Officials with the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) this week announced they will start spending nearly three times as much money than usual — nearly $100 million — on voter outreach throughout the Deep South, including Georgia.

SPLC officials said in a press release that they will partner with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (CFGA) and spend that money in other southern states as well. Those states include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, SPLC officials said.

CFGA spokeswoman Elyse Hammett told The Georgia Star News that the group will use the money to track what she called “ongoing barriers to getting out to vote.”

“We did not choose the states – the SPLC chose those states,” Hammett said via email.

“The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta only operates in Georgia, but we can administer the grants for SPLC to the states of their choosing.”

The SPLC press release said “voter suppression tactics are escalating,” particularly in Florida and Georgia.

SPLC officials also said they will spend this money to train new political leaders throughout the South to carry out their objectives.

As The Tennessee Star,, and several other news outlets have reported, commentators describe the SPLC as “a hate group on the left” that smears individuals and groups whose politics don’t align with their left-wing ideologies. The SPLC attaches labels such as “racist,” “white supremacist” and “extremist” to people and groups who don’t deserve them.

Writing for The Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen, said the SPLC smears good people with false charges of bigotry.

“The SPLC is a once-storied organization that did important work filing civil rights lawsuits against the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s,” Thiessen wrote.

“But it has become a caricature of itself, labeling virtually anyone who does not fall in line with its left-wing ideology an ‘extremist’ or ‘hate group.’”

Thiessen went on to list people the SPLC has unfairly tarnished as dangerous including The Alliance Defending Freedom, which he said “is a respected organization of conservative lawyers dedicated to defending religious liberty.”

The SPLC also considers the Family Research Council and Ben Carson “as moral equivalents of the Klan.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]