Author Archive

Matthew Vadum

Veteran journalist Matthew Vadum edits Organization Trends and Foundation Watch. He previously worked in the Washington bureau of The Bond Buyer newspaper. While a reporter for the Central Penn Business Journal in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he won an award for outstanding legal journalism from the Pennsylvania Bar Association for an article that focused on employment law. He holds an M.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University. An expert on the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), Vadum's book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers," was published by WND Books in May 2011.

Briefly Noted: October 2014

The Benghazi Accountability Coalition is pressing Congress for answers about the Obama administration’s bungling in the deadly debacle in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012. Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who died trying to fend off the Islamist attack, said he can’t understand why the Obama administration won’t answer even the most basic questions about what happened. “When a mission is compromised, the warriors, they know they will be extracted,” said Woods, who was also a Navy SEAL himself. “During all of the hours that this attack happened, there was no attempt made to rescue.” The administration’s refusal to launch such a rescue mission stands in stark contrast to its willingness to swap Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who apparently defected to the Taliban in Afghanistan, for five members of the Islamic terrorist high command.

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton says internal State Department documents have surfaced that show that three months before the Benghazi attack, security guards were fleeing their posts “out of fear of their safety.” Those documents consisted of emails obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act, which is “the best way to get information out of this administration—an administration that is committed to secrecy and stonewalling on something that would have taken down previous administrations,” Fitton said. “Which is the lying by a president and his officials, to protect his re-election, about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans.”

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Philanthropy Notes: October 2014

A coalition of nonprofit religious employers including nursing home operator Little Sisters of the Poor say they will carry on with lawsuits against the Obama administration’s constitutionally questionable contraception coverage mandate. The government tinkered with the requirement and said in the future that a religious nonprofit employer may object to providing the contraceptive benefit, at which point the government would order the employer’s insurance provider to offer the coverage free of charge. Lawyers for the Little Sisters of the Poor say the new rules “merely offer the Little Sisters another way to violate their religion and comply with the mandate.”

The U.S. Department of Labor collaborated with the White House over whether to make public hidden parts of former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’ schedule as she dealt with an FBI investigation into her allegedly illegal fundraising for President Obama, the Daily Caller reports. Cause of Action discovered emails in which the Obama White House thanked the Labor Department for “flagging” a public information request for “withheld” portions of the then-cabinet officer’s schedule. Solis allegedly did fundraising for the Obama campaign and headlined a fundraising event in her official capacity as a cabinet member, a violation of the Hatch Act.

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Help make The Enemies Within into a movie!

The great Trevor Loudon is trying to make his opus, The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress, into a motion picture.

He needs your help.

You can make a donation to this important effort at Indiegogo.

Philanthropy Notes: August 2014

The unaccomplished Chelsea Clinton earns an amazing $75,000 per speaking engagement, according to the Huffington Post. The former First Daughter’s spokesman says she donates all her speaking fees to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. So far so good, right? Not exactly. Critics object that Chelsea’s mother is now using the foundation as a de facto campaign organization in advance of her likely 2016 presidential run, so Chelsea’s donations are akin to campaign contributions. Critics also say Hillary, who likewise claims she donates her huge speaking fees—averaging $200,000 per speech—to the foundation, is using the philanthropy as a holding ground for her potential presidential campaign staff, according to the Daily Mail (UK). So far Mrs. Clinton has refused to back up her claim she donates the fees with actual documentation, as requested by ABC News.

The Alliance for Charitable Reform, a group of nonprofits that defends philanthropic freedom, applauded the House of Representatives’s passage of two provisions in July that the group has long championed. The first measure streamlines the private foundation excise tax into a flat 1 percent rate; the second gives donors until April 15 to make charitable donations that can be deducted in the previous year. The measures will now move to the Senate.

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Briefly Noted: August 2014

Many of the Mercedes Marxists who belong to the shadowy Democracy Alliance donor group are not happy campers, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Facebook magnate and New Republic editor Chris Hughes joined the group last year but indicated he’s unlikely to renew his membership. “Three other partners—former investment banker and U.S. ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, tech entrepreneur Tim Gill, and Steve Cohen … are at risk of ceasing their involvement with the DA,” according to WFB. To offset losses, the group wants 16 new members by year’s end. Art dealer Ronald Feldman and manufacturing executive Donald Budinger quit earlier this year. Alliance president (and George Soros protégé) Gara LaMarche, admitted that some former members “had the perception we were not sufficiently independent of the Democratic Party or the White House, or failed to take a long enough view of infrastructure and power-building beyond the next election cycle.”

Despite the internal strife, the funding powerhouse plans a $200 million fundraising campaign this election cycle to benefit key groups pushing for a left-wing Democrat majority in Congress. The goal of the Alliance is to foster a permanent political infrastructure of left-wing nonprofits, think tanks, media outlets, leadership schools, and activist groups. Among the groups benefiting from the Alliance’s largesse are the John Podesta-founded Center for American Progress, Media Matters for America, America Votes, and Organizing for Action.

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Briefly Noted: July 2014

The dog ate my homework: The Internal Revenue Service says it has lost former tax-exempt division chief Lois Lerner’s potentially scandalous emails from January 2009 to April 2011. As a result of a supposed computer crash, the agency now claims it possesses only Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this period in which Lerner and her colleagues were illegally cracking down on conservative nonprofit groups. In other words, the IRS is unable (or unwilling) to hand over emails written to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, Federal Election Commission, or from the offices of Democratic lawmakers.

“The fact that I am just learning about this, over a year into the investigation, is completely unacceptable and now calls into question the credibility of the IRS’s response to congressional inquiries,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “There needs to be an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”

The left-wing group MoveOn.org Political Action is encouraging its members to sign a petition urging President Obama to avoid taking new military action in Iraq, which is now being overrun by the brutal al-Qaeda linked terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). “The solution to the chaos is not another American military intervention, including bombing strikes. President Obama was right to end the Iraq War in 2011, and it would be a tremendous mistake to restart it now.”

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Philanthropy Notes: July 2014

Walmart Derangement Syndrome? More than half the members of the New York City Council signed a letter demanding that Walmart stop giving millions of dollars in charitable contributions to groups active in the city, the New York Post reports. Twenty-six of the 51 members of the Council claimed in the letter that Walmart only gives money as part of a cynical campaign to enter the local market. “We know how desperate you are to find a foothold in New York City to buy influence and support here,” says the letter addressed to Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation. “Stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city,” the letter demands. “That’s right: this is a cease-and-desist letter.” Left-wingers abhor Walmart because it’s big, successful, and resists unionization drives.

The number of college presidents earning $1 million-plus more than doubled in 2013, rising to nine from just four in 2012, according to the survey carried out by the Chronicle of Higher Education, which factored in salary, bonuses, deferred pay, retirement, and severance. Ohio State president Gordon Gee (who has since left the post to lead West Virginia University) topped the list earning $6.1 million as president.

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‘The Right Frequency’ gets a bump

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) unexpected primary loss last week to political newcomer Dave Brat is a testament to the continuing power of conservative talk radio.

Cheered on by radio talkers such as Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin, Brat went around the Republican Party establishment to pull off a stunning upset that is still reverberating in the corridors of power in the nation’s capital.  (Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California was elected today by House Republicans to serve as new House majority leader when Cantor leaves the post later this summer.)

As Brat stormed the establishment barricades, a book by Capital Research Center contributor Fred Lucas, The Right Frequency: The Story of the Talk Radio Giants Who Shook Up the Political and Media Establishment, surged to the top of the Radio History books category on Amazon.

Coincidence?

Philanthropy Notes: June 2014

The 50 biggest donors in the United States gave $7.7-billion to nonprofits last year, with higher education and family foundations receiving the most money, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Heading the list is Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan ($992.2 million). Other notable givers who made the cut include Michael Bloomberg (4th, $452 million), eBay founder Pierre and Pam Omidyar (7th, $225 million), Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojkicki (9th, $219 million), businessman David Koch (24th, $101 million), and radical hedge fund manager George Soros (47th, $40 million).

Several high-profile think tanks have spotty track records on disclosing their funding sources, according to a new study reported on by the New York Times. Organizations such as the Hoover Institution, Center for American Progress, and Center for Strategic and International Studies each received one star out of five in the survey by Transparify, a small nonprofit based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and funded by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. By contrast, the Brookings Institution and Heritage Foundation, each received four stars because they publicly disclose donors who give more than $5,000. “It’s important that people can have confidence in the integrity of the research, and if you are concealing the sources of funding that is relevant, as people don’t know how your research may be motivated,” said Hans Gutbrod, Transparify’s executive director.

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Briefly Noted: June 2014

An ultra-secretive left-wing money machine for super-rich radicals is bringing more representatives of Big Labor into the fold, in hopes of preventing a possible Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate this November. New members of the George Soros-dominated Democracy Alliance identified by the Washington Free Beacon are Noel Beasley, president of Workers United, a textile union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and Keith Mestrich, president of the union-owned Amalgamated Bank. Other new members from Big Labor include Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. The names of the members were found on an official Alliance document Soros’s son Jonathan left behind at the group’s meeting in the Chicago Ritz hotel.

Other new members of the Democracy Alliance, a donors’ collaborative focused on funding left-wing political infrastructure, include Adam Abram (insurance and real estate), Rick Segal (financial services), and Paul Boskind (behavioral health). Among the heirs and heiresses to recently join the group are Amy Goldman (real estate), Henry van Ameringen (manufacturing), and New School professor Philip Munger, son of Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger.

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