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Advocacy for Sale | The Nation

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Advocacy for Sale

Armstrong Williams. Maggie Gallagher. Doug Bandow. All of these people accepted money from the Bush Administration or big business, never disclosed it and then claimed to be independent commentators.

Add another to that list: anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. Norquist, a longtime leader of the conservative movement, is hardly independent. But he also used the media to hump for his good buddy, Jack Abramoff. (And yes, we haven't heard the last of Abramoff. Just ask Rep. Bob Ney.)

Norquist helped Abramoff funnel Indian gaming money to anti-gambling Christian activists such as Ralph Reed. He helped arrange meetings for Abramoff with key Bush Administration officials. And a new report by the Senate Finance Committee shows how Norquist advocated positions beneficial to Abramoff clients, in places like the Washington Times, and then asked for donations to be made to his own organization, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR).

Only ATR enjoys tax-exempt status. Norquist's favors for Abramoff, the Senate report says, "appears indistinguishable from lobbying undertaken by for-profit, taxable firms."

Paging the IRS.

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