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December 15, 2005

Strategic Intimidation

-- by Dave Johnson

A quick comment on why the big foundations won't give money to Progressive organizations that might do some good. Take a look at this article circulating on right-wing websites: Corporate Foundations Bankroll Anti-Alito Coalition,

Wal-Mart, Ford Motor Co., AT&T, and Fannie Mae are among the major U.S. corporations whose foundations fund the liberal groups now waging war against Samuel Alito’s nomination.

The left-wing Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary has launched a series of advertisements aimed at defeating Alito. The group describes itself as “a national coalition of public interest organizations,” and includes NARAL Pro-Choice America, the NAACP, the National Organization of Women, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State among others. The Alliance for Justice, People For the American Way, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights head the Coalition.

Many of these groups are very well-funded, getting most of their money from foundations. Among the foundations bankrolling them are the philanthropic arms of many of America’s largest corporations.

Read the whole thing. This is part of a strategic campaign of intimidation of the Boards of philanthropic foundations, letting them know the Right is watching - that they're in trouble if they fund even centrist organizations.

Posted by Dave Johnson at December 15, 2005 2:56 PM

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Tracked on December 15, 2005 7:09 PM


Good catch. The de-balling of foundations goes back to IRS rules against political activity designed to punish the Ford Foundation for supporting voter registration in the South during the civil rights movement. That said, I don't think many of these boards much mind being the objects of rightwing pressure. Unless it becomes too public, it gives them cover to follow their natural, pro-business, pro-ruling class instincts.

Posted by: janinsanfran at December 16, 2005 12:12 PM

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