When investigative reporter Alan Berlow donated “a dollar here and a dollar there” to the National Rifle Association, he was curious where the money would go. To his surprise, some of it did not wind up in the organization’s coffers, as he believed its website promised, but rather in the account of its political action committee: the NRA Political Victory Fund.
Soliciting money for a PAC without making specific disclosures is illegal, according to various legal experts. In the process of his reporting, Berlow discovered that the NRA was apparently running afoul of all kinds of political-solicitation and campaign-spending laws. Among other things, the organization appears to have failed to report nearly $33 million in political expenditures between 2008 and 2013.
Now the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed formal complaints with both the IRS and the Federal Election Commission, asking them to audit the NRA. The move comes less than two months after Berlow’s story was published on Yahoo News.
[Photo: Flickr user Dominik Meissner]