Democratic group files IRS complaint against Turning Point USA over ties to Kari Lake’s campaign

By Stacey Barchenger |Arizona Republic

A prominent Democratic political group wants the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether Phoenix-based Turning Point USA has violated its nonprofit tax status by supporting Republican candidates for office.

Turning Point USA has “overtly engaged in a broad range of impermissible political intervention,” according to the complaint filed Wednesday by the super PAC American Bridge 21st Century and shared with The Arizona Republic. The eight-page complaint notes Turning Point’s support of Donald Trump and connections to GOP candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake.

The request for an investigation comes roughly three weeks before Arizonans start casting ballots in the midterm primaries, including the race for governor.

A spokesperson for the IRS said complaints involving tax information are confidential and are reviewed through an ongoing audit program to ensure compliance with tax code.

A spokesman for Turning Point USA, Andrew Kolvet, said the organization had not seen the complaint and complies with all IRS standards, laws and policies.

“We take very seriously any unfounded allegations that would suggest otherwise, even from an organization so brazenly partisan as to brag about keeping conservatives ‘unpopular’ by inundating them with ‘negative news stories,'” he said, quoting American Bridge 21st Century’s website. “It makes one wonder if this complaint was filed in good faith, or in hopes that this very article would be written.”

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The complaint alleges Turning Point USA and its founder, Charlie Kirk, among others, have supported Republican candidates, citing news coverage of the organization and a post on Twitter from Kirk in 2019 that read, “The committee to re-elect President Trump,” and included Kirk’s picture.

As it relates to Lake, the complaint repeats many of the connections that were outlined in prior reporting by The Arizona Republic in May and in a September letter to Turning Point USA from the conservative ethics watchdog group Public Integrity Alliance.

The complaint notes Lake has a profile page on Turning Point’s website that was promoted in an online advertisement. It notes Lake’s appearances on Kirk’s talk show, and shared staff, including that Lake’s daughter worked for Turning Point USA when she was consulting on her mother’s campaign for governor.

Asked for a comment for this article, Lake attacked reporting by The Republic, a common response to questions about her campaign.

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