Here are some damning details about Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist, courtesy of the newly-released McCain Report. It goes into great detail describing Ralph Reed's scheme to launder casino fees through non-profits.
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Everybody who's been paying attention to the Abramoff scandal knows that when Ralph Reed, the boy-king of the Christian right, went to work for Jack Abramoff's Indian casino clients (his job was to roust grassroots Christians against competiting gambling platforms), he got skittish about accepting money from the tribes directly, since he's, you know, supposed to be anti-gambling. So he used non-profits, like Grover Norquist's American for Tax Reform, as pass-throughs to disguise the origin of the funds.
But it's refreshing to hear the Senate Indian Affairs Committee not mince words in their report. As part of their retelling of Abramoff's work for the Mississippi Choctaws, the report provides a damning blow-by-blow of how Reed came on this scheme, and how Norquist got started accepting a "management fee" (read: laundering fee) for his services.
The report is unequivocal. According to the Choctaw's planner, Nell Rogers, the tribe agreed to launder the money because "Ralph Reed did not want to be paid directly by a tribe with gaming interests." And at one point, she told the committee, Norquist became "nervous" about laundering the money. (But apparently not too nervous, because he kept on doing it.)
The section on Reed and Norquist begins on page 23 of the 373-page report, but I've reproduced the juiciest excerpt below (with my emphasis). In the beginning, Abramoff paid Reed through his lobbying firm Preston Gates (Abramoff even once suggested that the Choctaw pay Reed directly). But at some point, Reed became uncomfortable with that arrangement.
The report goes on (what follows is all excerpted):