Grover Norquist

Some know Grover Norquist for his desire to reduce government to the size where it can be drowned in a bathtub. Others think of him as guru of the anti-tax, neo-con movement. Coming off as a nerdy political wonk, his life is much more adventuresome than it appears at first glance.  Norquist met Abramoff in the early ’80s when they were both in the College Republicans; he was Abramoff’s campaign manager in a successful run to become chair of that group. Norquist is the unsung hero and co-writer of Newt Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America, ” and first gained visibility and influence as a close ally of Gingrich.

Active involvement with anti-communist insurgencies

Despite his pocket protector exterior, Norquist was a self-avowed student of revolutionaries. He studied insurgents like Stalin and American community organizer, Saul Alinsky for the purpose of leading a Republican Revolution. Norquist, with buddies Abramoff and Reed, traveled to several war zones to help support anti-Soviet guerrilla armies in the second half of the 1980s. He worked with a support network for Oliver North‘s efforts with the Nicaraguan Contras and other insurgencies.

From Counter Insurgencies to Corruption

Perhaps Norquist is best known for founding Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in 1985, which he says was done at the request of then-President Ronald Reagan.  As a nonprofit organization, Americans for Tax Reform is not required to disclose the identity of its contributors, which can come in handy when you are trying to launder campaign money.  In his role in the Alabama “Operation 2010” Norquist used his non-profit and anti-tax organizations to hide the identity of the gambling money flowing from Indian Casinos into the anti-gambling organizations of the Alabama GOP.

Teflon coated Norquist

The Nation asks “why does [Grove Norquist] still have any credibility left? Just a few years ago he was a central player in the Jack Abramoff scandal, using his connections to launder nearly $1 million from Abramoff’s Indian tribe clients to conservative activist Ralph Reed and Christian anti-gambling groups who were fighting a proposed state lottery in Alabama, according to an extensive report by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.”

Furthermore, why didn’t Norquist go to prison with Abramoff? “All three [Abramoff, Reed and Norquist] were key figures in the Bush-era “culture of corruption.” Abramoff went to prison in 2006 for conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion. He got out in December 2010, right after Republicans recaptured the House and Norquist’s anti-tax agenda received a major boost. Abramoff’s reputation is still in tatters. Norquist’s should be too.”

Accreditation: Thumbnail of Reagan, Norquist and Abramoff by Karl Schumacher - contact
sheet # 5380, photo 6. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (1981-12-03)., 
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46531348

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