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Elections & Voting Last Updated: Oct 3rd, 2008 - 00:47:21

Right-wing not only intimidates Democratic voters but Democratic donors
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Oct 3, 2008, 00:16

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(WMR) -- Although right-wing Republican groups have been reported targeting and intimidating potential Democratic voters across the United States, especially in Florida, Alabama, Wisconsin, and Michigan, WMR has now learned that the right-wing is now trying to intimidate donors to the Democratic Party.

WMR has obtained a copy of an undated letter sent by Americans for Limited Government Foundation Chairman Howard Rich. Rich is an extreme right-wing libertarian and New York real estate magnate who also heads the organization �U.S. Term Limits.�

A letter sent to a private residence in Washington, DC, states, �Recently a new left-wing organization announced that it would be targeting donors to conservative, free-market organizations . . . As a donor to one or more of these [left-wing] organizations and efforts, you have been able to engage in these activities without notice, operating in relative obscurity. I am writing to inform you that this will no longer be the case.

�Your name has been put in our database. We are monitoring all reports of a wide variety of leftist organizations. As your name appears in subsequent reports, it is our intent to publicize your involvement in your local community. Should any of these organizations be found to be engaged in illegal or questionable activity, it is our intent to publicize your involvement with those activities. You should know that instances of coordinated voter fraud are surfacing all across America and investigations into possible criminal coordination are underway.�

However, it is Mr. Rich who is engaged in possible criminal activity by attempting to intimidate donors to Democratic causes. The Rich letter is accompanied by a legal memorandum on �Heightening Awareness of Political Activity� sent by the Washington, DC, law firm of Webster, Chamberlain, and Bean to Rich. The memo states that �there are many 527 groups and nonprofit organizations that engage in fundraising and political activity without filing reports with the Federal Election Commission or the Internal Revenue Service.�

However, it is Rich who has run afoul of the law in the past. In 2006, Rich�s Americans for Limited Government was forced to move its headquarters from Chicago because it could not comply with Illinois charity laws. On December 18, 2006, the Center for Public Integrity reported, �Americans for Limited Government spent at least $8 million in 2006 pushing �regulatory takings� initiatives and other ballot measures across the country. The organization faced public scrutiny in failing to disclose its donors or activities through a network of interconnected, tax-exempt entities. On Sept. 15, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan notified ALG that its registration under the state�s charitable solicitation laws was �delinquent and not in good standing� and would be canceled in 30 days if it failed to file a complete annual report, including an audit by a certified public accountant, as required by law.

�Madigan sent identical warnings to ALG�s affiliate, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, but neither organization responded to the warnings, leading to the Illinois Attorney General Office�s cancellation of their registrations as charitable organizations. Rich recently was described by The Wall Street Journal as �a publicity-shy, libertarian-leaning businessman who has become the go-to man for supporters of conservative ballot initiatives.� ALG had operated from offices in Illinois since 2002, but just after the November 7 elections it quietly changed its address to the Virginia residence of one of its officers. At the same time, ALG created two new tax-exempt groups, the Sam Adams Alliance and the Sam Adams Foundation, which occupy its former Chicago address.�

Rich sits on the board of the right-wing Cato Institute, and runs, along with his wife Andrea, the Center for Independent Thought. Rich�s operations have been linked to those of Americans for Tax Reform head Grover Norquist, a very close friend, according to our sources, of Karl Rove.

Rich donates money to right-wing Republican candidates via a network of front companies and various corporate officials using the same Manhattan address of 73 Spring Street, Room 408.

Corporate contrivances listed at the Manhattan address include Dayrich LLC, Bradford Management of NY, Ltd., 51 First Avenue LLC, 470 W 166 LLC, Spring, Inc., West 14 & 18 LLC, Springrich Limited Partnership, Stilrich LLC, Bayrich LLC, 123 Lasalle Associates, Silver & Silver Properties LLC, 188 Claremont LLC, 4220 Broadway LLC, 4220 Broadway Inc., 405 49 Associates, Rich & Rich LLC, 332 E 11 LLC, 123 Lasalle Inc., Secure Data LLC, Rich & Rich Associates, Newrich LLC, Rich Acquisitions, Rosemeade Investors LLC, Streetrich LLC, and Spooner LLC. 

Rich�s recipients include Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Sen. John Sununu (R-NH). Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar has also received campaign cash from Rich.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2008

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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