Elaborate scheme channels money from Unions to Dems to target Tea Parties

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

Joseph Abrams
FoxNews.com
February 10, 2010

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.

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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)..

…Public records show at least seven political shops listed in Suite 1102, most of which are essentially clones of one another, but all of which have offered money — from measly thousands to game-changing millions — in state-level elections across the country:

-The American Public Policy Committee
Donations
IRS forms

-Patriot Majority
Donations
IRS forms

-Citizens for Progress
Donations
IRS forms

-Oklahoma Freedom Fund
Donations
IRS forms

-Mid Atlantic Leadership Fund
Donations
IRS forms

-Public Security Now
Donations
IRS forms

-Pioneer Majority
Donations
IRS forms

-Bluegrass Freedom Fund
Donations
IRS forms

…The confusing naming system is intentional, say election law experts, who generally disapprove of the practice.

“I do take issue with and have long complained about groups that shield particular special interests with innocuous-sounding names like … ‘Americans for America,'” said Ryan. “That type of naming of an organization, I believe, is specifically intended to obscure the true sources of funding of special interest groups behind political activity.”…

The entire article is at FoxNews.com

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