Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AJC: Norquist's nonprofit under fire

The story from "A watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate two nonprofit groups operated by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, alleging that Norquist improperly funneled Indian tribe money to Ralph Reed during anti-gambling campaigns in Alabama.

The complaint, filed on Tuesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, asks the IRS to yank the tax-exempt status of Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and the related ATR Foundation.

The watchdog group alleges that Norquist used both organizations to help Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff move funds from his Indian tribe clients --- with casino markets to protect --- to Reed, who would rally Christian supporters to fend off efforts to expand gambling.

Reed, who worked through his Georgia company, Century Strategies of Duluth, is accused of no wrongdoing. Melanie Sloan, executive director for CREW, said Reed's troubles are political rather than legal.

'Norquist's problems are Norquist's problems. But Reed helped create the whole system,' Sloan said.

A spokesman for Reed, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Georgia, defended Americans for Tax Reform as 'one of the most respected conservative organizations in the nation.'"


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