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 P.O. Box 10882
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Financial Times

February 14, 2001

Avenue of the Americas:
OECD meets the XFL

If the pointy-headed tax experts at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development thought the countries they fingered as tax havens would simply roll over, they reckoned without the substantial figure of Andy Quinlan.

The 6ft, 250lb former amateur football player and inside-the-Beltway veteran is launching a counter-attack on those he calls "evil bureaucrats" with a team stuffed with his conservative buddies.

Quinlan, president of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, told a cheering audience in Panama - among 35 countries termed tax havens by the OECD - that he would take on the cosy, Paris-based club. "To use a football term, we don't just need to tackle them, we need to knock them down, grind them into the ground and hurt them."

He and his more scholarly sidekick, Dan Mitchell, who acts as CEO of the Alexandria, Virginia, centre when not working at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told the Panamanians they would dog the OECD's every move. "We already got thrown out of their meeting in Barbados. We like to call ourselves the truth squad," said Quinlan, who is leading the centre's Coalition for Tax Competition.

As the lobbying intensifies to have the new Bush administration halt the Clintonian attack on tax havens, Quinlan will call on the reserves to accomplish his goal. "Conservative groups will act together with other groups, like the National Rifle Association and church groups. We will have a huge letter-writing campaign to congressmen. There is nothing a member of Congress hates more than being asked about something he knows nothing about."

 

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