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Media Matters for America

Building a Radical Foundation: The Glaser Progress Foundation makes no bones about its focus on far-left activism

Building a Radical Foundation:  The Glaser Progress Foundation makes no bones about its focus on far-left activism

By Matthew Vadum, Foundation Watch, March 2014 (PDF here)

Summary:  Although the Glaser Progress Foundation was made possible by the great wealth its benefactor garnered from a mere decade’s work at Microsoft, it aims to change the country radically.  To that end, it works with left-wing agitators at such groups as the Democracy Alliance, Media Matters for America, and Demos.

Often when wealthy left-wingers endow an eponymous foundation, they fade into the woodwork, preferring to let their money do the talking. Not so with software magnate Rob Glaser, a well-connected high-dollar Democratic donor best known for founding RealNetworks, a prominent Internet company. Glaser has been a supporter of Barack Obama since Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate run, according to DiscoverTheNetworks. In 2010, Glaser and his wife hosted a $10,000-a-plate lunch event with President Obama at their Seattle home, the same year Glaser attended a White House forum on technology and government.

Glaser had previously donated $50,000 to Obama’s 2009 inauguration fund. But Glaser did still more in the 2008 electoral cycle; he also helped Al Franken (D) procure his Minnesota U.S. Senate seat by first “maxing out” to the candidate with $4,600 for his regular campaign, and then contributing $12,300 after the election to the Franken Recount Fund. During the bitter recount battle for this Senate seat, Franken’s team used means so outrageous that the Wall Street Journal declared that Franken’s opponent, Norm Coleman “didn’t lose the election. He lost the fight to stop the state canvassing board from changing the vote-counting rules after the fact.”

In the 2004 electoral cycle, Glaser reportedly gave more than $1 million to defeat George W. Bush. So it’s no surprise that Glaser is an ally of George Soros, who poured tens of millions of dollars into the fight against Bush in 2004. Nor is it surprising that Glaser is also a leading member of Soros’s Democracy Alliance, an invitation-only donors’ collaborative for rich left-wingers. Created in the aftermath of the 2004 elections, which brought stinging defeats to the Left in battles for the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives, the Alliance is a financial clearinghouse for those who want to move America farther to the left.

Clinton administration official Rob Stein founded the Democracy Alliance with the aim of creating a permanent political infrastructure of nonprofits, think tanks, media outlets, leadership schools, and activist groups—a kind of “vast left-wing conspiracy” to battle the conservative movement. The donors group has channeled its members’ funds to fairly well-established pressure groups, watchdogs and think tanks, get-out-the-vote operations, and political action committees (PACs). It is intensely secretive. Members of the group meet twice a year to decide which causes to support with their checkbooks. (For more on the Alliance, see Foundation Watch, December 2008.)

Other ways that Glaser battled for the Left in the 2004 electoral cycle include his early support of America Coming Together (ACT), a large, ambitious Democratic get-out-the-vote operation created to affect the 2004 elections. Glaser donated $750,000 to ACT and talked his friends into donating as well. ACT folded in 2005 with little to show for the millions of dollars it raised and spent—with the exception of a $775,000 fine from the Federal Election Commission for illegally using unregulated “soft money” to support John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

In the previous presidential election of 2000, Glaser donated both to Ralph Nader’s Green Party campaign and also, less generously, to Al Gore’s campaign on the Democratic ticket.

Early Years
When Glaser studied at Yale, graduating in 1983, his politics were “slightly to the left of Che Guevara,” according to Bruce Jacobsen, a former RealNetworks executive who knew Glaser at the Ivy League school. Glaser once considered becoming a labor organizer, but instead he became a multi-millionaire thanks to his decade at Microsoft, where he worked on the Windows operating system and the word-processing program MS Word.

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Attacking ALEC: Left-wing politicians and activists pursue the American Legislative Exchange Council

Attacking ALEC: Left-wing politicians and activists pursue the American Legislative Exchange Council

By Matthew Vadum (Organization Trends, December 2013) (PDF here)

Summary:   The American Legislative Exchange Council has long worked to improve government at the state level by limiting it to its proper roles and by preventing unions and other special interest groups from currying political favors.  ALEC’s effectiveness may be seen in the fury with which certain senators and left-wing activists are now trying to harass the group’s donors, especially skittish corporations, and bankrupt ALEC.

Few conservative organizations have been more routinely smeared and unfairly attacked in the Obama era than the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), based in Arlington, Virginia.  ALEC is a membership organization of more than 2,000 legislators and corporations. Left-wing activists demonize the group because, quite simply, it is effective in advancing the cause of free markets, limited government, and federalism at the state level throughout America. ALEC is one of a handful of political groups in the country that tries to reverse the civic rot that has eaten away at the nation since the tumultuous 1960s. It seeks, in economist Milton Friedman’s words, to “develop alternatives to existing policies [and] keep them alive and available.”

Since President Johnson and Congress launched the “Great Society” welfare programs, tens of thousands of nonprofit advocacy groups have emerged. Most of these groups lean to port and promote more government programs and regulations in areas once considered the domain of families, charities, neighborhood associations, and other voluntary organizations. They argue it is the government’s responsibility to solve almost all of society’s problems and push big government solutions in education, the environment, and healthcare. With the help of the Left, government has increasingly supplanted the voluntary, community-based problem-solving that the great observer of early American society, Alexis de Tocqueville, recognized as a key to America’s thriving.

For ALEC’s efforts to restore the time-honored virtues of the American republic, leftists have rewarded the group with histrionics and slander. ALEC’s enemies have struggled to kill the group in recent years, savaging it for its principled positions on public policy issues of interest to conservatives and libertarians. ALEC’s story is a cautionary tale of what happens when left-wing, Saul Alinsky-inspired agitators target a conservative group for destruction.

Left-wing activists claimed ALEC was racist because its members in past years had supported voter ID laws and “stand your ground” self-defense laws like the Florida statute mentioned repeatedly by the media (but not by the defendant) during George Zimmerman’s murder trial earlier this year. Of course, most people of all races tell pollsters they support voter ID laws, and “stand your ground” laws have been signed into law by (now retired) Democratic governors like Jennifer Granholm of Michigan and Janet Napolitano (who later became Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security).

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James O’Keefe slams George Soros-funded Media Matters

A wonderful passage from James O’Keefe’s new book, Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy:

Of all the anti-journalist organs, Media Matters, more formally Media Matters for America, is the squirreliest and least scrupulous.  According to the New York Times, Media Matters has a $10 million annual budget, most of it provided by friendly plutocrats, none richer than international man of mystery George Soros.  Every day its staff of nearly one hundred little McCarthyites pores over every word said by every major commentator of a different political stripe; they are looking for something that can be used against him or her.  They specialize in race-baiting.  [p.60]

Conservative Groups Were Targeted

CRC’s Matthew Vadum wrote an article examining the IRS crackdown on conservative nonprofit groups:

IRS Targeting of Conservatives: Indisputably Political

By Matthew Vadum

Despite propaganda relentlessly churned out by the mainstream media to justify the Obama IRS crackdown on conservative groups, the fact remains that the American Right is severely outgunned by the much better funded Left. And while highly political left-wing organizations far outpace their conservative counterparts in number and assets, they have never been subjected to the kind of rigorous scrutiny and interference that the IRS has recently inflicted on right-wing groups, making allegations of partisan abuse by the agency difficult to refute.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stands as a case in point of the kind of misinformation being peddled by the Left to shield the Obama administration from the IRS scandal. Toobin writes in the New Yorker that Obama’s IRS didn’t do anything wrong. The Tea Party groups targeted by Obama’s bureaucrats got what was coming to them. Those organizations

were seeking approval to operate under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This would require them to be “social welfare,” not political, operations. There are significant advantages to being a 501(c)(4). These groups don’t pay taxes; they don’t have to disclose their donors—unlike traditional political organizations, such as political-action committees. In return for the tax advantage and the secrecy, the 501(c)(4) organizations must refrain from traditional partisan political activity, like endorsing candidates.

If that definition sounds murky—that is, if it’s unclear what 501(c)(4) organizations are allowed to do—that’s because it is murky. Particularly leading up to the 2012 elections, many conservative organizations, nominally 501(c)(4)s, were all but explicitly political in their work.

However, as David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin show in their meticulously researched 2012 book, The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future, the greatest exploiters of the “murkiness” of “social welfare” activism are by far left-wing organizations. The collective assets of liberal-progressive grant-making foundations are in fact 10 times the size of the assets of conservative foundations., a website run by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, identified 115 major progressive or left-leaning foundations. In 2010, it found the progressive foundations had total assets of $104.56 billion.

The left-leaning National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Think Progress, a popular blog run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, identified 82 major conservative grant-making foundations. In 2010, they found the conservative foundations had total assets of just $10.29 billion.

The progressive foundations awarded $8.81 billion in grants compared to the conservative foundations’ paltry $831.8 million in grants. As long as grant makers “don’t violate IRS rules that bar direct contributions to candidates and parties, tax-exempt foundations can operate without constraints,” Horowitz and Laksin write.

This vast network of left-wing funders and activist groups dwarfs anything the activist Right has to offer. It is “self-sufficient and self-perpetuating … an aristocracy of wealth whose dimensions exceed any previous accumulations of financial power, whose influence already represents a massive disenfranchisement of the American people and whose agendas pose a disturbing prospect for the American future,” according to the authors.

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Media Matters’s Eric Boehlert Caught In A Lie, Falsely Accuses Weekly Standard of Ignoring Gosnell Abortion Trial

(crossposted from PJ Tatler)

As I’ve written before, the anti-conservative propaganda website, Media Matters for America, lies, distorts, and makes up things in order to make good Americans look bad.

A case in point is Eric Boehlert, a senior slime-purveyor at the George Soros-funded character assassination factory.

Boehlert, known for his sloppy research and typographical errors, is now trying to justify the mainstream media’s virtual blackout of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell by accusing conservative media outlets of ignoring the proceedings.

Specifically, Boehlert writes that the conservative Weekly Standard magazine only bothered covering the trial recently.

He notes that the April 22 print version contains an unsigned editorial on Gosnell titled “See No Evil,” and that the online version contains only two articles on Gosnell — “A House of Horrors,” by Gary Bauer (April 3) and “The Gosnell Scandal” by Jon A. Shields (April 10).

But in fact the Weekly Standard has published at least three other pieces on Gosnell dating back to 2011 and Gosnell has been mentioned in various items available in the online archive dozens of times.

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Media Matters quotes us

The George Soros-funded hate group, Media Matters for America, cited me in a new post.

It concerns President Obama’s off-the-charts radical nominee for Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez.

I’m not sure why MMfA writers Hannah Groch-Begley, Sergio Munoz, and Zachary Pleat bothered to do so.

As I correctly stated, the radical left-wing group Casa de Maryland is funded by George Soros and was funded by the late Hugo Chavez.

The MMfA post does not contradict what I wrote.

George Soros’s Democracy Alliance plans to drown Democrats in an ocean of money this election cycle

I have an op-ed in today’s Washington Times.

It begins

George Soros’ Democracy Alliance, an invitation-only club for billionaire leftist political donors, has decided to drown Democrats and President Obama’s re-election campaign in an ocean of cash this year. Democracy Alliance, founded in 2005, is a financial clearinghouse that recommends to its wealthy members projects and groups aimed at transforming America into a European-style socialist state. The secretive group has directed untold hundreds of millions of dollars to left-of-center causes.

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Soros, he is the pre-eminent funder of the left in the United States. He openly favors American decline and has said European-style socialism “is exactly what we need now.” The radical, anti-American philanthropist praises China effusively, saying the totalitarian nation has “a better-functioning government than the United States.” Mr. Soros already has begun doling out funds for Democrats. In the 2012 cycle, he has given a modest $203,500, but that number promises to rise exponentially.

Democracy Alliance’s original mission was to focus on building political infrastructure – think tanks, activist groups, leadership schools and media outlets – to help the left gain and keep power. The idea was to focus on long-term organizational issues as opposed to the more mundane task of helping Democrats get elected every election cycle.

But political expediency has forced a stunning course correction that is causing deep fissures in Democracy Alliance that ultimately may destroy it. On one side of an internal divide are Democracy Alliance members who believe in the original mission of the donors’ collaboration.

Soros doppelganger Peter B. Lewis, who helped found the group with Mr. Soros, thinks Democracy Alliance has become far too partisan. In a crushing blow to the club, the Progressive Insurance magnate, who spent $25 million in 2004 in a failed attempt to defeat President George W. Bush, reportedly resigned from Democracy Alliance in disgust weeks ago.

“Peter’s focus since 2004 has been on scaling up the progressive infrastructure, as opposed to election or political candidates,” a source told Politico last month.

To read the rest of it, click here.


Op-ed: The Tax-Exempt Status of George Soros’s Media Matters Should Be Revoked

C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel for President George H.W. Bush, suggests in a Washington Times column that the (undeserved) tax-exempt status of leftist slander shop Media Matters for America should be revoked.

More Mischief from Media Matters

George Soros’s character assassination factory Media Matters for America thought Bob Beckel insulting me on Fox Business last night was really funny. (I thought it was funny but only because Beckel came across as such an ogre.)

Media Matters posted the video clip:

America needs to know that ACORN is restructuring in time to help re-elect President Obama in 2012. Obama used to work for ACORN and represented the group in court as its lawyer. These radical leftists who use the brutal, in-your-face, Machiavellian pressure tactics of Saul Alinsky want to destroy America as we know it and will use any means to do it.

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Media Matters Videotapes Vadum at CPAC 2011

Apparently Media Matters for America thought I said something scandalous or ridicule-worthy at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) here in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

Here’s is a short video from the panel on the activist left: