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IRLI, though, says the original CASA toed the line on political action, and sometimes strayed over it.

In 1,500 pages of supporting documents, IRLI argues that CASA lobbies for legislation that would benefit immigrants and against bills that would crack down on illegal immigration, and said CASA helps organize politically oriented rallies and conducts get-out-the-vote activities aimed at motivating Hispanics and immigrants to turn out at the polls.

IRLI also charges that CASA’s leaders regularly endorse political candidates, including Mr. Franchot. The comptroller’s office has been asked to investigate CASA.

His campaign website did list CASA de Maryland as an endorser.

Mr. Franchot’s office said it cannot comment on IRLI’s request for an investigation into CASA.

Spokesman Joseph Shapiro initially referred questions about the endorsement to Mr. Franchot’s campaign office. A message left there went unreturned, but Mr. Shapiro called back to say that the campaign told him it had made a mistake earlier, and that the endorsement was from Gustavo Torres, CASA’s executive director, not from the organization itself.

Mr. Shapiro said he doubted the campaign still had the document to show that the endorsement was from Mr. Torres individually.

Ms. Propeack said CASA tries to correct such instances.

Mr. Torres regularly endorses candidates in his personal capacity, which analysts said is legal.

In another charge, IRLI says CASA appears to mingle tax-deductible funds for main CASA with political funds for CASA in Action.

CASA de Maryland allows donors to join the main CASA organization or CASA in Action, for a $25 fee. Those who joined by filling out a paper application saw the fee broken down: $16 goes to main CASA — that money is tax-deductible — and the rest goes to CASA in Action, where the money was not deductible.

But for online membership applications, it’s unclear how the money is segregated. The membership page on main CASA directs users to CASA in Action on several occasions.

CASA told The Washington Times that it will remedy that error.

Crossing the line

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, a professor at Notre Dame Law School who specializes in nonprofit tax law, said groups are allowed to engage in some lobbying on issues of public interest. The bright line they cannot cross, however, is endorsing or opposing a candidate.

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