Skip to comments.In a World of Bloggers, Foundations Can Expect More Scrutiny
Posted on 05/09/2005 6:04:51 AM PDT by bilhosty
The news media's treatment of foundation involvement in public policy may have changed forever on March 17. That was the day the New York Post published "Buying 'Reform': Media Missed Millionaires' Scam," an account by one of its columnists, Ryan Sager, of the massive spending by several mainstream foundations to secure passage of the 2002 overhaul of campaign-finance laws and to keep the issue alive.
Mr. Sager told his readers he had discovered "an immense scam perpetrated on the American people by a cadre of left-wing foundations and disguised as a 'mass movement.'" Foundations like Ford, Open Society, Carnegie, Joyce, and MacArthur, he noted, had spent some $123-million from 1994 to 2004 to secure passage of the campaign law.
More than $40-million of that money, Mr. Sager said, had come from the Pew Charitable Trusts, where the program officer in charge had been Sean Treglia. Mr. Sager quoted from a videotape of a lecture Mr. Treglia had given at the University of Southern California in which he explained just how Pew had built support for passage of the campaign law.
Mr. Treglia said the foundation had made grants to "create an impression that a mass movement was afoot -- that everywhere they [members of Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
If that is not an option then I wonder if it would be possibile to pass a law (we do have control of Congress and many of the states, you know), allowing descendents to sue to change the board of these foundations if they can show that their actions are not what was intended.
This article IMO scratches the surface of what is likely the most important tool the anti-Americans use with exceptionally good results to liquidate and otherwise tear America down. These people are truly "body-snatchers".
(article referenced in first paragraph above)
By RYAN SAGER
March 17, 2005 -- CAMPAIGN-FINANCE reform has been an immense scam perpetrated on the American people by a cadre of left-wing foundations and disguised as a "mass movement."
But don't take my word for it. One of the chief scammers, Sean Treglia, a former program officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, confesses it all in an astonishing videotape I obtained earlier this week.
The tape of a conference held at USC's Annenberg School for Communication in March of 2004 shows Treglia expounding to a gathering of academics, experts and journalists (none of whom, apparently, ever wrote about Treglia's remarks) on just how Pew and other left-wing foundations plotted to create a fake grassroots movement to hoodwink Congress.
"I'm going to tell you a story that I've never told any reporter," Treglia says on the tape. "Now that I'm several months away from Pew and we have campaign-finance reform, I can tell this story."
That story in brief:
Charged with promoting campaign-finance reform when he joined Pew in the mid-1990s, Treglia came up with a three-pronged strategy: 1) pursue an expansive agenda through incremental reforms, 2) pay for a handful of "experts" all over the country with foundation money and 3) create fake business, minority and religious groups to pound the table for reform.
"The target audience for all this activity was 535 people in Washington," Treglia says 100 in the Senate, 435 in the House. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot that everywhere they looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
It's a stark admission, but perhaps Treglia should be thanked for his candor.
(Treglia, contacted by The Post yesterday, was singing a different tune about Pew, saying it would be "incorrect to suggest that the organization would attempt to deceive or mislead about its funding efforts." Pew's president, Rebecca Rimel, calls the charge "false" in a written statement.)
Treglia's revelations help put in context a report just out from a group called Political Money Line, "Campaign Finance Lobby: 1994-2004," which follows the money behind campaign-finance reform.
That cash, it turns out, was the one thing about the "movement" that was masssive: From 1994 to 2004, almost $140 million was spent to lobby for changes to our country's campaign-finance laws.
But this money didn't come from little old ladies making do with cat food so they could send a $20 check to Common Cause. The vast majority of this money $123 million, 88 percent of the total came from just eight liberal foundations.
These foundations were: the Pew Charitable Trusts ($40.1 million), the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy ($17.6 million), the Carnegie Corporation of New York ($14.1 million), the Joyce Foundation ($13.5 million), George Soros' Open Society Institute ($12.6 million), the Jerome Kohlberg Trust ($11.3 million), the Ford Foundation ($8.8 million) and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation ($5.2 million).
Not exactly all household names, but the left-wing groups that these foundations support may be more familiar: the Earth Action Network, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Public Citizen Foundation, the Feminist Majority Foundation . . .
What did this liberal foundation crowd buy with its $123 million?
For starters, a stable of supposedly independent pro-reform groups, with Orwellian names you may have heard in the press: the Center for Public Integrity, the William J. Brennan Center for Justice, Democracy 21 and so on.
Plus, favorable press coverage. Here, the story as laid out in the Political Money Line report gets really ugly. Some highlights:
* In September of 2000, less than two years before the passage of McCain-Feingold, the liberal magazine The American Prospect put out a special issue devoted to campaign-finance reform. With incredible hypocrisy, the magazine failed to tell its readers that the "Checkbook Democracy" issue was paid for with a $132,000 check from the Carnegie Corporation which, again, has spent $14 million promoting the regulation of political speech in the last decade.
* Since 1994, National Public Radio has accepted more than $1.2 million from liberal foundations promoting campaign-finance reform for items such as (to quote the official disclosure statements) "news coverage of financial influence in political decision-making." About $400,000 of that directly funded a program called, "Money, Power and Influence."
NPR claims that there has never been any contact between the funders and the reporters. NPR also claims that some of the $1.2 million went to non-campaign-finance-related coverage. But at least $860,000 can be tied directly to coverage of money in politics.
* Lastly, the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation accepted $935,000 between 1995 and 2001 from liberal foundations promoting campaign-finance reform for things like a "training initiative to help television, radio and print journalists provide better news coverage of the influence of private money on electoral, legislative and regulatory processes."
The president of RTNDF, Barbara Cochran, assured me that "We did not receive money to promote campaign-finance reform." Cochran also made clear that RTNDF does not provide news coverage, it only trains journalists. But she wouldn't provide The Post with any of the training materials it produced with the foundation money.
The press as a whole, of course, wasn't bought off. But most journalists were either too ill-informed or too unconcerned to figure out the fraud.
Back to the videotape, where an unidentified (but apparently sympathetic) individual asks Treglia: "What would have happened had a major news organization gotten a hold of this at the wrong time?"
"We had a scare," Treglia says. "As the debate was progressing and getting pretty close, George Will stumbled across a report that we had done and attacked it in his column. And a lot of his partisans were becoming aware of Pew's role and were feeding him information. And he started to reference the fact that Pew had played a large role in this that this was a liberal attempt to hoodwink Congress."
"But you know what the good news is from my perspective?" Treglia says to the stunned crowd. "Journalists didn't care . . . So no one followed up on the story. And so there was a panic there for a couple of weeks because we thought the story was going to begin to gather steam, and no one picked it up."
Treglia's right. While he admits Pew specifically instructed groups receiving its grants "never to mention Pew," all these connections were disclosed (as legally required) in various tax forms and annual reports. "If any reporter wanted to know, they could have sat down and connected the dots," he said. "But they didn't."
So shame on Pew for undertaking a sustained campaign to mislead the public and Congress. And shame on all of the journalists who let them slide.
Above all else, looking ahead: Shame on any news organization that lets the campaign-finance-reform lobby keep on portraying itself as a "movement" now that the facts have come out.
Now we'll see if sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant.
A partial transcript of the Treglia tape is available at
This is a story that needs repeating again and again...
Between the "PEW POLLS" and the PIRG POLLS cavortin and distortin with their well financed activism... Those of us tryin to be "activists" in opposition to this "activism" with nothing but our own time out of our lives and our own paultry funds... It's no wonder we haven't had a chance!
Especially with the MSM totally owned by these Socialistic fanatics!!!
Yes, tubebender, this is another "stealth story" that grew behind the scenes just like the "Oil For Food" scandal! We could smell something, but the MSM kept it hidden from nearly EVERYONE!!!
I wonder how much "The League Of Women Vipers" got to promote this vulgar garbage???
Thanks for the ping.
Those of you who know me on this board and in real life, know my absolute hatred of these phoney non profits.
For two+ decades they have been financing the Watermelon Enviralists and every other phoney non profit in America to weaken America and to destroy our side.
We need more senators. and in 2007, congress needs to pass laws which tells these non profits if they use their money to influence elections or politicians, they will lose their non profit status. The execs and the board members will be held responsible in criminal and civil courts for each and every violation.
Then their books must be opened up to see how many are funded by $oreA$$ and other elite limo libs who hate Amerrica, Americans, Republicans, Christians and anyone else who stands in the way of their agendas.
Thank you for this excellent reply to a reply on my post.
"Between the "PEW POLLS" and the PIRG POLLS cavortin and distortin with their well financed activism... Those of us tryin to be "activists" in opposition to this "activism" with nothing but our own time out of our lives and our own paultry funds... It's no wonder we haven't had a chance!
"Especially with the MSM totally owned by these Socialistic fanatics!!! "
You left out the DNC. It is now obvious, the DNC has been controlled and in the pocket of the Socialist Limo Fanatics like: $oreA$$, the Pews, the Fords, the Heinzies, the Buffets, the Lewis's, the Martha Stewarts and other limo socialist elites for close to 3 decades if not longer.
We can thank the Goron for inventing the internet to bring these bastards down.
Legal fees, a line item in most N/P accounting reports, are well-used money laundering schemes that evade US taxes and use fraudulent accounting techniques to violate US banking and SEC laws.
N/P's use several tax dodges. Many nonprofits, and their donors profit through loopholes amid concerns that NPO's juggle the books. One notorious N/P was paying for the director's housing sub rosa.
We need to determine whether N/P's fraudulently filed false documents and whether they misled state and federal agencies.
We need to know whether they made accurate statements about income and outgo.
The IRS should determine whether corporate contributors to N/P's misused corporate reserve accounts, concealing losses, inflating asset values and improperly accounting for transactions, as well as deferring profits into reserve accounts, improperly shifting capital funding to other projects to hide illegal payments, and so on.
The IRS should determine whether N/P's are properly accounting for all its tax-exempt activities, whether they are inflating legal costs, and whether it is using income for the purposes stated.
We need to know whether N/P's engaged in Enron-style accounting and spending practices.
Any of these practices could jeopardize the financial interests of stockholders and would compel the SEC to step in.
Anyone with concerns about these issues should contact the SEC here: enforcement@SEC.goc
Did McCain know , was he taken in willingly, or just hood winked?
And where is Teressa's foundation in this list?
The Tidewater whatever, wasn't it?
You should post them on your home page.
Well said. In fact, allow me to say it again even louder.
Re foundations: Get rid of the income tax and they've lost a major amount of their leverage.
Tides, not a creature of Theresa's but one to which she contributed. Tides' major contributor is Pew. IIRC, I don't think Pew went through Tides on this one but funded it directly through their media groups such as Pew Research Center.
Here is the definitive source on left wing foundations. Who they are, what they do, and how they do it.
Almost... "The Tides Foundation!" One of the worst for Leftist EnvironMental Extremist Dirt-Worshiper funding!!!
That's right Grampa Dave... Don't hold back! That's why I pinged ya!! And Ernest, that McCain is just a publicity punk!!!
His Frontpage magazine web site:
Rights, farms, environment ping.
Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.
Remove their tax exempt status first. That will put a ton of money into the treasury and slow them down quite a bit.
They have no right to be tax exempt, the government should not play favorites with organizations like this by granting them tax exempt status.