Skip to comments.Harry Reid Vilifies Kochs, Celebrates Steyer at ‘Nonpartisan’ Event
Posted on 05/21/2014 1:14:18 PM PDT by Kaslin
Critics say screening of anti-Koch film in Capitol is ethically problematic
A Tuesday event in the Capitol complex that vilified Republican political donors and celebrated Democratic ones was not partisan in nature, insisted top Democratic leaders who hosted the event in the face of numerous allegations of ethical breaches on their part.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) both said that those allegations underscored the point of the event: that the Koch Brothers dictate the agenda of the Republican Party.
The event showcased a new film by left-wing videomaker Robert Greenwald, who screened clips from Koch Brothers Exposed in the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday evening.
The event was initially billed as a premiere, but promotions touting it as such were removed from the website of Greenwalds organization, Brave New Films (BNF), after the chair of the House Administration Committee cited regulations explicitly prohibiting the use of Capitol facilities for film premieres.
Some posts on BNFs Facebook page still describe it as a premiere, while others call it a congressional press briefing.
Brave New Films appears to have created violations of the rules designed to avoid inappropriate use of taxpayer-funded facilities, wrote Rep. Candice Miller (R., Mich.) in a Tuesday letter to Pelosi.
Those rules prohibit any audio visual presentations in the [Capitol Visitor Center] that premiere, preview, showcase, or publicize a film.
Despite the numerous promotional materials describing the event as a premiere, a Pelosi spokesman on Tuesday rejected that characterization, noting that only clips of the film would be shown.
However, BNF communications director Linsey Pecikonis told reporters at the outset of the event that the group was using it as a promotional tool, despite prohibitions on Capitol Visitor Center events that publicize a film.
That potential violation led to an ethics complaint on Wednesday, filed by the president of the conservative Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) against Pelosi.
She is knowingly violating House rules regarding political activity in the taxpayer funded U.S. Capitol, wrote TVC president Andrea Lafferty in a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Ethics Committee.
All parties involved in the event denied that it was political. However, the event hyperbolically attacked libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Kochthey are stomping on poor people, the film claimedand Reid used the occasion to heap praise on Democrats high-dollar political donors.
“I’m very happy that there are people out there willing to spend some money to focus on things like” the Keystone XL pipeline, Reid said at the event. “We need people like Tom Steyer.”
Reid has taken to the Senate floor on a nearly daily basis for weeks to vilify Charles and David Koch for donating too much money to groups that Reid dislikes. Miller suggested that his selective outrage over political donors could run afoul of prohibitions on the use of taxpayer-funded Capitol facilities for partisan activity.
I have several serious concerns that this use of the facility pay cross the line into partisan politics and be in violation of the rules of use of the Capitol Visitor Center facilities, Miller wrote.
There is no question that there are countless venues in the Washington, D.C., area, not funded by the taxpayers, which could accommodate this event and remove any controversy, she added.
Nevertheless, the event went forward. Lafferty alleged a double standard.
When I looked into using the Capitol Visitor Center for a Christian Inaugural event I was told it was too political, she wrote. So how is it now ok for Pelosi and Reid to host this political event?
Perhaps they could have a screening of Dinesh D’Souza’s “non-political” film coming out this summer.
Except D’Souza might be in jail then. Ain’t tyranny grand?
What is the bug up this old piece of crap, un-american,communist, alynskite, ass about the brothers?
Reid should be tried as a traitor and shot.
Why the obsession? Did they laugh at Harry’s small Koch in the locker room growing up?
The Tea Party has Hatchet Harry running as fast as he can spreading what can only be called Hate Speech at every opportunity to stop Conservatives from all across America from finally propping up the United States Constitution in its rightful place as the Law Of The Land. Hatchet Harry has some pretty soiled laundry of his own with George Soros....maybe he would like to elaborate......any reporters out there? Ask Sicko Hatchet Harry.
She's airing a Kock Brothers hatchet piece.
I guess the IRS wasn't interested in Greenwald's so called 501(c)(3) TAX EXEMPT organization!
Every time Reid opens his piehole and says something about the Koch brothers people should just say one word to him..............SOROS!
What gave you the clue? I never heard of him, but all I needed to read was this from the article
-- snip --
The event showcased a new film by left-wing videomaker Robert Greenwald, who screened clips from Koch Brothers Exposed in the Capitol Visitors Center on Tuesday evening.
Brave New Films is the brainchild of a 64-year-old film director, Robert Greenwald, and his small band of 20-something assistants.
Greenwald is a well-connected Hollywood ultra-liberal who uses his power to reshape political perceptions. Greenwalds website observes, Prior to his documentary work, Greenwald produced and/or directed more than 55 television movies, miniseries and feature films
He has been honored for his activism by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; the Liberty Hill Foundation; the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles; Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Office of the Americas.
Greenwald is well known as an executive producer of Hollywood made-for-TV movies. Over four decades he has produced such films as Portrait of a Stripper, How to Murder a Millionaire, and Trump Unauthorized. As if to do penance for his sins, he also produces political consciousness-raising made-for-TV movies such as Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal [mom discovers chemical dumping], Redeemer [quest to release reformed Black Panther from prison] and Steal This Movie [aging radical activist exposes past FBI spying]. Greenwalds production company churns out these movies to fill the limitless hours available on TV.
Veteran documentary filmmaker David Hoffman has observed that such films are just too easy to make. Tedious diatribes, they repeat left-wing dogma under the guise of fearlessly telling truths. Documentaries like Outfoxed never make money at the box office. According to one estimate, Outfoxed cost an estimated $200,000 to make and grossed about $466,000 over three weeks in August 2004. But thats not the point. Like Greenwalds two-minute videos against Sen. McCain, they aim to poison public opinion against their enemies. In the case of Brave New Films, the enemies include the oil industry, supermarkets, Rudy Giuliani, Karl Rove, Burger King, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, the Koch brothers, and critics of the Kennedys.
Greenwalds Brave New Films is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, which means that while the organization is tax-exempt, contributions to it are not. The organizations board members are Greenwald, entertainment executive Danny Goldberg, Progressive Majority president Gloria Totten, plaintiffs attorney Guy Saperstein, and Jane Fonda ex-husband Tom Hayden. The group reported contributions of just over $1,000,000 in 2009 and total revenues of about $1.465 million. In 2010, Brave New Films reported just $257,000 in contributions and $850,000 in total revenues.
Distributing videos online is not expensive, but producing documentary films and the public campaigns against the films targets does require added funding. Brave New Films appears to rely on the Brave New Foundation (also known publicly as Dreamcatchers), a registered 501(c)(3) public charity located at the same street address as Brave New Films 10510 Culver Boulevard in Culver City, California. The foundations mission is to champion social justice issues by using a model of media, education and grassroots volunteer involvement that inspires, empowers, motivates and teaches civic participation and makes a difference.
In its 2010 annual report Brave New Foundation reported about $3.2 million in income, including $1.665 million in foundation grants and $875,000 in major gifts. The foundations 2009 IRS Form 990 reports $1.449 million in contributions and grants and total revenue of $3 million. Expenses, mainly media production, have been about $3 million. The Foundation board of directors consists of Greenwald, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta, entertainment industry financier Irene Romero, labor lawyer Madeline Janis, activist law professor Lawrence Lessig, and Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel.
Brave New Foundation receives substantial grants from major foundations: In 2009, the Public Welfare Foundation approved a $175,000 grant for media strategies for health & safety workplace reform. The Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation committed $75,000 to champion social justice by using media. The Park Foundation in Ithaca, N.Y. gave $25,000 to support the No War in Afghanistan Awareness and Advocacy campaign. The Arcadia, Calif.-based Baytree Foundation gave $25,000 for general support, while the Houston, TX-based Lotus Foundation gave $50,000 for operational support. In 2010 the Tides Foundation gave the Foundation nearly $14,000. Greenwald has boasted that the Foundation has 3,000 small-dollar donors and that its list of large donors includes television producer Norman Lear, who gave $1,000.
Brave New Films is a member of a networking group known as the Media Consortium, which counts some 40 left-wing media outlets such as Nation magazine, AlterNet, and the Center for Independent Media. The Consortiums sponsor is the San Francisco-based Foundation for National Progress, which is best known for its financial support for the far-left magazine Mother Jones.
Liberal foundations supporting the work of the Consortium frequently channel their contributions through the Foundation for National Progress (2009 income: $9.2 million). In 2010 George Soross Open Society Institute announced a two-year, $200,000 commitment to the Consortium through the Foundation for National Progress. The Surdna Foundation earmarked $100,000 to the Consortium, as did the Wyncote Foundation, which contributed $70,000. Both grants were made through the Foundation for National Progress.
The link to Soros shows how Brave New Films and its online videos participate in his foundation-funded campaigns to influence U.S. politics. For at least a decade and a half George Soros has been interested in creating documentaries to advance his goal of tilting America to the left, as a Capital Research Center report observed. (See George Soros, Movie Mogul by Rondi Adamson, Foundation Watch, March 2008.) A $2 million Soros Documentary Fund was launched in 1996, and in 2001 it merged with Robert Redfords Sundance Institute to create The Sundance Fund to Support International Documentary Projects. Gara LaMarche, former director of U.S. programs for the Open Society Institute, notes: Nonfiction film can spur awareness and action, sometimes touching audiences beyond the reach of other methods. Movies teach us about the world, what is happening to our fellow travelers on the globewhat is happening to usand what we might do about it.
Anne Landman of the leftist Center for Media and Democracy, blames the condition of U.S. politics on a sophisticated corporate echo chamber propaganda strategy funded primarily by the Koch brothers for the purpose of turning business-friendly, fringe right-wing ideas into mainstream policy arguments. The echo chamber strategy is very real, and has been perfected by corporate interests over the last several decades. It involves carefully selecting and fine-tuning a message that resonates with the populace, and then arranging to get that message repeated over and over through a variety of credible media sources.
Its unclear whether Brave New Films and Agitpop have generated as much public pressure as they anticipated with their anti-Koch campaign. However, Koch Industries senior vice president and general counsel Mark Holden noted in a letter to New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane that a Times May 4, 2011 story, Liberal Groups Video Assails Koch Brothers appeared to be less a news report on the video than a concerted campaign to give the video publicity.
Through so-called independent media such as Brave New Films, the Left is positioning people like Robert Greenwald to shape political messaging. People like Greenwald are community organizers for the digital age.
Robert Greenwalds goal is not to produce an informative leftwing documentary. It is to energize an online political community. This is virtual community organizing, and it costs a fraction of the time and money required for direct mail, phone calls, and print advertisements.
When visitors to the Brave New Films webpage can volunteer to be Distribution Advocates for the nonprofits videos, they are mobilizing themselves to circulate Brave New Films content through their Facebook page, MySpace page, blog, YouTube channel, and posting to other blogs.
These advocates may even become online snoops who will agree to write comments on blogs, monitor other peoples comments about Brave New Films, and alert Brave New Films of notable comments.
The goal is to build up the Lefts power base using nonprofits funded by foundation grants. The method is the techno-wizardry of Brave New Films community organizing.
Robert Greenwald is one snarling, angry guerilla warrior. He and his backers disdain conservative politics and the conservative media.
Greenwalds political documentaries are continuations of his made-for-TV movies. They manipulate emotional responses to shape political perceptions and to damage his political opponents as much as possible. The way he edits and posts his videos online and urges his viewers to take action is innovative and creative. But dont expect him to encourage thoughtful reflection, offer up ideas or make a persuasive argument. The Left is way beyond that.
FEC should ban this like they did with the Citizens United film Hillary the movie/s
Brave New Foundation is formed under a section of the tax code 501(c)(3) that allows it to keep its donors secret.
Asked if he would disclose their names, Mr. Greenwald said there were 3,000 small-dollar donors, nearly 2,500 of whom are named as producers on the Web site (the rest gave less than $25 and didnt qualify as producers).
He said the list of large donors included Karen Lieberman (who gave $1,500 through the Leif Nissen Foundation), Dan Berger (who gave $25,000), Adelaide Gomer (who gave $25,000), Marlene Share (who gave $3,000), and the television producer Norman Lear (who gave $1,000). Mr. Greenwald said that left one last donor who gave a similar amount but whom he had not had a chance to speak with about going public.
Derrick Crowe is a Political Director at Brave New Foundation. He is also a five-year veteran of Capitol Hill and a trained Creating a Culture of Peace nonviolence facilitator. His writing has been featured on The Huffington Post, MichaelMoore.com and AlterNet.
In Washington, D.C., Derrick served as communications director for U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.). Prior to working in Smiths office, he worked in communications for U.S. Rep. Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and the national office of the Childrens Defense Fund.
Unabashed nerd, unrepentant pacifist, ragey writer about imperialism. Owns hat Breitbart didn’t appreciate. http://bit.ly/gXyELF Opinions are my own (duh).
Derrick Crowe @derrickcrowe · 5h
A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change http://rol.st/1ocwToH via @rollingstone
Derrick Crowe @derrickcrowe · May 19
Blanket apology: This is my second week off of caffeine, and my typing has suffered...so much. Just bear with, people.
Derrick Crowe, political director of Brave New Foundation and a former spokesman for House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the national office of the Childrens Defense Fund
Brave New Films partner organizations such as MoveOn.org, the Nation and the Center for American Progress. The multi-organizational partnership model would become a keystone of Greenwalds filmmaking approach
Its work has been covered by mainstream media including New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Time magazine, and The Huffington Post
Robert Greenwald on how *ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) is falsely claiming tax exempt status while doing widespread lobbying
Robert Greenwald and Ed Schultz on the IRS complaint against the group, saying enough’s enough. http://kochbrothersexposed.com
* The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a 501(c)(3) organization that shares and drafts model state-level legislation for national distribution, with a membership of conservative state legislators and private sector representatives.
According to its website, ALEC “works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public
The New York Times reported that special interests have “effectively turn[ed] ALEC’s lawmaker members into stealth lobbyists, providing them with talking points, signaling how they should vote and collaborating on bills affecting hundreds of issues like school vouchers and tobacco taxes
ALEC’s influence also created a backlash among media outlets and political opponents who claimed it was secretly subverting democratic institutions to further the aims of its corporate benefactors.
Prior to 2012, legislation based on ALEC models bills was introduced in many states to mandate or strengthen requirements that voters produce state-issued photo identification. The bills were passed and signed into law in six states
Have to say this, he looks gay.
Is this an Alzheimer’s ping?