Anti-Tea Party Web Site Part of Scheme to Funnel Funds
By Joseph Abrams – FOXNews.com
A new Web site targeting the tea parties is a part of a complex network of money flowing from the mountainous coffers of the country’s biggest labor unions and trickling slowly into political slush funds for Democratic activists.
A seemingly grassroots organization that’s mounted an online campaign to counter the tea party movement is actually the front end of an elaborate scheme that funnels funds — including sizable labor union contributions — through the offices of a prominent Democratic party lawyer.
A Web site popped up in January dedicated to preventing the tea party’s “radical” and “dangerous” ideas from “gaining legislative traction,” targeting GOP candidates in Illinois for the firing squad.
“This movement is a fad,” proclaims TheTeaPartyIsOver.org, which was established by the American Public Policy Center (APPC), a D.C.-based campaign shop that few people have ever heard of.
But a close look reveals the APPC’s place in a complex network of money flowing from the mountainous coffers of the country’s biggest labor unions into political slush funds for Democratic activists.
Here’s how it works: What appears like a local groundswell is in fact the creation of two men — Craig Varoga and George Rakis, Democratic Party strategists who have set up a number of so-called 527 groups, the non-profit election organizations that hammer on contentious issues (think Swift Boats, for example).
FOXNews.com – Anti-Tea Party Web Site Part of Scheme to Funnel Funds.
In reading the Fox News article, it is easy to draw the conclusion that a political shell game has become the norm as advocacy groups attempt to gain undeserved credibility by virtue of hiding their true identity and laundering contributions through multiple layers of organization. Organized crime operates in a similar fashion.
Happened here in Union County
Union County has experienced the same kind of Political Hit-Squads reported in the Fox News story. In the 2008 Primary Election, supporters of Jonathan Thomas’ candidacy created a ’503 (c)’ non-profit corporation called Union County 2020. This group was specifically engineered to blatantly skirt campaign finance laws, hide funding sources and launch negative attacks with impunity against opposition candidates.
From the County Edge Newspaper – May 9, 2008
…Though a new political name, Thomas mounted a stiff challenge for his first pursuit of elected office. Many observers found Thomas to be a polished candidate – one that could be on the fast track for a political career. His detractors, however, questioned the source of his support with some suggesting that Thomas had special interest ties and could be behind the attacks against Rogers.
“There are things that happened outside our control,” Thomas said. “That’s completely not who I am.”
According to a filing with the Secretary of State, an organization named Union County 2020, with officers Stephen Helms, son of former commissioner and state Department of Transportation board member Larry Helms, county agricultural leader Don Kerr, and Ingram Walters, threw its support behind Thomas.
“The only special interest that I’m behind is Union County,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he too was the victim of misinformation, including false ties about his connection to builders.()