By Phil Kent –
Georgia Democratic Party sources tell InsiderAdvantage that House of Representatives Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, has upset many activists and donors with her much ballyhooed 2014 voter registration drive that vacuumed up big money but produced no discernible results for statewide party candidates who went crashing down to defeat.
Abrams and her tax-exempt nonprofit Third Sector Development launched the New Georgia Project, to primarily register more black and Hispanic voters who would vote Democrat. Paid New Georgia Project activists supposedly were registering untold thousands of voters, but reports of fraud led Secretary of State Brian Kemp to attack the organization’s methods and even to file a lawsuit against it.
As prominent Democrats licked their wounds after Nov. 4 and compared notes, questions arose about the millions of dollars her non-profit raked in as well as all the donations that were funneled to attain lofty minority voter registration goals. Criticism by State Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, is typical: “We were kept in the dark, period. (We didn’t know) how much money was raised, who they paid to go out and do the work.”
Attempting to piece the whole complex puzzle together is an excellent investigative journalism piece by Max Blau of the left-leaning Creative Loafing newspaper. He penned an extensive investigation into the operations of the NGP last week and deserves kudos. It strips the bark off of Abrams’ secretive registration effort and her shady money-raising operations. Remember, Blau notes, that Abrams was demanding throughout the fall of 2014 “transparency” on the part of Kemp, who she accused of suppressing minority votes. Yet so far the liberal lawmaker has not been accountable to her party and, most of all, to her donors.
InsiderAdvantage research finds that the state attorney general could exercise a more forceful oversight and enforcement role over Abrams’ tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit, which is supposed to be prohibited by law from engaging in partisan activity. Several years ago Michigan’s attorney general, for example, used administrative subpoenas and the state’s charitable trust laws to ascertain whether the left-wing Ford Foundation was running a tight ship and whether or not it was adhering to “original donor intent.” New York, California and Massachusetts in recent years have also been aggressive with regard to non-profit abuse and illegalities by officers and paid employees.
Stay tuned whether Attorney General Sam Olens’ office is interested in untangling the tangled Abrams money web that Blau and other journalists are spotlighting.