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Powerhouse GOP group snared in Alabama money scheme

POLITICO reports: Since the Republican State Leadership Committee burst into national politics, it's become one of the most influential outside players on the right: It spent tens of millions of dollars to flip state legislative chambers and redraw the congressional map in Republicans' favor -- and is poised to pump millions more this fall into locking down state capitals for the GOP.

But the group's swift ascent has not come without controversy -- or lingering legal hazard. At the height of its political emergence, the RSLC was implicated in a risky campaign finance scheme that an internal report warned could trigger "possible criminal penalties" and "ultimately threaten the organization's continued existence," according to a confidential document POLITICO obtained from a source.

The September 2011 report, prepared by the prominent Washington law firm BakerHostetler, was presented to an RSLC board then helmed by former Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie — RSLC’s chief financial rainmaker starting in 2010 and now a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Never disclosed until now, the document detailed an investigation into alleged misconduct by multiple RSLC officials during the crucial 2010 election cycle: It charged that national RSLC leaders conspired improperly with the leader of the Alabama Republican Party to use the RSLC as a pass-through for controversial Indian tribe donations, essentially laundering “toxic” money from the gaming industry by routing it out of state and then back into Alabama. -- Exclusive: Powerhouse GOP group snared in money scheme - Alexander Burns - POLITICO.com

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