A conservative public-interest law firm has asked the Internal Revenue Service to make sure three large national labor unions comply with tax and disclosure laws in their planned spending of nearly $100 million to save Democrats in the 2010 congressional elections.

The Virginia-based Landmark Legal Foundation sent a letter on Tuesday to Lois G. Lerner, director of the IRS' tax exempt organizations division, asking that the agency monitor "this unprecedented political activity."

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In response, the labor unions issued the following statements:

• AFL-CIO statement:

"We are in compliance with all rules and regulations and will continue to do so. It is simply an effort to generate publicity for Landmark Legal, not a serious submission to the IRS."

• SEIU statement:

"This is just another sad attempt of the Landmark Legal Foundation to try to prevent working people from having a voice in politics. SEIU takes very seriously our responsibility to the janitors, nurses, security officers and other workers who voluntarily contribute to the union's political program, and we fully comply with all tax and disclosure laws."