Investigative Group

SPLC Cashes In On Trump Era; Controversial Nonprofit Nears Half BILLION In Assets

The Southern Poverty Law Center more than doubled its revenue in 2017, in the latest indication that the Trump era has been a financial boon for the left-wing nonprofit.

The SPLC reported $136 million in contributions and grants for the most recent fiscal year, more than doubling the $50.2 million the nonprofit reported the previous year. The SPLC ended the year with $449 million in net assets, including a $432.7 million endowment.

The SPLC’s financial portfolio includes off-shore investments in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, the organization’s financial documents show.

The Capital Research Center, a conservative nonprofit, first noted the SPLC’s impressive financial reports on Friday.

The center’s senior vice president Matthew Vadum noted that “it would appear the SPLC is cashing in by generating unjustified fear over a handful of fringe-right groups and by falsely portraying President Trump as a racist would-be fascist dictator.”

The SPLC did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

The nonprofit’s massive financial endowment invites “charges that it oversells the threats posed by Klansmen and neo-Nazis to keep donations flowing in from wealthy liberals,” Ben Schreckinger noted in a Politico Magazine piece in June 2017. The SPLC’s reported endowment increased $113.5 million since then, their most recent filings show.

Moreover, while the SPLC markets itself as a bulwark against white nationalists and the Klu Klux Klan, it has consistently mislabeled pedestrian conservative organizations as “hate groups,” and critics of political correctness as “extremists.” (RELATED: SPLC Says Army Bases Are ‘Confederate Monuments’ That Need To Come Down)

The SPLC deleted four articles in the last two months over accuracy concerns. Three of the articles tied American journalists and political figures to Russian influence operations in the United States. The fourth article was a list of “anti-Muslim extremists,” which the SPLC deleted after British Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz threatened legal action over his inclusion on the list.

The SPLC faced intense public criticism for including Nawaz and Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the list, which accused them of inciting anti-Muslim hate crimes, but didn’t correct the classification until after Nawaz hired an attorney and prepared to sue them.

The SPLC put Dr. Ben Carson — now the secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — on an “extremist watch list” in October 2014, citing statements Carson had made including: “Marriage is between a man and a woman; it’s a well-established pillar of society.”

Carson stayed on the list for four months. It wasn’t until after a public backlash that the SPLC removed Carson’s name and apologized in February 2015.

The SPLC has been tied to violence against conservatives in the past: Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center (FRC) in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.”

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].