Tea Party and the Right  
comments_image Comments

Documents Show Hollywood Right-Wingers Like Gary Sinise Were Acting Shady About Their Political Donations

A secretive group called Friends of Abe indulges in some questionable behavior.

Continued from previous page


FOA even used the allure of nonprofit status to sell tables at an August 2012 dinner with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, comedian Dana Carvey, and country star Larry Gatlin. Yes, these odd ducks all appeared together ... welcome to the surreal world that is Friends of Abe.

Further inside scoops about Friends of Abe are detailed in the upcoming book, Republican Party Animal: The ‘Bad Boy of Holocaust History’ Blows the Lid Off of Hollywood’s Secret Right-Wing Underground (Feral House), which tells the story of the rise of “David Stein,” who became a preeminent West Coast GOP organizer and Friends of Abe activist, only to be outed by an ex-girlfriend (and FOA member) as having been the notorious “Jewish Holocaust denier” David Cole back in the early 1990s. 

When the story of the Friends of Abe/IRS feud broke, Cole/Stein forwarded to us documents proving that FOA had been raising money with a false claim of 501(c)(3) status at least three years before they bullied the IRS into actually giving it to them. FOA was running a scam, a scam that the IRS, pilloried by Fox News accusations of “targeting” conservatives, was apparently willing to overlook when it granted the status for real last week.

Far from being victims, FOA was perpetrating a fraud, probably an illegal one.

There is also evidence that Sinise was funneling FOA money through his supposed “veterans” charity. According to the site CitizenAudit.org, in 2010, when Sinise got approval for his own nonprofit, the Gary Sinise Foundation, he listed “Abe’s Pal” as a secondary DBA. “Abe’s Pal” was the name through which FOA solicited money.

In the Sinise Foundation’s filings with the IRS, it lists its very specific goals: “To serve the nation by honoring our defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need,” adding that the nonprofit will provide “relief for wounded warriors, entertainment for service members and their families, school supplies for children where U.S. troops are deployed, and scholarships for veterans.”

If Sinise was indeed funneling money from a partisan GOP organization through his foundation, that may very well be another instance of criminal activity, along with the fraudulent claim that FOA had 501(c)(3) status.  

Boreing’s claim that FOA has no political objective and engages in no political advocacy is torpedoed by emails from Sinise and the FOA main office. According to source David Cole/Stein, outright solicitations for donations by politicians were generally kept out of FOA emails and reserved for the secret meetings, FOA did indeed send out an email on September 16, 2010 (less than two months before the midterm elections), asking members to visit the “Young Guns” GOP PAC fundraising website. In the email, FOA unambiguously stated, “America is standing at a critical crossroads, and Young Guns candidates give America the best opportunity to move our country in the right direction.”

A September 9, 2010 email from FOA invited members to an event co-sponsored by the California Republican Party and the Hollywood Congress of Republicans. The event was titled “A conservative’s guide to getting involved in the 2010 political process.” It was held at Galpin Ford in North Hills, California.

FOA claims not to have a political bent, but a look at some of the speakers who appeared during David Cole/Stein’s five-year tenure with the group might suggest otherwise. Between summer 2009 and April 2013, the speakers included Ann Coulter, GOP governor Scott Walker, Rush Limbaugh, Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, former GOP Senator Jim DeMint, anti-immigration Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Antonin Scalia, Dennis Prager, Paul Ryan, GOP Governor Brian Sandoval, Rick Santorum, Mark Levin, Charles Krauthammer, GOP Congressman Darrell Issa, Herman Cain, GOP Congressman Allen West, Dick Cheney, GOP Senator Marco Rubio, GOP Governor Tim Pawlenty, GOP Congressman Mike Rogers, GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Karl Rove, David Horowitz, GOP Congressman Thad McCotter, John Boehner, conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt, conservative talk-show host Larry Elder, Newt and Callista Gingrich, GOP Congressmen Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, GOP Governor Rick Perry, Liz Cheney, GOP Senator John Thune, GOP pollster Frank Luntz, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, GOP Senator Mark Kirk, and conservative columnist Shelby Steele.

See more stories tagged with: