Americans for Limited Government, the tax-exempt organization that bankrolled a series of controversial ballot initiatives this year, raised 99 percent of its $5.4 million in total contributions in 2005 from just three donors, the Center for Public Integrity has learned.
The number of ALG’s major donors in 2005, but not their identities, was disclosed in financial statements obtained by the Center.
New York political activist Howard Rich, the organization’s high-profile chairman, did not respond to the Center’s requests for information about ALG’s financial affairs, including a question about how much of his own money, if any, he has given to the group. Rich has repeatedly declined to disclose the identities of donors to ALG and eight other tax-exempt organizations that share common management.
Rich was recently described by The Wall Street Journal as “a publicity-shy, libertarian-leaning businessman who has become the go-to man for supporters of conservative ballot initiatives.”
The reliance of Americans for Limited Government on such a small number of big donors is at sharp variance with how the organization bills itself to journalists and to the public.
“Americans for Limited Government is funded by thousands of individuals from across the country,” the organization’s Web site says.