Monthly Notes

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.”

Same-sex marriage supporters are holding secret meetings with Republican activists and officials in order to convince them to embrace their cause, according to the Washington Blade. The same-sex marriage supporters reportedly include billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, former Solicitor General Ted Olson, former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), and former Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman. George Rasley, who edits Conservative HQ.com, said the political consequence of the GOP’s embracing same sex marriage would be disastrous. “It would leave millions of voters who hold traditional Judeo-Christian values without a political home.”

“Google has surpassed Goldman Sachs as a U.S. political donor in a sign of Silicon Valley’s increasingly assertive efforts to shape policy and counter critical scrutiny in Washington,” the Financial Times reports. As of mid-October, Google’s political action committee, NetPAC, had given $1.43 million in political campaign donations this year, outstripping the politically connected investment bank, which has spent just $1.4 million in the same period. Technology companies are throwing large sums of money around this year in order to secure political support for immigration amnesty, tax relief, and enhanced oversight of intelligence agencies. “While people working in the technology sector typically lean left, tech companies in the latest political cycle are increasingly donating more to Republicans or splitting their giving equally between the two parties,” the newspaper reports.

 

GOLDMAN SACHS WATCH

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. saw third-quarter net income jump 48 percent to $2.24 billion, compared to $1.52 last year, reports the Wall Street Journal.  The company’s fixed income, currencies and commodities trading desk “showed a much sharper rebound than peers such as Citigroup Inc. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.”  Its revenues from investment banking rose 25 percent above last year’s performance, thanks to “higher fees from advising clients on mergers and other deals, and underwriting stock offerings.”

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum writes and speaks widely on ACORN and other radical advocacy…
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