Nov
08
2011
1

Occupy DC: Corporate-funded, corporate-controlled, corporate-aimed.

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.

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