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: January 2015

More proof emerged last month that President Obama is using the IRS as a weapon against his perceived enemies when the administration abruptly canceled the planned release of 2,500 damning documents reportedly showing the IRS illegally shared taxpayer files with the White House. The inspector general’s office for the U.S. Department of the Treasury is making the novel claim that privacy laws prevent releasing documents. Dan Epstein, executive director of watchdog group Cause of Action, was skeptical. Treasury is using “sophisticated” lawyering to worm out of producing the documents, he said.

National Action Network president Al Sharpton has visited the White House an astounding 61 times since Obama became president. This fact tends to support Sharpton’s boasts about the influence he wields over the Obama administration, including his claim that he was instrumental in selecting U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as nominee for the U.S. attorney general post.

A recent march in New York City organized by Sharpton’s group, whose motto is “No justice, no peace,” got ugly. Marchers demanded that new federal laws be enacted to limit the use of physical force by local and state police agencies. Protesters had their own ideas. According to reports, many chanted “What do we want? Dead cops!”

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Philanthropy Notes: January 2015

Watchdog.org reports that the Ford Foundation, the fourth-wealthiest philanthropy in the U.S. with $11.1 billion in assets and income of $1.5 billion (in fiscal 2012), is pouring major resources into progressive groups involved in the fight over “net neutrality,” a fashionable liberal idea that the Internet needs more government regulation. “If you are a foundation for justice in the world, and you don’t understand that the Internet is going to be a major battleground in this century, and you’re not engaged in that fight and supporting people who are concerned about access and security, you’re going to be left out of one of the most important justice issues of the day,” Ford president Darren Walker said.

Walker neglected to say, notes Watchdog.org, that Ford “stands to earn millions of dollars in profits from a nearly billion-dollar investment portfolio that includes companies that would profit from net neutrality regulations,” the website reports. Ford’s investments in Google, Microsoft, and close to 500 companies netted the foundation more than $402 million in stock-based profits in 2012 alone.

In a swansong of a study, retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) slammed the U.S. tax code. As the Washington Times reports, Coburn’s “Tax Decoder” report warns that “the tax code is so peppered with special giveaways that companies such as Facebook end up getting refunds, and high-profile athletes and artists use their tax-free foundations to give friends jobs while avoiding taxes—all leading to higher income tax rates for the rest of us.”

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Briefly Noted: December 2014

National Action Network founder Al Sharpton played a significant role in President Obama’s selection of federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as U.S. attorney general, according to various news reports. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was first appointed by President Obama in 2010. She shares a lot of Sharpton’s radical left-wing views such as the belief that voter ID laws are racist. Lynch also belonged to the Harvard Black Law Students Association in the 1980s when she was a student. That radical group brought representatives from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to speak on campus, GotNews.com reports. BLSA leader Mohammed Kenyatta called for the “liberation of Palestine” and expressed support for the PLO.

Voting by illegal aliens and other non-citizens is so prevalent throughout the nation that it gave us Obamacare, according to a study by two Old Dominion University political science professors. The new report by Jesse Richman and David Earnest “examines participation rates by non-citizens using a nationally representative sample that includes non-citizen immigrants,” a first in voting studies, they claim. “Non-citizen votes,” which are almost always illegal, “likely gave Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress,” the authors write. North of 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples reported being registered to vote. “Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010,” they wrote. And yet left-wing groups such as Demos, Brennan Center for Justice, Center for American Progress, and Advancement Project claim voter fraud is a myth.

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Philanthropy Notes: December 2014

Can Hillary take a hint? The Democracy Alliance, a secretive club for radical billionaires, snubbed presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at its semi-annual planning meeting in the nation’s capital last month by not inviting her to address the group. Instead its donors who fund left-wing political infrastructure invited progressive populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-N.Y.) and Vice President Joe Biden to address them. Warren “got a rock star’s welcome during a closed-door speech to major donors, one of whom interrupted her by yelling ‘Run, Liz, Run!’” Warren received multiple standing ovations during her oration, Politico reports.

The Project on Fair Representation, an Alexandria, Virginia-based legal defense fund, filed suit against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in an effort to have their affirmative action programs banned. The group claims that the two schools’ policies limit admissions of high-achieving Asian-American and white students and that Harvard has a quota limiting how many Asian-Americans it accepts. The group’s ultimate goal is a noble one: to have race-based admission standards prohibited in all colleges in the country.
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Briefly Noted: November 2014

George Soros’s election-rigging project is back from the dead. The Secretary of State Project (SoSP), a 527 political committee that went dormant two years ago, has been reincarnated as iVote. SoSP helped to elect community organizer Mark Ritchie, the ACORN-loving Minnesota secretary of state who oversaw Al Franken’s controversial victory over Republican Norm Coleman for a U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election cycle.

In its own words, the Washington, D.C.-based iVote is a “PAC of grassroots activists and veterans of the campaigns of last three Democratic nominees [sic], launched a campaign to ‘flip the script’ from playing defense on voter suppression, to playing offense, not only on voter protection, but also on expansion of voting access.” Like SoSP, iVote is trying to help left-wing candidates, who think voter fraud is a figment of your imagination, become elected as secretaries of state in states across the country, where they can then change election rules to discriminate against Republicans. iVote was founded by Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies, national field director for the 2012 re-election campaign of President Obama.

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Philanthropy Notes: November 2014

Citizens United may proceed with a documentary film critical of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and other liberals without disclosing its donors, a federal appeals court ruled in Denver. The nonprofit group sued the state after it ruled that the movie constituted electioneering and that the identities of those funding the project therefore had to be made public. The movie, Rocky Mountain Heist, “explores the liberal takeover” of Colorado, once a reliably Republican state. Citizens United gained national prominence when a case the group brought to the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for greater involvement by corporations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, in the electoral process. The wonderful pro-First Amendment ruling by the Court continues to drive left-wingers into fits of apoplexy by allowing corporations the same right to free speech as labor unions.

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has failed in his efforts to demonize the libertarian/conservative Koch brothers, reports the Washington Free Beacon. A new poll finds only 27 percent of voters view the donor brothers negatively, and 47 percent don’t even know who they are. “Those numbers haven’t moved significantly since a similar poll taken back in April,” author Andrew Stiles notes. Reid, by contrast, excites negative views from almost 40 percent of voters. One other data point: Who was the biggest single donor—by far—to outside spending groups this cycle? “Reid’s good friend Tom Steyer, an environmentalist billionaire.”

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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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