Thursday, April 20, 2006

Swift Boat Contributions Floated To Foundations, Disney Resort

More than $342,000 in contributions made by Wisconsin residents and others to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have been donated to conservative foundations or used to pay for a meeting at Walt Disney World.

Swift Boat Veterans is a 527 group named after the IRS code that governs these unregulated electioneering groups that can collect and spend unlimited amounts of money.  They use most of their money on negative television and radio ads like the ones Swift Boat ran criticizing Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s war record during the 2004 elections.

In 2005 and the first quarter of 2006, the group raised only $2,300 but spent $782,541.

Swift Boat, which was co-founded by retired Admiral Roy F. Hoffman, raised $68,700 from Wisconsin residents in 2004.

Finance reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show Swift Boat contributed $100,000 on February 8, 2006 to an outfit called the Admiral Roy F. Hoffman Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia.  In 2005, the group donated $10,000 to Hoffman’s foundation, $100,000 to the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation and spent $132,087 on “meeting expenses” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

What Hoffman’s foundation is up to is a well-guarded secret.  The foundation has the same address as a business called Political Compliance Services, which Swift Boat and other conservative Republican groups use for consulting and complying with Federal Election Commission reporting requirements.  

Media reports and the telephone directory list Michael and Susan Arceneaux as company contacts, and an August 24, 2004 New York Times story revealed that Susan Arceneaux helped establish and run Swift Boat.

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