Remember the IRS “scandal”? At least one tea party “dark money” group seems to have gone past a line somewhere and become exactly the sort of criminal political organization that the IRS and other law enforcement agencies are supposed to prevent.
In a sharply worded ruling, a federal judge in Montana said Tuesday that documents found inside a Colorado meth house pointing to possible election law violations will not be returned to the couple claiming the papers were stolen from one of their cars.
Instead, the thousands of pages will remain where they are – with a federal grand jury in Montana, investigating the dark money group American Tradition Partnership, once known as Western Tradition Partnership, or WTP.
The documents, detailed last fall in a Frontline documentary and in ProPublica coverage, point to possible illegal coordination between candidates and WTP, which since 2008 has worked to replace moderate Republicans with more conservative candidates in both Montana and Colorado. The documents, including a folder labeled “Montana $ Bomb,” provided the first real glimpse inside a dark money group. Such so-called social welfare nonprofits, which have poured more than $350 million into federal election ads in recent years, don’t have to disclose their donors.
The anti-government organizing principle always seeks to abolish its own regulatory agencies. The result, as with teapublicanism or unregulated toxic derivatives, is always a disaster. In the short run, people who excuse any crime in the spirit of Barry Goldwater’s “extremism in defense of liberty” may find great success. But in the longer karmic arc, that success eventually destroys them.
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