Naughty, naughty! Not nice to use your tax-exempt organizations as money laundries between gambling interests and Ralph Reed.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has filed a complaint with the IRS, charging that Grover Norquist’s two tax-exempt groups, Americans for Tax Reform (a 501 (c)(4) lobbying group and the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation (a 501 (c)(3) “research and policy analysis organization,” i.e., a pseudo-think-tank) were used to launder money Jack Abramoff pried out of various Indian tribes and gave to Ralph Reed, with Grover’s folks taking a cut along the way. The point was to give Reed deniability on his acceptance of money from gambling interests to oppose licenses for potential competitors.
CREW’s press release lays out the story. CREW’s complaint (.pdf) provides the evidence and legal analysis, which seem pretty solid to a non-lawyer.
George Bush already never knew Jack Abramoff. Do you suppose he’s about to not have known Norquist, either?
Hat tip: America Blog
Author: Mark Kleiman
Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out.
Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken)
When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist
Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993)
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989)
View all posts by Mark Kleiman