Tax Reform and, more specifically, its head and current Colin love-hate man crush Grover Norquist.

CREW’s complaint alleges ATR and Mr. Norquist violated federal law by deliberately providing false information to the IRS when ATR filed its 2012 Tax Form 990. ATR misreported to the IRS the amount it spent producing and broadcasting advertisements opposing the election of Democratic candidates for Congress. In its reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), ATR reported spending $15,794,582 on political ads, but told the IRS it spent only $9,791,515 on its 2012 campaign activity, a disparity of $6,003,067.

ATR spent a total of almost $30.9 million in 2012, meaning more than half of the spending it reported to the FEC for the year was on politics, a clear violation of its tax-exempt status.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “ATR’s own IRS and FEC filings provide incontrovertible evidence that ATR is breaking the law. If Al Capone could be nailed for tax violations, so can Grover Norquist.”

Wait a second, did she just compare Grover Norquist to Al Capone? Is she accusing him of tax evasion or is she calling him a syphilis-ridden mobster? Why not just take it all the way and call him the Bernie Madoff of conservative tax advocacy groups?

Sloan continued, “Mr. Norquist has been flagrantly violating the law for years, but the IRS continues to let him go on his merry way. What will it take for federal authorities to finally stop him?”

CREW has taken up this issue before so it's a legitimate question. When this came up last year, ATR communications director told The Hill "It's certainly not surprising that the [George] Soros-funded, left-wing CREW has issued another baseless complaint against a conservative organization."

We'll keep you posted on any developments.

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