The National Review got hold of a 144-page internal document drafted for the Michelle Nunn campaign in December. It includes plenty of juicy revelations on campaign strategy, including a potentially serious issue with a Points of Light connection to a charity that has ties to Hamas, which is now at war with Israel.
The revelation came from an internal examination of the nascent campaign's potential weaknesses and how Republicans could attack them.
Points of Light, through a service called MissionFish, helped validate thousands of charities for EBay users who wanted to auction items and donate the proceeds to a specific charity. One of those groups was Islamic Relief USA, which got $33,000 from individual donors through the Points of Light-validated system. Islamic Relief USA provides funds for emergency relief and other programs overseas. It has worked with the American Red Cross.
Islamic Relief USA states on its website that it "is an independent affiliate of Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Relief family of charities. We are completely separate legal entities that work together under the Islamic Relief Worldwide umbrella to provide aid." It also says it shares a "common mission, vision and family identity" with the other "Islamic Relief" groups.
The worldwide group is where the politically explosive Hamas connection comes.
Here's NRO's Eliana Johnson:
The Nunn campaign notes that Points of Light did not actually give the money -- even though it was listed for bookkeeping purposes on the non-profit's IRS forms -- but rather validated Islamic Relief USA as a legitimate charity for others to give to. And the campaign emphasized that the USA and Worldwide groups are legally separate.
Islamic Relief Worldwide "categorically denies any links with Hamas." Islamic Relief USA said the only project it worked on with the worldwide affiliate in 2012 was in the West Bank and it works with the U.N. in Gaza. According to a spokeswoman:
Nunn campaign manager Jeff DiSantis had this to say about the document as a whole:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.