NRA under fire again for $60 million in political spending

The National Rifle Association is once again under fire for its political spending. Dark money watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, claims the gun rights group failed to properly disclose close to $60 million in political spending since 2008 and is calling on the Internal Revenue Service to perform an audit. That total includes $1 million in contributions to Democratic and Republican groups, according to CREW.

Several political organizations – including the Democratic and Republican Governors Associations, the Democratic and Republican Attorneys General Associations and the Republican State Leadership Committee – reported receiving more than $1 million from the NRA, who did not disclose the contributions, CREW said.

“It seems like every month we find more political activity that the NRA illegally failed to disclose,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a statement.  “The NRA’s consistent and egregious flouting of laws and requirements in its tax filings has become a disturbing pattern and needs to be investigated.”

An NRA spokesperson declined to comment.

The gun rights group was accused in September 2015 of funneling money from its national coffers into Connecticut state elections, a claim the Connecticut Elections Enforcement Commission said it would investigate but hasn’t returned any results. The complaint was filed primarily by the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.

An NRA spokesman told in August the complainants were confused anti-gun advocates with an agenda and reinforced the gun lobby group’s position that its PAC, the NRA Political Victory Fund, did not illegally funnel campaign contributions to its state counterpart.

“NRA PVF- CT was funded by individual donations directly deposited into the account,” spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen said.

In April 2015, the NRA came under fire for allegedly mixing donations for elections with those for other solicitations, a violation of federal elections laws, according to an investigative piece published by Yahoo News.

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