CREW Exposes Roots of Shadowy Group Aiming to Influence Latino Voters
Powerful special-interest groups in Washington attempted to buy one of California's Senate seats this year, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) discovered. Today, as a result of an extensive investigation, CREW released new information about the network of conservatives behind American Principles in Action's (APIA) Latino outreach initiative. As a result of the Citizens United decision, despite spending significant money on the race, the group never had to disclose its donors.
"The Citizens United decision is allowing obscure interest groups like APIA to create the illusion of a grassroots movement," said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. "This is straight out of Hollywood. 60 years ago, the Wizard of Oz told Dorothy not to pay any attention to the man behind the curtain, and now some of the richest people in America are asking us to do the same."
Created by conservative activist Robert George, APIA and its affiliate, the American Principles Project, has been involved in campaigns against same-sex marriage, sex education and immigration reforms. The group's key players have a history of creating grassroots campaigns behind social initiatives like California's initiative against gay marriage, while refusing to reveal who is footing the bill. In fact, APIA even went to court in Maine to avoid complying with state campaign finance disclosure laws - part of a pattern of evasiveness that CREW's research discovered.
APIA is based in Washington DC, and shares several leaders and the street address of a lobbying and public affairs firm with ties to many other conservative groups with connections to Mr. George.
"If Mr. George or Beltway activists have a problem with a candidate, they should come out and say so instead of hiding in the shadows and letting their money do the talking," said Ms. Sloan. "The American people have a right to know who is funding the groups influencing elections."
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Stephen Santulli at 202.408.5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.