Crooked Contractor Tried to Bring “Democracy” to Iran

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Knight-Ridder last night published new details about Mitchell Wade‘s “Iranian Democratization Foundation,” a non-profit he founded in 2004 that we first reported.

The group appears to have been a failed attempt to cadge U.S. funds for democracy-building. (I shudder to imagine what Wade’s lessons on democracy would cover.)

Wade, admitted briber of jailed former lawmaker Randy “Duke” Cunningham, formed the group with two pals. Behrooz Behbudi, a Canadian resident, was a big-money GOP donor and a former friend of the late shah of Iran. Sonny Lee, a New York real estate developer, also donated heavily to the Repubs.

From what the Knight-Ridder fellows found, the project never got off the ground. As Lee told the reporters, the project was stopped “after the government told us they would take care of that themselves.” No record of funds to the group could be found.

For more insight and analysis, check out Josh’s post on the topic.