This ABC News article is correct enough, as it goes:
On the surface, the “Occupy the Koches: Guerilla Drive-In” event looked like any other “Occupy” movement protest against the proverbial 1 percent of the population who hold the nation’s wealth.
But a confederation of long-established progressive political advocacy groups — the Campaign for America’s Future, Campaign for Community Change, Common Cause, Health Care for America Now and the aptly named Other 98% — were behind Friday’s protest.
…but there’s something here that I want to focus on. Campaign for America’s Future is a 501(c)(4) corporation set up to agitate for the true organization (The Institute for America’s Future) without having to disclose the latter’s donor lists. The Campaign for Community Change is a 501(c)(4) corporation set up to agitate for the true organization (The Center for Community Change) without having to disclose the latter’s donor lists. Common Cause is a 501(c)(4) corporation that has set up The Center for Community Change as a 501(c)(3) in order to avoid having to reveal its true donor lists*. Health Care for America Now is a 501(c)(4) corporation set up to agitate for the true organization (Health Care for America Education Fund; more accurately, the Tides Center) without having to disclose the latter’s donor lists. And then there’s professional antiwar activist Mario Ceglie‘s The Other 98%, which is the latest iteration of The Other 95%, which we at RedState pointed out last year as being an organization with ties to the professional Activist Left that could best be described as ‘shadowy.’
For an explanation of what the big deal is about a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, anyway, see here. Short version: a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, unlike a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, does not have to disclose its donor lists; contributions to it are not tax-deductible. 501(c)(4) corporations are technically not supposed to be majority politically oriented; but there’s nothing stopping one from donating heavily to, say, a Super PAC that is politically oriented (see here and here). Shorter Moe Lane: 501(c)(4) corporations are great for legally laundering political cash. Which is fine by me – I’m a full transparency, full disclosure, no-limit free speech absolutist when it comes to political contributions – but it’s insanely hypocritical for group who supported the DISCLOSE Act to be using this system. And, guess what? Most of the professional Activist Left supported the DISCLOSE Act.
I point out all of this for two reasons: first off, it’s to remind people that the reason why the Activist Left thinks that of course the Tea Party is secretly run by sinister right-wing organizations is because that’s how things work on their side of the aisle. It’s been noted before, but we might as well note it again: the Left does not know how to grow an organic populist movement. They had gotten away with creating fake versions of same for the longest time because the Right didn’t really know what an actual populist movement looked like until we put one together in 2009-2010. The closest thing we had up to that point was the pro-life movement, but that had been a bipartisan initiative until quite recently; fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your viewpoint), fiscal responsibility started out as a partisan political position and never really stopped being one. Which is horrible news for the Left, and also not really my problem.
The second point here is more technical: if you peruse the above groups’ literature and rhetoric, you’ll discover very quickly that the Koch brothers are a bit of an obsession with these people. Probably because the Koch brothers are a combination of the richest, most public, and most open-handed conservatives/libertarians out there; or merely because when you’re a professional progressive you simply have to demonize somebody. At any rate, this obsession with the Koch brothers is a bit of a tell; when you see a lot of people all at once complain about them, nine times out of ten it’s an indication that there’s shilling going on.
Let me end this by noting that Alex Lawson, so-called ‘organizer for the Other 98%’ in the original ABC article, is very likely this Media Matters for America gun-grabber. Odd how the organizers for Lefty grassroots groups always seem to be associated with a Lefty corporation, isn’t it?
Moe Lane (crosspost)