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.

Boy Scouts redux? The Chico State University branch of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (ICF) may forfeit its status as a campus group because its rule that its leaders be Christians has run afoul of a state anti-discrimination policy, Katherine Timpf of reports. According to the California State University system, having leaders sign a statement of faith contravenes a 2011 executive order that forbids discrimination based on “race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability.” Greg Jao, national field director for ICF, said the Chico club, which does not require members to be Christians, should be exempted from the order because its leaders’ duties are religious in nature. “Our student leaders aren’t like secretaries or treasurers of other organizations,” Jao said. “They lead Bible studies and worship, things like that.”

In a move controversial in left-wing circles, New Jersey-based activist Cornell Brooks has been named president of the NAACP, replacing Ben Jealous who left for the private sector in Silicon Valley. (Jealous has also became a partner at the Kapor Center for Social Impact in Oakland, Calif.) The relatively unknown Brooks comes to the 105-year-old NAACP from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Critics say Brooks lacks the experience to lead the at-times fractious, financially challenged organization, whose national office recently laid off 7 percent of its staff. Brooks “is a cipher—unknown and untested, hardly a distinguished or likely successor to giants like … Roy Wilkins and Thurgood Marshall,” wrote Michael Meyers, executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition, in a letter published by the Baltimore Sun.

Meanwhile, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) said it won’t partner with or fundraise for the United Negro College Fund anymore because the philanthropy dared to accept a $25 million donation from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation. AFSCME president Lee Saunders made the nonsensical claim that the fund’s alliance with libertarian-leaning Charles and David Koch is “not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.” The college fund president, Michael Lomax, refused to be cowed by the union thugs, saying it won’t budge to appease the union.

Matt Schlapp, White House political director under George W. Bush, has become chairman of the American Conservative Union, which runs the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Schlapp was selected by the ACU board after Al Cardenas resigned after three years at the helm to focus more attention on his legal practice after the recent death of a law partner.

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