Publication Archives: Blog

Drummond Pike

Brett Kimberlin and the Threshold Foundation’s radical ties

What do self-described “communist” Van Jones, his good friend Arianna Huffington, radical philanthropist George Soros, the Threshold Foundation, and the Tides Foundation all have in common?

They all are connected in some way to convicted “Speedway Bomber” Brett C. Kimberlin, a man described by Michelle Malkin as “a radical, violent, lying, dangerous felon.”

Kimberlin, as blogger Liberty Chick previously reported,

spent nearly 17 years in prison after being convicted of launching a week-long bombing spree that terrorized the residents of Speedway, Indiana in the late 1970’s. One of the blasts horribly maimed a man so badly that it directly led to that man’s suicide a few years later, which was proven when the widow of that bombing victim successfully sued and won a civil judgment against Kimberlin for $1.6 million.

Kimberlin is a political trailblazer of sorts. He is a tactical innovator whose tried and true methods would have impressed the father of modern community organizing, Saul Alinsky. The late conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart recognized Kimberlin’s unique talents last fall, tweeting that the convicted terrorist and his confederates needed “exposure.”

Kimberlin is focusing on bullying conservatives into silence, which is the same thing that so much of progressivedom is concentrating on nowadays. But unlike Van Jones and the various Marxist agitators who have inflicted damage on conservative talk radio and innocuous groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) through innuendo and smears, Kimberlin gets in his enemies’ faces. While in prison he taught himself the law. Nowadays he sues conservatives who write about him and obtains restraining orders against them – the First Amendment be damned.

Amazingly, a leading Kimberlin detractor, conservative blogger Aaron Walker, was jailed by a Maryland judge yesterday after criticizing Kimberlin.

JTMP and another nonprofit Kimberlin founded, Velvet Revolution, receive money from left-wing funders. Of course it’s their privilege to do what they want with their money even if it means funding nonprofits operated by “a radical, violent, lying, dangerous felon.” Similarly, since 1984 it has been Capital Research Center’s mission to report on and analyze what charities do with their money.

The Threshold Foundation has been in the news in recent days because the San Francisco-based philanthropy gave $20,000 in 2008 to the Justice Through Music Project, a seven year old Bethesda, Maryland-based 501c3 nonprofit entity. JTMP was founded by Mr. Kimberlin a few short years after his release from prison. (See its latest IRS Form 990 [tax return] here.) Threshold has also given $60,000 to the related nonprofit, Velvet Revolution, since 2007. (For more information on Threshold, see Bonner Cohen’s July 2006 Foundation Watch article.)

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Tides Founder Drummond Pike Resigns

According to a Canadian nonprofit, Drummond Pike, CEO of the San-Francisco-based Tides Foundation, an innovative leftwing grantmaker, has resigned as head of the group he founded 34 years ago.

A little-known benefactor to radical activist groups, Pike achieved notoriety in 2008 when he personally contributed $700,000 to help coverup and compensate the radical community organizing group ACORN for a nearly $1 million embezzlement by ACORN financial officer Dale Rathke. Dale Rathke is the brother of Pike’s friend Wade Rathke, who founded ACORN and was a founding board member of Tides. 

Tides has achieved reknown for revolutionizing the way money is gathered and distributed to left-leaning groups. The Tides Foundation maintains some 300 donor-advised funds. In 2008 it accepted $114 million from individual and foundation donors and made 1800 grants totaling $105 million. The Tides Center, a spin-off group, acts as a “fiscal sponsor” lending its management and fundraising skills and, more importantly, its tax-exempt status, to new and inexperienced activist organizations that are treated as Tides “projects” for legal and tax purposes.

Capital Research Center will examine Tides in its forthcoming October Foundation Watch publication. Word of Pike’s resignation reached us after our press deadline

According to a press release Pikes’ successor is Tides board member Melissa L. Bradley,  president and founder of New Capitalist, a venture capital firm.