A Georgia voter registration group founded by failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams in 2013 has been embroiled in a hotbed of corruption allegations in the lead-up to Tuesday’s midterm elections, according to a report Friday.
The New Georgia Project — which was once helmed by Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock — fired its top financial, legal and operation officials in late June, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
“In 2020 alone, it raised nearly $25 million from donors including the left-wing dark money behemoth Tides Foundation and the George Soros-bankrolled Center for Popular Democracy,” the report said.
While they’re no longer formally affiliated with the organization, Abrams and Warnock — both of whom are on the ballot Tuesday — have maintained ties with the group’s leaders, including board chairman Francys Johnson.
A former executive who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Free Beacon that CFO Randall Frazier was fired “after warning the group’s leaders that they were engaged in potential financial impropriety.”
Shortly before he was axed, Frazier had urged the nonprofit organization to hire an independent forensic accountant to analyze potential fraud. Notably, Frazer said he couldn’t do his job without breaking the law.
“I was in the room when he brought it up to all the leadership again and again and again, and was there when he was fired,” the former official told the Free Beacon.
NEW: Stacey Abrams’s “poster child” voter registration group New Georgia Project is in turmoil just days ahead of the midterms.
— Andrew Kerr (@AndrewKerrNC) November 4, 2022
Another former official said in September that New Georgia Project’s CEO Kendra Cotton rejected her request to let an independent auditor review the group’s accounting software.
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Let this sink in: Two top executives claim they were fired after urging the left-wing organization to hire outside forensic accountants to ascertain if financial fraud was being committed by the nonprofit group, according to the report.
On June 17, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission filed a complaint accusing the New Georgia Project of failing to disclose more than $3 million in electioneering expenses and more than $4 million in political contributions it had pocketed between 2017 and 2019.
According to leaked texts and other internal communications, the group’s paranoid leaders didn’t want anyone to peruse their books, the report said.
As a reminder, nonprofit groups are required to be transparent about how they’re using their donations to reassure donors and the public that fraud isn’t being committed.
In an Aug. 30 text message viewed by the Free Beacon, Cotton sent this reply in response to a request from the group’s COO urging it to hire a new accountant: “We are HYPER SENSITIVE about who we let around our financial info.”
Employees were also warned in a text message Thursday that they were required to alert Cotton “immediately” if they were contacted by the media because talking to reporters was a violation of New Georgia Project policy.
New Georgia Project did not return our requests for comment.
But they did take the time yesterday afternoon to send a threatening text to employees warning that it’s a violation of company policies to talk to reporters. pic.twitter.com/HwTcWkUGID
— Andrew Kerr (@AndrewKerrNC) November 4, 2022
The Free Beacon said Frazier and Cotton declined to comment on the report.
The New Georgia Project is the third Abrams-founded group to be accused of financial impropriety.
In August, a state ethics panel “found probable cause that two nonprofit voting rights groups affiliated with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams illegally helped her in her first run for governor in 2018,” according to GBP News, an affiliate of left-wing NPR.
“Legal experts also raised questions about the finances of Abrams’s Fair Fight Action after the group doled out $9.4 million to a law firm run by Abrams’s current campaign chair, Allegra Lawrence-Hardy,” the Free Beacon reported.
The Abrams-founded Fair Fight PAC also forked over $178,000 to the friends and family of its political director, Andre Fields, even though they had no relevant political experience, according to a Fox News investigation.
As an example, Fields’ sister, Darius Faulk, received more than $120,000 for “training consultant services” since August 2021, according to Federal Election Commission records viewed by Fox News.
Faulk was previously a coach for Hofstra University’s women’s basketball team.
There are other examples of seemingly unqualified people who got paid lucrative amounts of money by Abrams-founded nonprofit groups.
However, those specific details are less important than the fact that political candidates should not be using campaign donations as personal slush funds to enrich themselves and their cronies.