Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

July 5, 2024

InfluenceWatch, a project of Capital Research Center, is a comprehensive and ever-evolving compilation of our research into the numerous advocacy groups, foundations, and donors working to influence the public policy process. The website offers transparency into these influencers’ funding, motives, and connections while providing insight often neglected by other watchdog groups.

The information compiled in InfluenceWatch gives news outlets and other interested parties research to use in reporting on significant topics that are often overlooked by the American public.

CRC is pleased to present some of the most significant additions to InfluenceWatch in the past week:

  • The Quitiplas Foundation is a left-of-center private foundation formed in 2007 and funded by retired University of Iowa professor Thomas M. Scruggs. The organization has previously funded several left-of-center groups including Jewish Voice for Peace, Alliance for Global Justice (AFGJ), the Sierra Club Foundation, and Greenpeace. In addition, the group has also funded several media publications linked to socialist ideologies including the Jacobin and In These Times.
  • The Public Labor Unions Accountability Committee (PLUAC) is a conservative watchdog group formed in May 2024 to investigate public sector unions and their influence in areas including education, Medicare, and local municipal operations. PLUAC claims that such public sector unions act as “puppet masters” of the “progressive left” in areas including “schools, media, and government.” The group also observes Political Action Committee (PAC) spending and individual contributions liked between public sector unions and Democratic Party-connected campaigns.
  • The Palestine Chronicle, also known as the People Media Project, is a pro-Palestinian nonprofit covering news stories from within the Middle East. The outlet is accused of supporting the Palestinian terror group Hamas after Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers freed four hostages taken during the October 7 2023 terror attack against Israel who were found in the home of Palestine Chronicle journalist Abdallah Al-Jamal. Earlier in November 2023, the outlet published a story claiming that IDF soldiers were responsible for the October 7 attacks, including the attack at the Supernova Music Festival, and not Hamas.
  • The Zakat Foundation of America is a charity-based organization that claims to provide aid to improvised communities around the world. In 2023, the Zakat Foundation partnered with anti-Israel American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) to promote the latter’s annual convention; the latter has been described by the Anti-Defamation Leagueas “the leading organization providing anti-Zionist training” in America. In 2022, Zakat released a list of over 100 of its partner organizations which include the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Office of S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
  • The Epoch Public Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports the production and promotion of the Epoch Timesnewspaper and the New Tang Dynasty television network. In June 2024, left-of-center advocacy group US filed an IRS complaint against both the Epoch Public Foundation (EPF) and the Epoch Times Association (ETA) over alleged reporting errors on both organizations’ tax filings for 2021 and 2022. In June 2024, Bill Guan the treasurer of the board and CFO of the Epoch Times, was charged in alleged money laundering scheme involving over $67 million.

Jonathan Harsh

Jonathan Harsh holds a master’s degree in political science from James Madison University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from  Beloit College. He is a content editor at the…
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