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“Cause of Action, a non-profit government accountability watchdog group, wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder and asked him to investigate the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant program in depth, because “it appears that many grantees used grant dollars to lobby state and local officials for the creation of new taxes and other legislation.”

Contrary to dismissive statements made by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, this is against the law. Sebelius asserted that it’s only illegal when federal grant money is used to lobby the federal government, but in fact, it is illegal for such funds “to be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner… [a] jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law ratification, policy, or appropriation.”

Cause of Action gave the Attorney General a few examples of clear violations to get him started….”