Charitable Money Laundering For Democrats: The Tides Foundation

March 6, 2010 12:07

Clarice Feldman via American Thinker

Activist does a fantastic job of tracing foundation and activist activities and has long cast a jaundiced eye on the actions of the Tides Foundation and its offshoot the Tides Center.

Here’s a sample, but I invite you to scroll through all the site’s postings on these groups:
Most of America’s big-money philanthropies trace their largesse back to one or two wealthy contributors. The Pew Charitable Trusts was funded by Joseph Pew’s Sun Oil Company earnings, the David & Lucille Packard Foundation got its endowment from the Hewlett-Packard fortune, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation grew out of General Motors profits, and so on. In most cases, the donors’ descendants manage and invest these huge piles of money, distributing a portion each year to nonprofit groups of all kinds (the IRS insists that at least 5 percent is given away each year). This is the way philanthropic grantmaking has worked for over a century: whether a given endowment’s bottom line occupies six digits or twelve, the basic idea has remained the same.
Now comes the Tides Foundation and its recent offshoot, the Tides Center, creating a new model for grantmaking — one that strains the boundaries of U.S. tax law in the pursuit of its leftist, activist goals.
Set up in 1976 by California activist Drummond Pike, Tides does two things better than any other foundation or charity in the U.S. today: it routinely obscures the sources of its tax-exempt millions, and makes it difficult (if not impossible) to discern how the funds are actually being used.
In practice, “Tides” behaves less like philanthropy than a money-laundering enterprise (apologies to Procter & Gamble), taking money from other foundations and spending it as the donor requires.
As Activist Cash notes, it usually is hard to track the ultimate donors because of this elaborate shell game. When charities like those controlled by Teresa Heinz suddenly started contributing to Tides during her husband’s presidential candidate, did the money go to environmental terrorists? Supporters of Hamas? Or ACORN? It was often difficult to tell.
Bret Jacobson of Big Government has carefully scanned Tides’ 2008 tax returns and we can see who the recipients of all this charitable, tax- exempt money are, though:
A look at their 2008 tax return, 160-plus pages, reads like a directory of the New Left. I’ve pulled out the donations to ACORN groups and Big Labor’s Working America Education Fund (not many people know unions take in ostensibly charitable donations) and one theme is clear: “general support” seems to be a popular phrase. Another theme: notice that states receiving money are critical to election-year success for Democrats. And finally, notice just how much money is being thrown around.
ACORN, Inc – 100,000 Latino voter registration and engagement canvass
ACORN International – 100,00 general support
ACORN Institute?49,500 – general support?25,293 – general support?10,000 – general support
Project Vote?275,000 – 2007-08 Election Administration Program?225,000 – election administration work in Arizona, Florida, and Pennsylvania?115,00 – general support?100,000 – 2008 Voter Participation Program?100,000 – Election Administration Program?100,000 – general support?100,000 – civic engagement work in New Mexico?75,000 – general support?65,000 – general support?53,086 – voter registration program?50,000 – Voter Participation Program?48,000 – nonpartisan Get Out The Vote work?35,000 – general support?30,000 – general support?25,000 – general support?10,000 – general support
Working America Education Fund?261,661 – general support?245,000 – general support?200,000 – civic engagement in Ohio?125,000 – organizing in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Colorado, and Maine?115,000 – general support?100,000 general support?65,006 – general support?30,000 – general support?30,000 – General support.
Of course, this makes a mockery of campaign finance laws and as well the charitable tax exemptions.
It’s way past time that the IRS thoroughly investigates this sham operation and Congress end the practice of allowing such money laundering. Tax-exempt operations should have to contribute in ways that are direct and traceable.

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