Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Grover -- the Bag Man or

As if we needed another reason to distrust Washington right wing gadfly Grover Norquist, now word comes that indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff secretly funneled campaign contributions through Norquist’s tax-exempt organization, Americans for Tax Reform.

According to a report on Abramoff’s lobbying tactics, released in late June by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Abramoff sent money to various grassroots lobbying campaigns, using Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform and another Norquist group, the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, as front organizations. And, while “passing through” the donations, Norquist skimmed off part of the money for Americans for Tax Reform.

The San Francisco Chronicle is one of several news organizations reporting that the federal probe into a string of Republican bribery-related charges is now investigating the possible misuse of tax exempt groups such as Americans for Tax Reform.

In e-mails Abramoff called the technique, “pass-through.” Another phrase for it might be “money-laundering.” Either way, the Chronicle reports, “Tax experts said that it is impermissible for a tax-exempt organization to act as a pass-through for money destined for private business purposes. ‘It’s not a tax-exempt activity to act as a bag man for Jack Abramoff,’ said Marcus Owens, a tax lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale and a former Internal Revenue Service official.”

Oklahoma Republican politicians who have signed a “pledge” of allegiance to Grover Norquist are:

  • Mary Fallin
  • Cliff Aldridge
  • Randy Brogdon
  • Glenn Coffee
  • Todd Lamb
  • Jonathan Nichols
  • Scott Pruitt
  • Kathleen Wilcoxson
  • James Williamson
  • Dennis Adkins
  • Thad Balkman
  • Kevin Calvey
  • Lance Cargill
  • Odilia Dank
  • Dale Depue
  • Todd Hiett
  • Sally Kern
  • Doug Miller
  • Fred Morgan
  • John Nance
  • Jim Newport
  • Fred Perry
  • Ron Peterson
  • Randy Terrill
  • JohnTrebilcock
  • Sue Tibbs
  • Paul Wesselhoft
  • Mike Wilt
  • Trebor Worthen
  • Damon Harris
  • Ernest Istook
  • Bob Sullivan
  • John Sullivan
  • Frank Lucas
  • Tom Cole
  • Tom Coburn
  • Jim Inhofe

    We invite you and your friends to call these Oklahoma Republicans and ask them why they care more about conservative Washington, D.C. power broker Grover “Bag Man” Norquist than they do the people of the state of Oklahoma. While you’re at it, find out from them how much money they’ve taken from the ATR ATM. And let us know what they tell you so we can post the findings on OK Blue Notes.

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