Archive for Friday, October 13, 2006

Senate report links nonprofits, fraud

October 13, 2006


— Five conservative nonprofit organizations, including one run by prominent Republican Grover Norquist, "perpetrated a fraud" on taxpayers by selling their clout to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Senate investigators said in a report issued Thursday.

The report includes previously unreleased e-mails between the now-disgraced lobbyist and officers of the nonprofit groups, showing that Abramoff funneled money from his clients to the groups. In exchange the groups, among other things, produced ostensibly independent newspaper op-ed columns or news releases that favored the clients' positions.

Officers of the groups "were generally available to carry out Mr. Abramoff's requests for help with his clients in exchange for cash payments," said the report, issued by the Senate Finance Committee. The report was written by the Democratic staff after a yearlong investigation and authorized by the Republican chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiracy and could go to prison as early as next month. The investigation has resulted in one conviction and seven guilty pleas, including from one lawmaker, Rep. Robert Ney, R-Ohio, who is to appear today before a federal judge in Washington, D.C.

The report bolstered earlier revelations that Abramoff laundered money through the nonprofits to pay for congressional trips and paid Norquist to arrange meetings for his clients with government officials, including White House senior adviser Karl Rove.

The groups named in the report are Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform; the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, which was co-founded by Norquist and Gale Norton before she became Secretary of the Interior; Citizens Against Government Waste; the National Center for Public Policy Research, which was a spinoff of the Heritage Foundation; and Toward Tradition, a Seattle-based religious group founded by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.


Frank Smith 9 years, 1 month ago

Not only Norquist. Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed was Jack Abramoff's pricey stooge in killing off tribal casinos operated by other than their own Native American clients. Hopefully the FBI will take a closer look at Jim Ryun's $100,000 "discount" on the house he bought from another Abramoff front.

KC Star - 9/21/06

WASHINGTON | Republican activists Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed landed more than 100 meetings inside the Bush White House, according to documents released Wednesday.

The Secret Service visit records provide the first official accounting of the access and influence the two presidential allies have enjoyed. The White House released them to settle a lawsuit seeking visitor logs in connection with the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

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