Americans for Tax Reform/Grover Norquist

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist Pushing Members to Attend Town Hall Meetings.  Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, "said he encourages his members to attend town-hall meetings - and arms them with suggested questions." [Roll Call, 8/5/2009]


Norquist Helped Jack Abramoff Funnel Funds Through Americans for Tax Reform.  According to a report released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, "Americans for Tax Reform served as a 'conduit' for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to surreptitiously finance grass-roots lobbying campaigns.  As the money passed through, Norquist's organization kept a small cut, e-mails show." [Washington Post, 6/25/2006]

  • Norquist Funneled More Than $1 Million To Ralph Reed for Abramoff. According to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee report, "Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform became a conduit for more than a million dollars from the Mississippi Choctaw to Reed's operation, while Norquist, a close White House ally, took a cut...Relying on an email by Abramoff, the Senate report said 'Norquist kept' $25,000 from each of two transfers from the Choctaw to Reed." [Associated Press, 6/23/2006]


Norquist "At Switchboard" of Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. "Those who believe in a 'vast right-wing conspiracy' might trace its path to a generic conference room of a nondescript office building here, where fresh bagels and cream cheese await more than 100 conservative activists every Wednesday morning...Overseeing all the activity is Grover Norquist, a baby-faced anti-tax crusader with a clip-on microphone and an enthusiasm unusual in jaded Washington circles. 'To the extent that there is a conservative network, Grover is at the switchboard,' said John Pitney, an expert on the Republican Party who teaches government at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif." [Orlando Sentinel. 6/15/2003]


Norquist Formed Lobbying Group With Abramoff-Embroiled David Safavian and Represented Numerous Questionable Foreign Clients. In the 1990s, Norquist formed the lobbying firm the Merritt Group (also known as Janus-Merritt Strategies) with David Safavian, who was convicted in 2008 (after his first conviction was overturned), of "obstruction and making false statements to investigators" and "trying to hide his relationship with Abramoff and his participation in Abramoff's now-famous golf junket to Scotland with members of Congress."  Norquist was "a registered foreign agent, at $10,000 a month, for the political organization of Jonas Savimbi, the Angolan rebel leader, until the group did some belt-tightening after paying Mr. Norquist $80,000" in 1996. [Associated Press, 12/19/2008; New York Times, 7/8/1997]

  • Safavian Represented Supportors of Hezbollah and Hamas at Firm. At Merritt, Safavian represented "local Muslim leader Abduraham Alamoudi, who in October 2000 made widely publicized comments supporting Hezbollah and the Islamaic Resistance Movement, or Hamas...Alamoudi has since been convicted and imprisoned for accepting money from the Libyan government as part of an alleged plot to assassinate the crown prince of Saudi Arabia." [Washington Post, 9/21/2005]


1997: Americans for Tax Reform Investigated for Coordination With RNC. In 1997, Senate investigators revealed that "In the closing weeks of the 1996 campaign, the Republican National Committee steered more than $1 million in contributions from its major donors to sympathetic outside groups, collecting the checks at the RNC and then passing them on to other organizations...Americans for Tax Reform...made 4 million phone calls and sent 19 million pieces of mail urging voters to dismiss Democratic warnings about Medicare cuts."  The group received about $100,000 in addition to the $4.6 million the RNC directly gave. [Washington Post, 10/23/1997]


Norquist Refuses To Release Donors of Americans for Tax Reform, But Reports Have Revealed 'Array of Special Interests' Fund the Group.  According to the Boston Globe, Norquist "has always refused to name his financial backers. But interviews and copies of Norquist's donor lists, obtained by the Globe, show that contributors include an array of special interests ranging from tobacco companies to Indian tribes to a Las Vegas casino." [Boston Globe, 3/31/2006]

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