Columnist misrepresented IRS complaint against CREW

Columnist misrepresented IRS complaint against CREW

August 5, 2011
Rich Abbott

Rhonda Graham's July 29 column about Christine O'Donnell's IRS complaint against Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) did not correctly explain its racial discrimination charges.

The complaint is available at www. CREW.

O'Donnell's complaint against CREW provides substantial evidence that CREW has disproportionately attacked African-American Democrats, leading to a racially identifiable course of conduct in violation of the Internal Revenue Code.

Under federal law, tax-exempt organizations may not operate in a racially discriminatory fashion. Racial discrimination is clearly evident in CREW's documented history of disproportionately targeting African-American vs. white Democrats.

The IRS complaint sets out in painstaking detail (with supporting documentation) how CREW has spent the last eight years primarily attacking Republicans.

It also shows that of the few CREW attacks on Democrats, 60 percent are against African-Americans, even though they constitute only 7 percent of the potential pool.

The complaint's primary allegation against CREW is that as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, it is prohibited from intervening in political campaigns, yet it has blatantly involved itself in many campaigns, including (but not limited to) the Christine O'Donnell campaign for the Senate in 2010.

Further, the IRS complaint demonstrates CREW's disproportionate targeting of Republicans, its pattern of racial discrimination and its misuse of donor funds for the private benefit of the Democratic Party and for-profit media corporations.

One startling example of the manner in which CREW blasts Republicans while defending Democrats for the same or similar behavior is CREW's demand for the resignation and criminal prosecution of Nevada Republican U.S. Sen. John Ensign for payments involving an extramarital affair, while attacking the Department of Justice for indicting former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards' use of $900,000 in donor funds as a hush-money payoff for his mistress (and mother of his love child).

One would think that Ms. Graham would congratulate Christine O'Donnell for asking the IRS to revoke CREW's tax-exempt status based in part on its pattern of discriminating against African-Americans.

CREW and Melanie Sloan, the organization's executive director, have a reprehensible practice of treating African-American Democrats as "tokens" in an effort to make CREW appear to be nonpartisan.

The readers should decide who in fact is stooping to the level of "sloppy, desperate headline grabbing" and who "sacrifices her credibility."

In this case, Christine O'Donnell has undertaken a painstaking review of CREW's activities and expenditures and has documented to the IRS why CREW's tax-exempt status should be revoked based upon its racist, partisan, political conduct.

Rich Abbott, a Hockessin lawyer, represents Christine O'Donnell.

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