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08.07.2012 0

Hypocrisy of the political left funding machine

By Rachel Swaffer — One year.  Three charitable non-profits.  $668 million dollars.   These numbers merely scratch the surface of the financial behemoth that is bankrolling liberal policy, political activism, the U.S. educational system, the current environmental jihad, labor and union interests, as well as economic equality and social justice advocates.

In fact, if political funding was an Olympic sport, the Ford Foundation alone would make Michael Phelps’ medal collection look like spare change; because when it comes to funding liberal causes, Ford consistently wins gold.  According to 2010 tax records, Ford is the top non-profit donor to economic and social equality causes, minority rights advocates, healthcare reform efforts, media, and LGBT issues as well as the second highest financial supporter of liberal funding and support organizations, American Universities, progressive political activism, women’s issues, organized labor, criminal justice reform, and foreign policy.

In other words, Ford Foundation is a top donor to all progressive and leftist political causes.

The Hewlett Foundation donated even more money to liberal organizations than Ford Foundation in 2010 — to an almost as broad cross-section of causes.  They donated over $256,000,000 and are the top benefactors of environmental activism, higher education, women’s issues, progressive foreign policy, and youth advocacy organizations; additionally, the Hewlett Foundation is the second highest private sector donor to public education advocacy and support, according to 2010 tax records.

The bronze medal in progressive bankrolling goes to George Soros’ Open Society network (comprised of the Institute for Open Society and Foundation to Promote Open Society) which is a top financier of criminal justice reform, social justice, economic equality, and minority rights advocates, healthcare reform, political activism and US media.  According to tax records, the Open Society network gave $190,797,978 to progressive activists and advocates in 2010.

While MediaMatters and other liberal/progressive organizations constantly attack conservative funders for supporting political organizations that they believe in, their accusatory figures are aggregated over ten to twenty year time spans.   The astronomical numbers you see on the left side, however, require no aggregation; these organizations spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a single year — far surpassing private spending by right leaning organizations.

For instance, the top three liberal funding giants alone: the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, and the Open Society organizations are responsible for the combined $668,248,977 granted to top liberal and progressive causes in 2010, according to tax records.

At that’s just the tip of the iceberg: 37 different non-profits gave over $1,000,000 a piece to liberal and progressive organizations in 2010, according to the latest 990 tax forms.

In comparison, according to MediaMatter’s own “Conservative Transparency” data, the Scaife foundation gave around $17 million to conservative organizations in 1993, the Claude R. Lambe Foundation (the most political branch of Koch philanthropy) gave about $2.5 million in 2010, and the Kirby Foundation gave a grand total of $1 million over a period of 23 years.   Clearly, these numbers are nowhere near the hundreds of millions coming out of organizations like the Sandler, Hewlett, or Ford Foundation each year, according to tax records.

It seems that, rather than buying-off American politics, conservative organizations are merely treading water, attempting to keep from drowning in the influx of liberal millions.

Furthermore, while my research is by no means exhaustive, even cursory examination of conservative and liberal organizations’ financial records reveals one very glaring disparity: while conservative philanthropies generally donate the majority of their dollars to genuine philanthropy, religious organizations, hospitals, and international aid/relief, the more left-leaning foundations display a much more singular goal; almost no dollar is granted out without a political end in mind.

How can leftist pundits like Brave New Foundation’s Robert Greenwald crucify conservative  funders while liberal bankroller George Soros publically pledged $10,000,000 to defeat then-President George W. Bush in 2003, and his political non-profit, the Institute for Open Society, gave (according to 990 tax forms) $190,797,978 to progressive and liberal organizations in 2010 alone?

In fact, according to 2010 tax records, top-tier liberal bankrollers the Boston Foundation and Tides Network each gave thousands of dollars to Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation, thus epitomizing hypocrisy by crucifying conservatives for using their money to influence politics while engaging in identical “philanthropic” activities themselves.

It’s not that there is necessarily something wrong with this politicized philanthropy — that’s a much more complex philosophical discussion, but I think it’s high time for liberals to crack open that dusty Bible and turn to Matthew 7:3.  Or, if they dare not touch the book, I’d offer up a more secular maxim, branding this as a textbook case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

It’s time for the left to stop acting the underdog martyrs fighting against “the man” — when you play the two-party political game, where both sides are equally established, bankrolled by the “one percent”, and distanced from the American majority, whether that be “Joe Six Pack” or the occupying “99%”.

Rachel Swaffer is a contributing writer to Americans for Limited Government.

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