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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Republican Party is accusing several liberal-leaning advocacy groups of violating federal tax rules by working together this year to oppose GOP legislative candidates.

State GOP Chairman Robin Hayes announced Wednesday that a party leader has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the groups are conducting a campaign that jeopardizes their nonprofit tax-exempt status.

Hayes and a party attorney cited the “Out-of-Control” initiative put on by Democracy North Carolina, Progress North Carolina and other groups earlier this year critical of Republican activities at the Legislature.

Progress North Carolina Executive Director Gerrick Brenner called the complaint a Republican effort by to silence the critics of the Legislature’s activities and said the groups have done nothing illegal. Brenner said the “Out-of-Control’ effort has been dormant for months.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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