Philanthropy Notes: May 2014

Under fire from left-wing activists who want the Washington Redskins football team to change its name, owner Dan Snyder has created the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation in an attempt to deflect criticism. Although few Native American Indians are actually offended by the term redskins—in fact, the word Oklahoma is Choctaw Indian for red people—Snyder and his staff took a 20-state tour of Indian country and suddenly became interested in helping the nation’s native peoples.

“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder said. “In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.” By making excuses, accepting false premises, and pandering to the Left, Snyder is repeating the same mistakes that corporate America has made for decades. The activists always come back for more.

Former U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies (D-Pa.), Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law who now seeks to return to Congress, has doubled her salary as head of a small taxpayer-supported charity, the Washington Free Beacon reports. Margolies, who still runs Women’s Campaign International, “used the charity in 2001 following then-husband Democratic Rep. Ed Mezvinsky’s fraud indictment for a variety of self-serving purposes such as leasing and renovating a historic Philadelphia mansion for her to live in.” When Margolies founded the charity in 1998, she paid herself $1,000 weekly, but increased her draw after scoring a $600,000 grant from the Clinton administration’s U.S. Agency for International Development. When her husband’s fraud came to light in 2001, the charity doubled her salary, placing it in the six figures. She also reportedly “attempted to have the charity renovate and lease a mansion in which she would live, billed the charity for her automobile lease and other expenses, and required charity staff to assist with her other responsibilities as a faculty member at a local university.”

As its listener base shrinks, the left-wing Pacifica Foundation Radio is in turmoil, according to L.A. Weekly. After a series of staff layoffs, the foundation fired its executive director, Summer Reese, during a teleconference in March. Four days later Reese emailed Pacifica staff to say she was not accepting the board’s authority to fire her. “I want to assure you that I am in possession of a signed and valid contract for three years of employment from the board of directors and that I fully intend to complete that contract.” Reese used bolt cutters on March 17 to remove a padlock on the organization’s head office in Berkeley, Calif. When newly appointed interim executive director Margy Wilkinson appeared, Reese and her supporters refused to let Wilkinson into the building. The taxpayer-supported Corporation for Public Broadcasting is also withholding Pacifica’s grant money because of its “failure to provide documentation” for a 2012 audit. One staffer said the board is dominated by two factions: the “Radio Havana crowd,” which is in the majority, and the former majority, the “conspiracy and quackery crowd,” which in 2010 approved a motion calling for all its Los Angeles affiliate’s programs to question the “official story” of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

 

 GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

Goldman Sachs Group has been trying to raise the profile of its public relations program called “10,000 Small Businesses,” launched in 2009.  The company recently ran an ad in the Washington Post touting the benefits of the program which is supposed to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by offering them improved access to education, capital, and business support services.  Goldman Sachs reports that “many graduates of the program indicated seeing a significant impact in their businesses from when they entered the program to six months after graduation.”  Participants change “how they lead their businesses, access capital, and capitalize on networks.”

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