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Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters
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Democracy Alliance Does America: The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State Chapters

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Published on

Four years ago the Democratic …

Four years ago the Democratic
Party was in disarray after failing to reclaim
the White House and Congress despite record
contributions by high-dollar donors.
George Soros and other wealthy liberals
decided they had the answer to the party’s
problems. They formed a secretive donors’
collaborative to fund a permanent political
infrastructure of nonprofi t think tanks, media
outlets, leadership schools, and activist
groups to compete with the conservative
movement. Called the Democracy Alliance
(DA), Soros and his colleagues put their imprimatur
on the party and the progressive
movement by steering hundreds of millions
of dollars to liberal nonprofi ts they favored.
The Democracy Alliance helped Democrats
give Republicans a shellacking in November.
Now it’s organizing state-level chapters
in at least 19 states, and once-conservative
Colorado, which hosts the Democracy Alliance’s
most successful state affi liate, has
turned Democrat blue. Moreover, the DAfunded
“Secretary of State Project” has
helped elect the chief electoral offi cials in
nine states. Critics worry that a secretary
of state sympathetic to the aims of ACORN,
the radical community organizing group,
will open to door to vote fraud.

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  • 1. The Democracy Alliance Does America:The Soros-Founded Plutocrats’ Club Forms State ChaptersCONTENTSDecember 2008The Democracy AllianceDoes AmericaPage 1Philanthropy NotesPage 12By Matthew Vadum and James DellingerDemocracy Alliance financier George Soros spoofed: This is a screen grab from theOct. 4 “Saturday Night Live.” In front row from left to right, Kristen Wiig as HouseSpeaker Nancy Pelosi, Will Forte as Soros, and Fred Armisen as Rep. Barney Frank.The wealthy liberals who are membersof the DemocracyAlliance (DA), thefinancial clearinghouse that aims tomoveAmericapermanentlytotheleft,areal-waysafraidofsomething.TheirgreatestfearusedtobeGeorgeW.Bush.ButnowtheyareafraidthattheDemocraticvictorylastmonthcouldweakentheresolveofself-styled“pro-gressives.” They worry that complacencyand fatalism threaten the progressive senseof mission and their long-term prospects todestroy conservatism and the conservativemovement. When the Democracy Alliancewas founded in early 2005, members said ina survey that their greatest fear was that theirorganization might not survive a Democratwinning theWhite House. Over the next twoyearstheywillbegintofindoutiftheAllianceis becoming a victim of its own success.Democracy Alliance leaders and their mostvisible funder, George Soros, haven’t saidmuch publicly on the Democratic Party’striumph at the polls. But on November 12theymetbehindcloseddoorsinWashington,Summary: Four years ago the DemocraticParty was in disarray after failing to reclaimthe White House and Congress despite re-cord contributions by high-dollar donors.George Soros and other wealthy liberalsdecided they had the answer to the party’sproblems. They formed a secretive donors’collaborative to fund a permanent politicalinfrastructure of nonprofit think tanks, me-dia outlets, leadership schools, and activ-ist groups to compete with the conservativemovement. Called the Democracy Alliance(DA), Soros and his colleagues put their im-primatur on the party and the progressivemovement by steering hundreds of millionsof dollars to liberal nonprofits they favored.The Democracy Alliance helped Democratsgive Republicans a shellacking in Novem-ber. Now it’s organizing state-level chaptersin at least 19 states, and once-conservativeColorado, which hosts the Democracy Al-liance’s most successful state affiliate, hasturned Democrat blue. Moreover, the DA-funded “Secretary of State Project” hashelped elect the chief electoral officials innine states. Critics worry that a secretaryof state sympathetic to the aims of ACORN,the radical community organizing group,will open to door to vote fraud.D.C., according to Marc Ambinder of theAtlantic. It’s safe to say they are planningtheir next moves.Since at least 2006 DA members and staffhave been quietly working to franchise theiroperations at the state level. The Alliance(Editor’s note: This special report on theDemocracy Alliance updates our January2008 and December 2006 issues of Foun-dation Watch.)
  • 2. 2 December 2008FoundationWatchEditor: Matthew VadumPublisher: Terrence ScanlonFoundation Watchis published by Capital ResearchCenter, a non-partisan education andresearch organization, classified bythe IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity.Address:1513 16th Street, N.W.Washington, DC 20036-1480Phone: (202) 483-6900Long-Distance: (800) 459-3950E-mail Address:mvadum@capitalresearch.orgWeb Site:http://www.capitalresearch.orgOrganization Trends welcomes let-ters to the editor.Reprints are available for $2.50 pre-paid to Capital Research Center.created a Committee on States which aimsto put a state-level Democracy Alliance inall 50 states. Its greatest success to date isColorado, where a DA chapter helped turnthat state Democrat blue. The Alliance alsofunds the Secretary of State Project, whichaims to put Democrats in control of the elec-tions apparatus in “key” states.Following the MoneyHow much grant-making to liberal groupshas the Democracy Alliance facilitated?It’s not easy to say. First, the Alliance isextremely secretive. Second, it doesn’tgenerally handle grant monies directly, butacts as a clearinghouse matching causes towilling donors. Unless evidence surfacesthat money was funneled through the Alli-ance,who’stosayanindividualDAmemberdidn’t make a grant to a group on his or herown initiative?LastmonthareportertoldFoundationWatchthat a Democracy Alliance spokespersontold him the DAhas brokered a total of only$105 million in grants to date. This is only$5 million more than we reported 11 monthsago.DemocracyAlliancefounderRobSteintold a Democratic Party national conventionpanel discussion inAugust that theAlliance“over the last 30 months has put about $110million into 30 groups.”Since theAlliance had been in existence for43 months –not 30 months— when Steinmade the statement, neither amount tellsthe whole story.In an August 15 Huffington Post columnAlliance member Simon Rosenberg notedthat the total dollar value of DA-approvedgrants was significantly higher. Rosenberg,the founder of the 501(c)(4) New DemocratNetwork (now called simply NDN), wrotethat the Alliance has already “channeledhundreds of millions of dollars into progres-sive organizations.”In November 2007, Alliance membersGeorge Soros, Rob McKay, Anna Burger,andtheCenterforAmericanProgress’sJohnPodesta helped form the Fund for America,a 527 group. Roll Call predicted (Nov. 12,2007) that the new entity could pump “per-haps $100 million or more into media buysand voter outreach in the run-up to the 2008elections.” But Alliance donors pulled backafter the Fund fell short of its goal and wasdisbanded by June 2008, a victim of thelengthy Obama-Clinton primary fight andObama campaign signals that it did not wantitssupportersgivingtoanyoutside527groupnotunderitscontrol.(NewYorkTimes“TheCaucus” blog, June 26)Beforeitdisbandedthe527fundedanumberofleft-of-centerpoliticalorganizations.Theyinclude the Campaign to Defend America($1.4 million), America Votes, VoteVets.org,AmericansUnitedforChange,ACORN,Center for American Progress Action Fund,Women’sVoices,WomenVoteActionFund,and Progress NowAction and some of its af-filiates. The Fund’s address was identical totheServiceEmployeesInternationalUnion’sWashingtonheadquarters,anditreimbursedSEIU for staff and office expenses.The fundtookin$3.5millionfromSoros,$2.5millionfrom SEIU, $2.5 million from Hollywoodproducer Steve Bing, and $1 million fromhedge fund executive Donald Sussman.TheAlliancecreatedaninternalbureaucracyto deal with grants. Last summer, the DAposted a “Letter of Interest” form on itswebsite inviting grant applications fromprogressive nonprofits for the 2009/2010giving cycle. The form, since scrubbedfrom the site, showed that the Alliance hasa special interest in sustaining certain kindsof organizations.This list usefully describeswhat DA funders consider the priorities forthe 21st century left:*Building power and capacity inkey constituencies: engagement andissue advocacy work with key con-stituencies, primarily Latinos andyoung people, as well as AfricanAmericans and unmarried women.* New media and technol-ogy: content generators, aggrega-tors and distributors that disseminateand amplify progressive messages.*Lawandlegalsystems:workingtoad-vanceandprotectprogressivevaluesandpolicies at all levels of the legal system.* Early stage idea generators: focus-ing on progressive idea generationand development at the early andmiddle stages of the idea cycle in-cluding journals, academic networks,books, and non-traditional think tanks.* Content generation: focusing ontraditional and new media vehiclesthat are capable of developing and ef-fectively promoting progressive ideas.* Civic engagement coordination:achieving greater efficiency and effec-tivenessinmobilizationandparticipationwork through collaboration and coordi-nation and creating economies of scale.* Civic engagement tools: increas-ing capacity and availability of dataservices, including online organizingservices for civic engagement groups.* Election reform: focusing on struc-tural reforms of our democratic processthat will increase voter participationamong progressive constituencies.* Youth leadership development:building on the youth developmentpart of the leadership pipeline thatincludes looking for organizations tar-geting young people that work at scale.* Mid-career nonprofit leadershipdevelopment:buildingonthemid-careerdevelopment part of the leadership pipe-line that includes looking for organiza-tions working at scale.Clearly, donor support is needed for writingbooks,startingthinktanks,winningelectionsandchanginglaws.Butwhat’sstrikingaboutthis list is the philanthropic left’s emphasison young people, new media, and onlineorganizing.What is the Democracy Alliance?During a panel discussion at the DemocraticNational Convention in Denver in August,
  • 3. 3December 2008FoundationWatchDemocracy Alliance founder Rob Steinexplained the simple truth behind the Alli-ance’s mission: It was crucial to control theWhite House. According to a recording ofthat August 27 meeting Stein explained:The reason it is so important to controlgovernmentisbecausegovernmentisthesourceofenormouspower.Onepresidentin this country, when he or she takes of-fice, appoints 2 million people—I mean,I’m sorry—appoints 5,000 people to runa bureaucracy, non-military non-postalservice of 2 million people, who hire 10million outside outsource contractors—a workforce of 12 million people—thatspends 3 trillion dollars a year. Thatnumber is larger than the gross domesticproduct of all but four countries on theface of the earth.TheAlliancehasbeenaroundforalmostfouryears now. It was born out of the frustrationof wealthy liberals who gave generously toliberal candidates and 527 political com-mittees, but received no electoral payoff in2004. George Soros, Progressive Insurancechairman Peter B. Lewis, and S&L tycoonsHerb and Marion Sandler were angry anddiscouraged after contributing to the MediaFund, which spent $57 million on TV adsattacking President Bush in swing statesand to America Coming Together whichspent $78 million on get out the vote efforts.They had been seduced by the siren songof pollsters and the mainstream media whopromised them John Kerry would trouncethe incumbent president. Other wealthyDemocratic donors felt the same way. “TheU.S. didn’t enter World War II until Japanbombed Pearl Harbor,” political consultantErica Payne told them. “We just had ourPearl Harbor.”In April 2005, 70 millionaires and billion-aires met in Phoenix, Arizona, for a secretlong-term strategy session. Three quartersof the members at the meeting agreed thatthe Alliance should not “retain close ties tothe Democratic Party,” and 84% thought theconservativemovementwas“afundamentalthreat to the American way of life.”Former Clinton administration official RobSteintoldthegatheringtheyneededtoreflectonhowconservativeshadspentfourdecadesinvesting in ideas and institutions with stay-ing power. Stein showed his PowerPointpresentation on condition they keep it con-fidential.Called“TheConservativeMessageMachine’s Money Matrix,” Stein showedgraphs and charts of an intricate networkof organizations, funders, and activists thatcomprisedwhathesaidwastheconservativemovement.“Thisisperhapsthemostpotent,independent,institutionalizedapparatuseverassembled in a democracy to promote onebelief system,” Stein said.Stein believed the left could not competeelectorally because it was hopelessly out-gunned by the right’s think tanks, legaladvocacy organizations, and leadershipschools.Steinfailedtomentiontheuniversi-ties, big foundations and mainstream mediaas adjuncts of the political left.SteinfeltDemocratshadgrownaccustomedto thinking of themselves as the naturalmajority party. The party had become atop-down organization run by professionalpoliticians untroubled by donors’concerns.He was convinced the party had to beturned upside-down: Donors should fund anideological movement to dictate policies topoliticians. Activists with new money andnewenergyshoulddemandmoresayinpartyaffairs.SaidEliPariserofthegroupMoveOn.org: “Now it’s our party: we bought it, weown it, and we’re going to take it back.”DemocraticdonorsaggravatedbytheGOP’selectoralsuccesslatchedontoStein’svision.“The new breed of rich and frustrated left-ists”sawthemselvesasoppressedbothby“aRepublican conspiracy” and “by their ownparty and its insipid Washington establish-ment,” writes journalist Matt Bai, author ofThe Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers, andthe Battle to Remake Democratic Politics.“This, more than anything else, was whatdrew them to Rob Stein’s presentation,”writes Bai.Stein’spresentationwonconvertsandin2005the DemocracyAlliance was born. It was anodd name for a loose collection of super-richdonors committed to building organizationsthat would propel America to the left.The Alliance is becoming what leftist blog-ger Markos Moulitsas of DailyKos famecalled for in 2005: “A vast, Vast Left WingConspiracy to rival” the conservative move-ment. It relies less on traditional DemocraticParty “machine” politics, which typicallydraws upon fat cats, institutions (the partyitself, labor unions), and single-issue advo-cacy groups (pro-abortion rights groups, theNational Education Association and otherteacher unions). Although it is officiallynonpartisan, the DA has cultivated deepand extensive ties to the Democratic Partyestablishment.Democracy Alliance founder Rob Stein at a November 2006 panel discussion at theHudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal
  • 4. 4 December 2008FoundationWatchMembers, who are called “partners,” pay aninitial$25,000feeand$30,000inyearlyduesandmustpledgetogiveatleast$200,000an-nually to groups that the Alliance endorses.Partners meet two times a year. The Alli-ance discourages partners from discussingDA affairs with the media, and it requiresits grant recipients to sign nondisclosureagreements.The Alliance’s board is a microcosm of themodernleft.InthetoprungsareRobMcKay,a limousine liberal,Anna Burger, a labor ac-tivist, and Drummond Pike, a peacenik fromthe 1960s. Taco Bell heir McKay was bornin conservative Orange County, Calif., andhis parents were Republicans. The DA vicechairmanisAnnaBurger,sometimesknownas the “Queen of Labor.” She is secretary-treasurer of the militant SEIU and chairmanof Change to Win, theAFL-CIO breakawaylaborfederation.DrummondPike,founderoftheultra-liberalTidesFoundation,istheDA’streasurer.Pikewasrecentlyinthenewswhenitwasrevealedthathepersonallycontributedover$700,000tohelppayback$948,000em-bezzledfromtheradicalgroupACORN.Thetheft was committed by the brother of Pike’sclose friendWade Rathke, who isACORN’sfounder. Pike’s actions were an attempt tohelp Rathke cover up a scandal that wouldhavedamagedthegoodreputation(anddonorsupport)ACORNenjoysamongleftistactiv-ists. (For more onACORN, see FoundationWatch and Labor Watch, November 2008.)Organizing the StatesDespite founder Rob Stein’s promise twoyears ago to make the Democracy Alliancemore transparent, the group reveals littleabout its membership or their contribu-tions. But since our most recent FoundationWatch profile of the group in January, wehave learned that the group has big plansfor the future.Stein has been working to create state-levelDemocracyAlliancesacrossthecountry.OneisalreadyopenlyoperatinginColorado,andpossiblyinotherstates.InAugust,duringtheDemocrats’ national convention in Denver,Stein touted the Democracy Alliance, tell-ing participants at a panel discussion that noorganization “has done more in the last fouryears to help build the 30 or so organizationsthat help form the core of what is happeningall around the country.”At the convention, Stein said DA’s “Com-mitteeonStates”project“ishelping18-otherstates beyond Colorado try to get up toColorado’s level of sophistication and or-ganizationaldevelopment.”Headded,“overthenextcoupleofyearsalotofdevelopmentis going to happen.”Stein complimented leaders of the ColoradoDemocracy Alliance (CoDA) which startedup in 2006. With little national attention andlessmoney,CoDAhadhelpedColoradoturnfrom red to blue in just a few short years.Of CoDA, which until recently operatedunder the radar, Stein said:In the absolutely finest form of flattery,the Weekly Standard, which is the mostrespected conservative-right opinionjournal in the country, did a coverstory about a month ago, written by FredBarnes,ontheColoradoModel.AnditisawarningshottoconservativesinAmerica,that if the Colorado Model is replicatedelsewhere, conservatives have nothingcomparable to possibly compete with itand they had better watch out.In the July 21 article, Barnes recounted howin January 2008 “a ‘confidential’ memofrom a Democratic political consultantoutlined an ambitious scheme for spending$11.7 million in Colorado this year to crushRepublicans.” The goal was to “[l]ock inDemocratic control of Colorado for yearsto come.” The memo by Democratic strate-gist Dominic DelPapa was first reported bythe Rocky Mountain News on Jan. 29 andused the phrase, “Define Schaffer/Foot onThroat.” Wealthy liberal donors in the statewould need to come up with $5.1 million todefeattheGOP’sU.S.Senatecandidate,BobSchaffer,and$2.6milliontooustincumbentRep. Marilyn Musgrave.It worked, at least in this election cycle. OnNov. 4, the Democrats’ Mark Udall won by10% picking up the Republican-held SenateseatthatSchaffersought.Musgravetoowentdown in flames, beaten by newcomer BetsyMarkey by a margin of 13%.The legal status of the Committee on Statesis unclear. It is housed in the Service Em-ployeesInternationalUnion(SEIU)buildingin Washington, D.C. A May want-ad on jobwebsiteidealist.orgforaprojectcoordinatordescribes the Committee as “a not-for-profitorganization that encourages and supportsthestrengtheningofsustainable,state-basedprogressive political networks across thecountry.”Alliance member Anne Bartley, a trustee ofthe Rockefeller Brothers Fund, helped cre-ate the Committee. Bartley, a step-daughterof the late Arkansas governor WinthropRockefeller, one of the Rockefeller broth-ers, is married to Larry B. McNeil, a formerSaulAlinsky organizer for 25 years. McNeilis now director of the SEIU-sponsoredInstitute for Change, a leadership trainingfoundation.DA’s“investmentservices”consultantFrankSmith, a former assistant district attorney inBoston,co-managestheCommitteeonStatesproject.KellyCraighead,managingdirectorof the Democracy Alliance, explained thatthe intention is “to build infrastructure, bothat the national level and at the state level,but also to build the sustainable progressivemajorities.”Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wiscon-sin Too?Through its Committee on States, the De-mocracyAlliance may have already openedbranches in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio,and Wisconsin too. Grant data indicate DAmembers are heavily involved in financingDemocrats in all four states. At the Demo-cratic convention, Frank Smith said:We’vealsohadacoupleofotherprojectsthat grew out of DA work this year, thatwe’re funding organizations like Work-ing America, which has got a door todoor membership canvass in states likeColorado, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin,in those states where we’ve got to getto those constituencies on economicissues and to convince them that fourmore years of Republican ruin is goingto, what, what that’s going to mean fortheir lives. So there is a big program inthesecrucialstates,it’sjustunder-fundedat this point.It could be that the national Alliance issupporting existing state groups until it canestablish its own branches in those states.
  • 5. 5December 2008FoundationWatchInMichigan,Colorado-basedAlliancemem-ber Pat (Patricia) Stryker and her billionairebrother Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, Mich.,havegivenmillionsofdollarstoDemocraticcandidates and the Michigan Coalition forProgress, an independent left-wing politicalaction committee. Since 2006, Patricia hasgiven $500,000 to the Coalition and Jon hasgiven $8,697,827, according to Michigan’scampaign finance database. Jon has given$755,230 to the Democratic State CentralCommittee and $50,000 to the GranholmLeadership Fund, an independent PAC forDemocratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.Other Alliance members have been writingchecksforMichigantoo.GeorgeSorosgave$10,000tothe21stCenturyDemocratsPACin2006and$3,400toGranholm’scampaignin2005.In2006PeterB.Lewis,gave$65,000to the Democratic Legislative CampaignCommittee (DLCC), an independent PACand $3,400 to Granholm’s campaign. Debo-rah Rappaport gave $100,000 to the DLCCin 2006. Rutt Bridges gave Granholm’scampaign $1,000 in 2006.In Minnesota, DA members Tim Gill andPat Stryker gave $300,000 and $100,000,respectively, in 2006, to the liberal Alliancefor a Better Minnesota, a 501(c)(4) pressuregroup. Two state SEIU funds gave a totalof $105,000 in 2005 and 2006 to the group.Soros gave $10,000 to the Minnesota DFL(Democrat)StateCentralCommitteein2006,and $200,000 to the Minnesota chapter ofAmerica Votes, an approved DA grantee,the same year.In Ohio, Progress Ohio, a 501(c)(4) affiliateof Progress Now, has been funded by theDemocracy Alliance. Since Progress Ohiowas created in 2006, “affiliates based on thesame model have sprouted in seven otherstates: Courage Campaign (CA); ProgressFlorida; Progress Michigan; Alliance for aBetterMinnesota;ClearlyNewMexico;FuseWashingtonandOneWisconsinNow,”NPRreports. Progress Now aspires to be activein 25 states by 2012.The Alliance’s vehicle in Wisconsin maybe Advancing Wisconsin, a political ac-tion committee. In the 2008 election cycleit received donations from the Fund forAmerica ($230,000) and SEIU WisconsinState Council (at least $13,120). The groupalso received funds from DA-approvedgrantee America Votes, which in turn hasreceived donations from Alliance membersPat Stryker and Peter B. Lewis.The “Colorado Model”What is this “Colorado Model” that journal-ist Fred Barnes writes “if copied in otherstates, has the potential to produce sweep-ing Democratic gains nationwide”? Thisapproach, he says,depends partly on wealthy liberals’spending tons of money not only on“independentexpenditures”toattackRe-publicanoffice-seekersbutalsotocreatea vast infrastructure of liberal organiza-tions that produces an anti-Republican,anti-conservative echo chamber in poli-tics and the media.“Colorado is being used as a test bed for aswarm offense by Democrats and liberalsto put conservatives and Republicans ondefense as much as possible,” says formerColorado Republican state senator JohnAndrews,whofoundedtheIndependenceIn-stitute, the state’s free-market think-tank.Barnes explains that the Democrats’ pushin Colorado has its origins in 2004 whenColoradoStateUniversitypresidentAlYatesgottogetherwithheiressPatStryker,technol-ogy entrepreneur Jared Polis, and softwaretycoons Tim Gill and Rutt Bridges. (Allexcept for Polis are known DA members.)That year the group quietly spent $2 milliontargeting Republican state lawmakers, andfor the first time in 44 years, Democratswon majorities in both the state senate andhouse. In 2006, Gill and Stryker spent $7.5million to elect a Democratic governor, andCampaign Donations Favored Democrats in 2008In 2008, Democrats didn’t need help from the DemocracyAlliance, which was free to focus on its long-term mission of buildinga progressive infrastructure. The party out-raised Republicans in the presidential and congressional races. All Democraticpresidential candidates raised $889 million compared to Republicans’ $640 million. Barack Obama raised $639 million com-pared to McCain’s $360 million, according to the FEC’s Oct. 27 figures. MoveOn.org claims to have steered an astounding$88 million to Obama’s campaign. In Senate races, Democrats raised $194 million compared to Republicans’ $178 million. InHouse races, Democrats raised $478 million versus Republicans’ $400 million. (opensecrets.org, FEC data as of Nov. 6)Corporate America leaned left in 2008. Businesses gave all Democratic candidates $886 million compared to $728 million toRepublicans. That a 55% to 45% split in favor of Democrats. Labor gave $54 million to Democrats versus les than $5 millionto Republicans. That’s a 91% to 8% split in favor of Democrats. (opensecrets.org, FEC data as of Oct. 27) Corporations andlabor unions, which cannot give directly to political parties or candidates to federal office, may make unlimited contributionsto 527s. The only (wink wink) restriction: the law forbids political parties and 527s from “coordinating” their activities.Of the top corporate and labor union donors to ostensibly non-partisan 527 committees that filed disclosure reports withthe IRS, four were on the left:The Service Employees International Union ($31 million), followed by the American Federation of State, County, andMunicipal Employees ($5.6 million), Soros Fund Management ($5.1 million), and Steven Bing’s Shangri-La Entertain-ment $4.8 million. Number five was Las Vegas Sands ($4.4 million), whose namesake hotel is owned by conservativebusinessman Sheldon Adelson. SEIU also topped the list in the 2006 cycle, donating $33 million. (opensecrets.org, IRSrecords as of Oct. 21)
  • 6. 6 December 2008FoundationWatchin 2008, Schaffer and Musgrave fell to theprogressive juggernaut.With last month’s election, the state willhave two Democratic senators and five outof the state’s seven House members will beDemocrats. In 1998, the state had two Re-publican senators and four of the six Housemembers were GOP, as well as the governorand both houses in the state legislature. Hereis another measure of Democratic success:in 2000 George W. Bush won the state by9%. In 2004 he won by 5%. But in 2008RepublicanJohnMcCaingarneredonly44%of the state’s popular vote compared to 53%for Democrat Obama.Eric O’Keefe, who heads the conservativeChicago-based Sam Adams Alliance, saysthere are seven “capacities” that are neededto advance a political strategy and keep itmovingforward.AsBarnesexplainsit,thosecapacities are 1) “to generate intellectualammunition,” 2) “to pursue investigations,”3) “to mobilize for elections,” 4) to combatmediabias,5)tosuestrategically,6)“totrainnew leaders,” and 7) “to sustain a presencein the new media.”Left-wingersinColoradonowhaveallseven,Barnessays.Thereareliberalthinktanks:theBighorn Center for Public Policy (foundedby Rutt Bridges – but now reportedly de-funct) and the Bell Policy Center (recipientof $150,000 from the Gill Foundation since2005 and $10,000 from the Rutt BridgesFamily Foundation in 2004). A MoveOn.orgactivistspin-offcalledProgressNowAc-tion.org was formed in 2005.And ColoradoMedia Matters, a spin-off of David Brock’sliberalwatchdogMediaMattersforAmerica,was formed in 2006 to pressure journalistsand editorial writers into being even moreliberal.Colorado Ethics Watch, was created in2006 to handle so-called public interestlitigation. Its parent in the nation’s capital,Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics inWashington (CREW), serves as a financialconduit, accepting donations designated forthe Colorado entity. The Gill Foundationgave CREW $100,000 in 2006 earmarkedfor its Colorado arm.An online media outlet, the Colorado In-dependent, was also launched in 2006. ItrelentlesslyattacksRepublicansandisasub-sidiary of the leftist Center for IndependentMedia. The parent group acknowledges onits website that it has received grants fromthe Gill Foundation, Service Employees In-ternationalUnion(SEIU),andSoros’sOpenSociety Institute. Other donors to the Colo-rado Independent include the Sagner Fam-ily Foundation (as in DA member DeborahSagner) which in 2006 gave $6,000 throughthe Tides Center. Other Colorado-specificliberal websites include ColoradoPols.comand SquareState.net.There’s a Colorado chapter of the Center forProgressiveLeadership,whichprovideslib-eralleadershipbootcamps.Theparententityreceived$16,420fromtheGillFoundationin2006 and $50,000 from the Susie TompkinsBuell Foundation (whose namesake is a DAmember) in 2007.By coordinating these seven prongs theColoradoModeldrivespoliticaldiscussionsand media coverage in the state. “Build anechochamberandthemedialapsitup,”saysJon Caldara, president of the IndependenceInstitute.Behind the CoDA CurtainAt the August 27 meeting in Denver, Lau-rie Hirschfeld Zeller, executive director ofColorado Democracy Alliance, threw somelight on her state-level spinoff. She saidCoDA’s job is “to build a long-term progres-sive infrastructure in Colorado, while we’reconcedingnothingintheshortterm,intermsof progressive goals at the ballot box.”An internal memo published on the DenverPost website laid out the levels of CoDAmembership. “Tier I” members commit togive at least $100,000 directly to CoDA-approved groups, participate in internalgovernance, and pay $12,000 in annualmembershipdues.“TierII”memberscommitto give at least $25,000 directly to approvedgroups and pay annual membership dues of$2,000. Institutional members must give atleast $400,000 a year directly to approvedgroups and pay $12,000 in annual dues.A confidential memo dated Oct. 3. 2006published by the Denver Post identified the“board of directors and founding members”asRuttBridges,TomCongdon,DougPhelps,Tim Gill, Bruce Oreck, Linda Shoemaker,andPatStryker.Othernamedboardmemberswere David Friedman, Judi Wagner, ButchWeaver, Kimbal Musk, Rob Katz, and JohnHuggins.InstitutionalmembersnamedwereColorado Education Association (CEA),SEIU, AFL-CIO, and Colorado Trial Law-yers Association (CTLA)AttheDemocraticconvention,Zellerlaudedtheworkofseveralgroupsthathavereceivedfunding from CoDA. America Votes, saidZeller, coordinates the work of 37 memberadvocacyorganizationsrepresenting“almostaquarterofamillionColoradomembersanda reach into the activist community that’scrucial for achieving both electoral goalsand progressive change over time.”She also hailed New Era Colorado for being“youthvoteoriented”and“focusedonreallyinnovative uses of technology, of commu-nications, and different ways of activatingyouth, particularly non-college youth.”ZellerpraisedtheBellPolicyCenterforstud-ies that supported increased state spendingand criticized Colorado’s groundbreakingTaxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR):As you may know, we have an arcaneconstitutional provision that requiresthat voters have to approve any increasein taxes and spending. And the Bell hasdeveloped an expertise and a commu-The Alliance-funded Secretary of StateProject helped elect Mark Ritchie asMinnesota’s chief electoral officer.
  • 7. 7December 2008FoundationWatchnications capacity on those issues thathas helped to empower the progressivesectortobeabletotalkaboutthefundingconcerns of the states, and really aboutthe role of government, that it plays.There are 19 measures on the ballot herein Colorado, and the Bell is serving asan information conduit for progressiveorganizations and progressive leaders.ZellerpraisedProgressNow,“whichisknownfor its very edgy, punchy communicationscapacity.” She might have had in mind itsreporter’sfilmedattempttointerviewRepub-lican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a vocal oppo-nent of gay marriage. The interviewer askedMusgrave to choose between stopping a gaymarriage and saving a life. (Video, “MarilynMusgraveAttacks,”availableathttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKqvMdMV7hM.)This kind of juvenile harassment mirrorsthe interviewing tactics of the Nation’s MaxBlumenthal, son of former Clinton aideSidney Blumenthal, who similarly filmedhis mocking interviews of convention goersto the 2007 Conservative Political ActionConference (CPAC).The Democracy Alliance After ObamaDemocracyAllianceleaderswereunusuallyforthcoming at the panel discussion heldduring the Democratic National Conven-tion in Denver this summer. At the Aug. 27panel, “Democracy Alliance: Colorado asa Model – Donor Cooperation for SocialChange,” Rob Stein updated attendees onthe group’s future plans and acknowledgedthe difficulties it would face, even with anObama victory.Stein admitted that progressive Democratshad no clear alternatives to free market eco-nomics. Progressives know what they wantin healthcare, education and immigrationreform.Butnotineconomics.WellbeforetheOctoberfinancialmeltdownandthe govern-ment bail-outs, a New York Times SundayMagazine article on “Obamanomics” (Aug.24,2008)acknowledgedthatBarackObamawasstrugglingwithreconcilingmarketswiththe role of government. Said Stein:Arewegoodyet–intermsof21stcenturyprogressiveeconomics?No.Inmyjudg-ment, no. We don’t have the language.We don’t have the framework. We stillneed to work on it.Stein was also critical of progressives’ lackof electoral appeal to white male voters andhighlighted why liberals want to censor talkradio by re-imposing the so-called FairnessDoctrine:In 2004, 27 million white men voted forGeorge Bush, and 16 and a half millionmen voted for John Kerry. And so, andthey have been maintaining a conversa-tion through Fox News and Rush Lim-baughandMichaelSavageandalloftheirmedia, with those 27 million white men,and so it is a huge challenge.Laurie Hirschfeld Zeller of the ColoradoDemocracyAlliancewasalsoflummoxed:“Itseems to me that white men are the problemhere.”Steinrespondedwith,“Whitemenarea huge problem.” He added:Andthentheyhavethisincrediblearrayofmediaproperties,oneofwhichisfocusedexclusivelyontheChristiancommunity,basically in America, particularly theevangelicals, one of which is focusedon gun owners, another which is focusedexclusively on white men. That’s talkradio. Talk radio isn’t for everybody, notfor most of us in this room, and it isn’tfor most women. It is for white men, andthey have 350 hours a week. That’s allpaid for in the commercial market, it’spaidforbyadvertisers.Anditservestheirpurposes every day. So it costs about abillion dollars, and we can do it cheaper.Solet’ssaythatitcostus,youknow,700,800,900millionayear.We’remuchmoreefficient than they are. Because we’vegot the Internet, we’ve got all kinds ofthings. But it’s big bucks.LightwasshedonCoDAoperationsrecentlywhen a former intern at the Bighorn Centerdescribed what he saw when the Centershared space with CoDA. Isaac Smith toldradio host Jon Caldara that a parade ofDemocraticpoliticiansvisitedCoDA’sofficewhile he worked there in 2006. The visitorsincludedformerIowagovernorTomVilsackand ColoradolegislatorsAndrewRomanoff,thespeakeroftheHouse,andAliceMadden,the House majority leader.Secretary of State ProjectAsthemurderouslyastuteJosephStalinonceremarked, “The people who cast the votesdecide nothing. The people who count thevotes decide everything.”Since 2006, Democracy Alliance partnershave quietly funded the Secretary of StateProject(SoSProject),abelow-the-radarnon-federal “527” political group. It can acceptunlimitedcontributionsthatarenotimmedi-ately publicly disclosed. Its website claims,“A modest political investment in electingcleancandidatestocriticalSecretaryofStateoffices is an efficient way to protect the elec-tion.” Indeed. Political observers know thata relatively small amount of money can helpswing a little-watched race for a state officefew people understand or care about.SoS endorses secretary of state candidateswho take the position that voter fraud islargelyamyth;thatvotesuppressioniswidelyand solely used by Republicans; that it’s awasteoftimetoremoveobviouslyfraudulentnamesfromvoterrolls;andthatlegalrequire-ments that voters show photo identificationdiscriminate against racial minorities.The SoS Project promotes “election protec-tion,”butitonlybacksDemocrats.Theproj-ect’spromotersferventlybelieveRepublicansecretaries of state like Katherine Harris inFlorida and Ken Blackwell in Ohio helpedthe GOP steal the 2000 and 2004 presiden-tial elections. “Any serious commitment towrestling control of the country from theRepublican Party must include removingtheir political operatives from deciding whocan vote and whose votes will count,” saidSoSco-founderBeckyBondtotheSanFran-cisco Chronicle in 2006. Other co-foundersThe left’s juvenile political theaterkeeps donations rolling in. This grabis from a ProgressNowAction videofeaturing an activist harassing Rep.Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) in 2006.
  • 8. 8 December 2008FoundationWatchinclude James Rucker, a former director ofgrassroots mobilization for MoveOn.orgPolitical Action and Moveon.org Civic Ac-tion, and DA member Michael Kieschnick,a self-described “social entrepreneur.”SoS strategic targeting yielded impressiveresults in 2006 and 2008.In 2006, Minnesota’s SoS candidate, MarkRitchie, beat Mary Kiffmeyer 49% to 44%.According to the Minnesota CampaignFinance and Public Disclosure Board, animpressive group of DA members contrib-uted to little-known Ritchie. They includedGeorgeSoros,DrummondPike,andDeborahRappaport. During his campaign, Ritchierecited well-worn liberal talking points onthe electoral process. “The only means wehave of defending ourselves is the vote, andif you want to throw out or hold accountableleaders who are not doing what you wantaround [Hurricane] Katrina, or the Iraq war,the vote is your only mechanism. [...] Whenyou begin to perceive that your vote is beingmanipulated, it’s a sign of worry,” he said.Guess what? Ritchie is currently presidingover the Senate recount in Minnesota.In Ohio, Jennifer Brunner trounced her op-ponent, Greg Hartmann, 55% to 41%. InOctober the SoS investment paid off whenBrunner defied federal law by refusing totake steps to verify 200,000 questionablevoter registrations. SoS candidates in 2006also won their races in New Mexico (MaryHerrara), Nevada (Ross Miller), and Iowa(Michael Mauro). The group claims it spentabout $500,000 in that election cycle.In 2008, SoS Project-backed DemocratsLinda McCulloch (Montana), Natalie Ten-nant (West Virginia), Robin Carnahan (Mis-souri), and Kate Brown (Oregon) won theirraces. (Only Carnahan was an incumbent.)The Center for Public Integrity reported twomonthsagothatthegrouphadraisedthusfara mere $280,000 for the 2008 election cycle.That’s quite a return on investment.According to IRS 8872 disclosure forms,the SoS Project has received donations fromseveral DA members, including Soros, RobStein, Gail Furman, and Susie TompkinsBuell.Selected Grant RecipientsThe Democracy Alliance filed corporateregistration papers in the District of Colum-bia in January 2005. However, little moneypasses through Alliance bank accountsbecause it chooses to act as a middle manlinking donors to causes it deems worthy ofsupport. DApartners can divide their givingintowhatRobSteincallsthe“fourbuckets”:ideas, media, leadership training, and civicengagement.SomesmallcontributionshavegonetotheDemocracyAlliance“InnovationFund,” which makes small grants to 501(c)(3) groups.There is no publicly available tally of De-mocracyAlliance-approved grants, but herearethenamesofgrantrecipientsandamountstaken from credible sources.*Progress Now: This network of nonprofitsprovides “a place in cyberspace for groupsto coordinate and deliver their messages toactivists. And there’s nothing like it on theRight,” NPR reports. It was bankrolled bySoros’s now defunct Fund for America andinitial financing came from the DA, NPRalso reports.*ElectionAdministrationFund:thedonorgroup raised $5.1 million–$1 million fromthe Open Society Institute, and about $2.5millionfromtheDAforvoterregistrationandget out the vote efforts. The Fund is housedat the Tides Foundation in San Francisco.There are four primary recipients of theFund’s money: ACORN’s Project Vote; theAdvancement Project; the National Com-mittee for Civil Rights Under Law; and theBrennan Center for Justice at New YorkUniversity.*Kirwan Institute for the Study of Raceand Ethnicity at Ohio State University:Thepoliticallycorrectinstituteacknowledg-es receiving DAmoney on its website.Afterthe recent election it released a statementclaiming that “[m]isogyny, Islamophobia,and xenophobia made lengthy, dismayingappearances throughout the campaign.”*VoteVets: This anti-Bush group works toelectIraqandAfghanistanveteranstopublicoffice.ChairmanJonSoltztoldtheCenterforPublic Integrity’s Sara Fritz that the grouphas received DA funding.*New Organizing Fund: This 527, createdin 2006, runs the New Organizing Institutewhich conducts training in online politicalorganizingandactivism.Thegroupisheadedby Zack Exley, who co-founded it. He wasonline campaign director for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in 2004. He has workedfor MoveOn.org and for Howard Dean’s2004 campaign for the Democratic nomina-tion. According to 990-EZ forms filed withthe IRS, the group has accepted donationsdirectly from DA members George Soros($50,000)andDeborahRappaport($25,000),as well as MoveOn.org ($13,000).*TheU.S.PublicInterestResearchGroupEducationFund:Theresearchorganizationacknowledges DA support for a September2008 report.*YearlyKos/Netroots Nation: The groupthat holds left-wing bloggers’ conventionacknowledged receiving DA money in2007. It now accepts donations throughBloggerPower.org, a California 501(c)(4)corporation.*League of Young Voters: DA membersHerb and Marion Sandler’s foundation ac-knowledgesonits990form(2006)providinga DA-approved $11,000 grant to theLeague of Young Voters Education Fund.*Mi Familia Vota (“My Family Votes”):The Sandler’s foundation acknowledges onits990form(2006)providingaDA-approved$25,000 grant to the group which registersimmigrants to vote.*United States Student Association: TheSandler’s foundation acknowledges on its990 form (2006) providing a DA-approved$26,000 grant to the radical student group.*Women’s Voices. Women Vote: Newresearch reveals that the foundation of DAmember Susie Tompkins Buell gave anAlliance-sanctionedgrantof$50,000in2007to Women’s Voices, Women Vote, a 501(c)(3) group that it is “dedicated to increasingthe share of unmarried women and otherhistorically underrepresented women in theelectorate.”*WorkingAmerica:ItisunclearhowmuchmoneyinDA-approvedgrantsthis501(c)(4)group that is the “community affiliate of theAFL-CIO” has received. It claims to work“against wrong-headed priorities favoring
  • 9. 9December 2008FoundationWatchthe rich and corporate special interests overAmerica’s well-being.”*Young Democrats of America: The Alli-anceacknowledgesonitswebsiteapprovinga grant to this group which has been theofficial youth arm of the Democratic Partysince 1932. Since 2002, YDA has operatedindependently of the Democratic NationalCommittee (DNC) as a nonfederal 527group.*Drum Major Institute for Public Policy:The Alliance acknowledges on its websiteapproving a grant to this progressive thinktank.Ithasreceived$104,125fromtheOpenSociety Institute since 2005.*Center for American Progress: FormerClinton White House chief of staff JohnPodesta, who now heads President-electObama’stransitionteam,headsthethinktankthat has received at least $9 million throughthe DA. CAP aspires to be a counterpart tothe Heritage Foundation, uniting disparatefactions on the left. CAP spin-offs includeCampus Progress and the Center forAmeri-canProgressActionFund,a501(c)(4)lobbygroup. Reporter Robert Dreyfuss wrote that,“It’s not completely wrong to see [CAP] as ashadow government. (The Nation, March 1,2004) (For more on CAP, see OrganizationTrends, May 2007)*Media Matters for America: Headed byformerconservativejournalistDavidBrock,it monitors “conservative misinformation inthe U.S. media.” DA members have giventhe group at least $7 million. Sen. HillaryClinton (D-New York) helped create MediaMatters.KellyCraighead,nowDAmanagingdirector and one of Clinton’s closest friends,was a top paid advisor to Media Matters.(For more on this group, see FoundationWatch, July 2007)*Democracy: A Journal of Ideas: DApartners have given $25,000 to the start-uppublicationfoundedbyformerWhiteHousespeechwriters Andrei Cherny and KennethBaer. Soros’s Open Society Institute gavethe journal $50,000.*PeoplefortheAmericanWay(PFAW):In2006 the DA approved a grant of unknownsize to this vocal activist group founded byAlliancememberNormanLear.Itspresidentemeritus is Ralph Neas. A spinoff group,Young People For the American Way, a.k.a.YP4, received a DA-approved grant of$50,000 from the Gill Foundation in 2006.*New Democratic Network (NDN): Thisactivistgroup,whichencompassestheNDNPoliticalFund,theNewPoliticsInstitute,andthe Hispanic Strategy Center is headed bySimon Rosenberg, a political strategist. TheDA approved a grant to this group in 2006but the amount is unknown.*ProgressiveMajority:Thisgroupfocuseson developing a “farm team” of progressivecandidates to win state and local-level elec-tions. Its founder and president is GloriaA. Totten, formerly political director forNARAL (National Abortion Rights ActionLeague) Pro-Choice America. DA grants tothis group total at least $5 million.*Citizens forResponsibility and Ethics inWashington (CREW): This Soros-fundedgroup sees itself as a left-wing version ofJudicialWatch,theconservativelegalgroup.CREWexecutivedirectorMelanieSloanisaformer U.S.Attorney and Democratic coun-sel for the House Judiciary Committee.*Center for Progressive Leadership: ThisorganizationwantstomirrortheconservativeLeadership Institute. The center’s websitedescribes the group as “a national politicaltraining institute dedicated to developingthe next generation of progressive politicalleaders.”CPLPresidentPeterMurraysaidin2006thatDAmembers’grantsboostedCPL’sbudgetto$2.3million,upfrom$1milliontheyear before. Contributors include the SusieTompkins Buell Foundation ($50,000) andthe Gill Foundation ($16,420).*Association of Community Organiza-tionsforReformNow(ACORN):ACORNistheradicalactivistgroupactiveinhousingprograms and “living wage” campaigns ininner cities neighborhoods. In recent yearsit has been implicated in many fraudulentvoter-registration schemes. The DA ap-proved a grant to this group in 2006 but theamount is unknown. DA founder Rob SteincalledACORN“agrassroots,tough-minded,liberal-left organization. I think it’s a veryresponsible organization.”*EMILY’s List: While the political actioncommittee boasts that it is “the nation’slargest grassroots political network,” it isessentially a fundraising vehicle for pro-abortion rights female political candidates.EMILY, according to the group’s website,“is an acronym for ‘Early Money Is LikeYeast’(ithelpsthedoughrise).”Thegroup’spresidentisveteranpoliticalfundraiserEllenMalcolm. The DA approved a grant to thisgroup in 2006 but the amount is unknown.*America Votes: Another get-out-the-vote527organization,itisheadedbyMaggieFox,aformerSierraClubofficial.Itreceiveda$6million funding commitment from Soros.*Air America: The struggling left-wingtalk radio network reportedly received afunding commitment of at least $8 millionfrom the Alliance, and filed for bankruptcyprotection in 2006. DAmember Rob Glaserhas invested at least $10 in the network.It was purchased by the family of MarkGreen, a perennial New York office-seekerwho founded the New Democracy Project,a left-wing policy institute.*Sierra Club: The influential environmen-tal organization—#7 on GreenWatch.org’s“GangGreen”listoftheworstenvironmentalactivist groups—entered into a “strategic al-liance” with the United Steelworkers union.(See Labor Watch, October 2006) The DAapproved a grant to this group in 2006 butthe amount is unknown.*Center for Community Change: Thisgroupdedicatedtodefendingwelfareentitle-ments and leftist anti-poverty programs wasfounded in 1968.Activist Deepak Bhargavais its executive director.Alliance member Michael Kieschnickfounded Working Assets and the Secre-tary of State Project.
  • 10. 10 December 2008FoundationWatchThe “Partners”:Who’s Who inthe DemocracyAlliance*USAction: This group works closely withorganizedlabor.ItisthesuccessortoCitizenAction, the activist group discredited byits involvement in the money-launderingscandal to re-elect Teamsters president RonCarey in the late 1990s.*Catalist:FormerlycalledDataWarehouse,this company was created by Clinton aideHaroldIckesandDemocraticoperativeLauraQuinn. Ickes, who has been critical of DNCchairman Howard Dean, aims to create asophisticated get-out-the-vote operation.Soros put $11 million at Ickes’s disposalbecause he distrusts Dean, the WashingtonPost reported. The chairman of Catalist isAlbert J. Dwoskin, a DAboard member andreal estate developer in Fairfax, Virginia.*Employment Policy Institute: The chair-man of this liberal think tank is GeraldW. McEntee, president of the AmericanFederation of State, County and MunicipalEmployees (AFSCME). Other labor figuressuch as SEIU’s Andrew Stern are on theEPI board.*Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:This left-leaning think tank is headed byformer Carter appointee Robert Greenstein,a MacArthur Foundation “genius” awardrecipient.*AmericanForeignPolicy.org: UniversityofConnecticutlawprofessorRichardParkerclaims to have received funding from threeDA partners for “a major study” for the DA“oninvestmentgapsandneedsinpromotinga progressive national security and foreignpolicy.”*Progressive States Network (legal name:Progressive LegislativeAnalysis Network):has received grants from the Stephen M. Sil-berstein Foundation ($174,000 since 2005),Barbra Streisand Foundation ($10,000 in2006), and Open Society Institute ($7,024in 2006).Matthew Vadum is Editor of FoundationWatch. James Dellinger, who was Execu-tive Director of Capital Research Center’sGreenWatch project, left CRC in November.Research assistance was provided by CRCIntern Josh Jones. He is a recent graduate oftheUniversityofAlabama,wherehemajoredin political science.The Democracy Alliance has at least 100donor-members, both individuals and orga-nizations.However,ithasnotmadeavailableanofficiallistofits“partners.”Herearesomeknown DA members:AFL-CIO-an institutional memberFred Baron (died Oct. 30)-the “King of Torts” and one of America’swealthiestplaintiffs’attorneys;foundedPub-licJustice(formerlyTrialLawyersforPublicJustice);wasfinancechairmanforSen.JohnEdwards’s 2004 presidential campaign.Anne Bartley-step-daughter of Winthrop Rockefeller;trusteeofRockefellerPhilanthropyAdvisors,director of Bauman Family Foundation.Patricia Bauman-Bauman Family Foundation.Ann S. Bowers-widow of Intel co-founder Robert Noyce,inventor of the integrated circuitRutt Bridges-founded Advance Geophysical; ran forgovernor of Colorado in 2005 but droppedout of the raceWilliam Budinger-investor who founded and ran Rodel, Inc.Mark Buell and Susie Tompkins Buell-businessman; wife co-founded clothierEsprit with ex-husband, DouglasTompkins,who is president of the Foundation for DeepEcologyAnna Burger (DA board member, vicechairman)-secretary-treasurer of SEIU and chairsChange to Win, the labor federation break-away from the AFL-CIOLewis B. Cullman-financier and philanthropistRobert H. Dugger (DA board member)-managing director of Tudor InvestmentCorp. (asset management)Albert J. Dwoskin (DA board member)-Northern Virginia real estate developer;chairman of CatalistDavid A. Friedman- philanthropist and self-described centristGail Furman (DA board member)-Manhattan psychologist; member of theCouncil on Foreign RelationsChris Gabrieli-software entrepreneur; sought Democraticnomination for Massachusetts governor in2006Tim Gill-created Quark, the design and layout pub-lishing program; funds gay rights groupsDavidi Gilo-high-techentrepreneurandfounderofVyyoInc.; his wife, Shamaya, created Winds ofChange FoundationRob Glaser-heads the online multimedia companyRealNetworksSteven M. Gluckstern-a former chairman of the DA, investmentbankerFWPat Stryker
  • 11. 11December 2008FoundationWatchConnie Cagampang Heller-philanthropist, advisor for Heller Philan-thropic Fund at Tides FoundationRachel Pritzker Hunter-of the Hyatt Hotel PritzkersRob Johnson (DA board member)-partner at Impact Artist ManagementMichael Kieschnick-founded Working Assets which donates aportion of long distance charges to progres-sive causes; founded Secretary of StateProjectJohn Luongo-venture director of Lightspeed VenturePartners; previously a senior vice presidentat Oracle Corp.Gara LaMarche-president and CEO of the Atlantic Philan-thropies;wasvicepresidentofOpenSocietyInstituteNorman Lear-veteran television producer, he is thefounder of People for the American Way,the Lear Family Foundation, and BusinessEnterprise TrustPeter B. Lewis-billionaireinsurancemagnatefoundedPro-gressive Casualty Insurance Co.; gave $23million to anti-Bush 527s in 2004Rodger MacFarlane-senior adviser to the Gill Foundation, isalso a DA partner.Robert McKay (DA board member,chairman)-Taco Bell heir writes for the HuffingtonPostHerb Miller- real estate developer and Democratic Partyfundraiser.Philip Murphy-national finance chairman for the Demo-cratic National CommitteeAlan Patricof-co-founder of private equity firm ApaxPartners; was chairman of the White HouseConference on Small Business (1993-95)Steven Phillips (DA board member)-attorney and political organizer; foundedPowerPAC.org in California; son-in-law ofDA members Herb and Marion SandlerDrummond Pike (DA board member,treasurer)-founder of the ultra-left Tides FoundationAndy and Deborah Rappaport-identifiedasmembersofDAbythePoliticonewspaper (Nov. 2); funded first YearlyKos(nowNetroots)conventionin2004;foundedNew Progressive Coalition LLC, (”Yourpolitical giving advisor”) technically a for-profit corporation that allows individuals to“invest” in political “mutual funds”Rob Reiner-Hollywood actor-director; chairman ofParents Action for Children; backed unsuc-cessfulCaliforniaProposition82(preschoolfor four year olds)Charles Rodgers (DA board member)-president of the New Community FundSimon Rosenberg-founderandpresidentoftheNewDemocratNetwork(NDN);ranunsuccessfullyin2005for the DNC chairmanshipDeborah Sagner (DA board member)-philanthropist, social workerHerb and Marion Sandler-co-founded and later sold Golden WestFinancial Corp. to Wachovia, which madethe terrible decision to purchase its portfolioof subprime loans; gave $13 million to anti-Bush 527s in 2004Guy Saperstein-trial lawyer who created the NationalSecurity/Foreign Policy New Ideas Fund(newideasfund.org) with DA fundingService Employees International Union(SEIU)-an institutional memberStephen M. Silberstein-California philanthropist interested in civilrights disclosed on donation forms his as-sociation with the DABren Simon-president of MBS Associates LLC, a prop-erty management and development firm;husband, Melvin, is part owner of IndianaPacers and runs the Simon Property Group,developer of shopping mallsGeorge Soros (and son Jonathan)-high-flyingfinancierfoundedOpenSocietyInstitute;gave$24milliontoanti-Bush527sin 2004Rob Stein (DA board member, founder)-anattorneywhowaschiefofstaffoftheU.S.Department of Commerce and a senior of-ficial on the Clinton-Gore transition teamJohn Stocks-formerchiefofstaffforDemocratsinIdahostate senate, now deputy executive directorat National Education AssociationPatricia Stryker-granddaughter of Homer Stryker, founderof Stryker Corp.Michael Vachon (DA board member)-spokesman and political director for So-rosAlbert C. Yates-former president of Colorado State Uni-versityPlease rememberCapital Research Centerin your will andestate planning.Thank you for your support.Terrence ScanlonPresidentAnne Bartley
  • 12. 12 December 2008FoundationWatchPhilanthropyNotesThe Catholic Campaign for Human Development has decided the radical community group ACORN may notbe eligible for grants derived from its annual collection taken up each November at all Roman Catholic churches.CCHD is looking into whether the ostensibly nonpartisan ACORN, which officially endorsed Barack Obama forpresident, used money in a way that might jeopardize CCHD’s tax-exempt status. CCHD has temporarily suspendedraising funds for ACORN.Meanwhile, ACORN silenced dissidents on its national board by firing them. Chief organizer Bertha Lewis said“Karen Inman and Marcel Reid were removed for violating the board’s code of conduct.” The two had asked theboard for documents concerning efforts by ACORN’s founder and former chief organizer, Wade Rathke, to cover uphis brother’s embezzlement of close to $1 million in ACORN funds. In the old days the inquiries by Inman and Reidwould have been called due diligence.The Greenlining Institute’s politically-correct scheme to shake down foundations got its comeuppance. Accord-ing to the Wall Street Journal the pressure group invited representatives from 50 large foundations for a meeting todiscuss “diversity in philanthropy.” Not one foundation sent a representative. Last summer 10 of California’s largestfoundations agreed to pay millions of dollars to “minority-led nonprofits” in order to head off legislation pushed byGreenlining that would have forced the state’s foundations to disclose the racial makeup of their boards, staffs andgrantees. A profile of the Greenlining Institute ran in the August 2008 Foundation Watch.The California Supreme Court has decided to review the constitutionality of the voter-approved state constitutionalamendment that bans same sex marriage in the state. Proposition 8 was approved by voters 52% of 48% lastmonth. This means the California court has actually decided to review the constitutionality of the state’s constitution.The formidable liberal group MoveOn.org said it raised an astounding $88 million for the Obama campaign. Thegroup is offering beautiful commemorative “Yes We Did” stamps and posters for sale. Jimmy Carter never had nicemerchandise like this. All Americans got was Billy Beer.Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to limit his philanthropic activities if his wife becomes secretary of state,the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports. Capital Research Center president Terrence Scanlon remained skeptical.“The potential for conflict is enormous,” the newspaper quoted Scanlon saying. The February issue of FoundationWatch profiled the William J. Clinton Foundation.Colorado-based Focus on the Family, said it intends to lay off more than 200 of its workers or roughly 20% of itsworkforce as part of a belt-tightening efforts. The group is No. 158 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s most recentPhilanthropy 400, which ranks charities that collect the most from private sources.Meanwhile, atheist groups are escalating their campaigns, the Wall Street Journal reports. Billboards sponsored bythe Freedom From Religion Foundation read “Beware of Dogma” in huge Gothic type, while ads on the sides ofbuses from the American Humanist Association ask, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.”(This GS Watch is the first appearance of this regular feature in Philanthropy Notes. –Editor)Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s flip-flop on how to use the $700 billion in bailout money has hurt his reputation,frightened the stock market, and emboldened special interest lobbyists who want in on the money. Originally the fundswere to be used to buy distressed assets from banks but now the plan is to require certain banks and insurance com-panies to sell preferred stock to the federal government, and well, umm, no one’s really sure what the plan is. Paulson’sformer employer, Goldman Sachs, was profiled in the October 2008 Foundation Watch.

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