Opinion: A history of Grover Norquist and the Abramoff scandal
Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2011
"Perhaps a case of selective amnesia explains the exalted platform given to Grover Norquist both in the media and among congressional Republicans. Just a few years ago, Norquist was a central figure in the GOP culture of corruption and cronyism that helped Democrats retake control of Congress in 2006.
From his longtime friendship with Karl Rove to leadership of the K Street Project with convicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) to the money-laundering scandal involving convicted Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Norquist has long wielded unchecked power in Washington. Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) are key players in an influential web of GOP donors, operatives and organizations working to implement a Republican agenda and consolidate power benefiting their special-interest friends.
During this time, Norquist worked with Abramoff, Ralph Reed and Abramoff’s partner Michael Scanlon in a money-laundering scandal that bilked millions of dollars from Indian tribes. Abramoff and Scanlon grossly overcharged the tribes for work on casino gambling issues, using Norquist’s ATR and the ATR Foundation as a pass-through to support their lobbying effort. Contributions were made to ATR, which then skimmed a fee off the top before passing the money on to Ralph Reed and other anti-gambling activists.
In one example, the Choctaw Indian tribe in Mississippi paid Americans for Tax Reform $1.1 million in 1999. Norquist passed the money to Reed, who ran the powerful Christian Coalition and a for-profit political consulting company. Reed used the money to run a religious-based anti-gambling campaign with the veiled purpose of preventing a rival tribe from cutting in on the Choctaw casino business."
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(The Hill 7/25)
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