Thursday, June 22, 2006

Who is Howard Rich? pt. 4

Okay… so as you can probably guess, "123 LaSalle", "Fund for Democracy", "4220 Broadway", and "Bradford Management" share more than just a parking lot at 73 Spring St., New York, NY.

It turns out they have a lot more in common. At the center of all this southbound moolah is Libertarian multimillionaire Howard Rich, the "president" of Bradford Management and Fund for Democracy. His wife, Andrea, does her share of the housework by heading the other two mock organizations, 123 LaSalle and 4220 Broadway. And it is housework; the couple resides at 73 Spring St.

(Note: I wanted to find a picture of Andrea Rich and a journalist, but I couldn’t. So this one of her and John Stossel will have to do for now.)

At any rate, you might have read a blurb about Howard Rich in The State recently, from the article, Groups could sway voters:

“Through corporations set up in New York, Maryland, Texas and Georgia, a New York real estate developer named Howard Rich has contributed nearly $40,000 to Floyd and seven House challengers.

Rich is president of U.S. Term Limits and is a major sponsor of national school choice campaigns. He is also active in the libertarian Cato Institute.

Efforts to reach Rich were unsuccessful.”
Now’s as good a time as any to take a step back and recap what we’ve learned so far…

1. There’s a group deceptively named “Missourians in Charge” that - despite the name - isn’t very Missourian. It is actually bankrolled ($1.36 million so far) by Howard Rich via the Fund for Democracy, 73 Spring Street, New York, NY.

2. Three other Howard Rich intermediaries – 123 LaSalle, Bradford Management, and 4220 Broadway -- together funded 65% of the total amount of voucher lobby contributions to SC lawmakers in 2004.

3. Rich is still plowing money into South Carolina to buy a legislature that will pass Put Parents in Charge.

4. There’s a tax group called “South Carolinians for Responsible Government” which campaigns against opponents of vouchers, and won’t disclose its funding. SCRG purports to be a “grass-roots” organization, won’t provide a list of its members, and sadly cannot pronounce “South Carolinians” on its radio ads.

If you think Gervais is trying to suggest that Howard Rich holds the purse-strings of SCRG from his New York apartment -- well, I don't want to put too fine a point on it. Make of the facts what you will. All I'm saying is that Howard Rich holds the purse-strings of SCRG from his New York apartment.

There’s really only one question about the whole thing… Why all the bogus intermediaries? Why the “123 This” and “4220 That” and whatnot? If Howard Rich wants to bankroll fake-grassroots organizations and candidates he’s never met who'll buy into PPIC, why doesn’t he just do it under his own name?

That’s an easy one for those familiar with campaign contribution limits…but I’ll break it down for those simple minds who think $3500 is the maximum contribution someone can make to a candidate.

But we'll save that for tomorrow, when we find out just how much money one New York millionaire can give to a candidate for office here in South Carolina.

go to next Rich-related post


Rodney said...

D'oh! To be continued.

You better not break this over the weekend, I can't stand the dramatic build up for that long!

Anonymous said...

This sheds light on a telephone survey I received recently.

Is this the same Howard Rich of Rich's (now Macy's)?

Edisto Blowfish said...

Oh... I get it.

Another millionaire with high ideals from the North is again trying to "civilize" the so-called backward South. I'm not saying our schools don't need help -- but draining what little resources we have into some half-baked voucher program will not fix the "Corridor of Shame". Spending tax money WISELY within the public education system will.

And here's a shocker -- we might have to raise taxes to do it. That might be a burden in the short run -- but over the long haul it will lead to a better local economy, less unemployment, less crime, and all kinds of other benefits which would REDUCE our tax burden in other ways. Putting money into eduction pays for itself, but it is a long term investment and most of the goons at the statehouse can't see past the next election.

What I don't get is this:

Why all the sneaky tactics if it is such a FANTASTIC idea? (Besides the chock-full-'o holes donation limits...) Why not just come out front and say what you are about and where you are coming from, both geographically and socially? Why hide behind all the market-researched names for the groups that don't actually indicate what they are trying to do? Do they think the average Joe-Bob on the street doesn't see them for what they are -- reincarnated carpetbaggers? Only now they don't have to carpetbag down here on a train and get all sweaty -- they just stuff envelopes and spread cash to money hungry politicians from their NY apartments.

Keep up the good work Gervais!

Anonymous said...

Write this up and send it to EVERY newspaper in the state. The average joe thinks the voucher clan has his interests at heart...SC needs a wake-up call on this!

Scott Slatton said...

I'll bet Howard Rich doesn't even eat barbecue!

Anonymous said...

And, don't forget. US Term Limits published Sanford's book back when he left Congress, the Cato folk constantly promote him as a leader and praise his administration, and Sanford's highly-paid Washington consultants are drawn from US Term Limits.

STR said...

Let's see if we can get an audio interview with him on my website sometime

Anonymous said...

The 10 people who read this blog are still waiting for the part where any of these allegations are illegal...oh wait, even if they are true, the donations are all legal under SC ethics law.

Anonymous said...

Response to last message:

Joshua: Methinks thou dost protest too much!

Anonymous said...

Legal or illegal...what difference does it make? It still doesn't pass the smell test. If all of this is above board, why the shell organizations with misleading names? How can a group called South Carolinians for Responsible Government be almost wholly funded by people from outside the state? Why not call it "New Yorkers meddling with South Carolina?"

w said...

Hey, what is Fine Urban Rituals LLC? Cause it's at 73 Spring St. as well, according to this internship position available.

And what is Soho pictures? They are at 73 Spring St, according to the new york yellow pages. here's their website. not much to it. just a link to e-mail someone.

How many businesses is this guy running out of his apartment? must be a pretty large apartment. Is there more than one spring st. in new york? I would think it would get crowded with all those piles of money and the unpaid interns running around.

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