Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a tax complaint yesterday against Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, conservative organizations led by White House ally Grover Norquist.
CREW’s complaint filed with the IRS alleges that Norquist “used either both ATR and ATR Foundation as commercial enterprises by laundering money derived from Indian casino clients of former lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff,” according to a statement.
Specifically, CREW is charging that casinos made contributions to ATR, which in turn funneled the funds to anti-gambling activists such as former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed in order to mask the source of the monies, and, furthermore, that ATR “skimmed a fee” from the transaction.
CREW stated in its press release that ATR violated its tax-exempt status by collecting “taxable business income” for providing a service outside its tax-exempt mission.
Chris Butler, the chief of staff at ATR, said that “CREW is a left-wing attack dog, not a watch dog.”
Butler also provided an IRS document granting his organization tax-exempt status to refute another charge in CREW’s tax complaint.