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2004 Forbes Magazine Article

This article is still available online at this point:
Sensei's World
Benjamin Fulford, David Whelan, 09.06.04
Soka Gakkai, a strikingly wealthy Japanese sect, tries again for U.S. glory with a splendid new campus. Daisaku Ikeda's unaccountable empire can thank lax treatment of the nonprofit world.
Walk the hilly campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, Calif. and you enter the fabulous world of the international nonprofit. The three-year-old school has so far put about $300 million into its 103 suburban Orange County acres, and this is still a work in progress. As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
The primary benefactor of Soka U is a controversial offshoot of Japanese Buddhism called Soka Gakkai, headed for 44 years by the sometimes messianic and persistently self-aggrandizing Daisaku Ikeda. But significant secondary support comes from favorable tax treatment in Japan, the U.S. and around the globe, just as enjoyed by other philanthropies big and small. In the U.S. the nonprofit sector is spending $875 billion a year and employs 9% of the work force yet has precious little accountability, other than the public financial statements required of most charities. Religious entities don't even have that degree of accountability. They enjoy all the benefits of tax exemption without any requirement that they say what they are up to.
Soka Gakkai is a shadowy case in point. Ikeda, now 76 and president of Soka Gakkai International, the sect's global umbrella, claims 12 million followers and has amassed an empire that was put at $100 billion by a Japanese parliamentarian a decade ago. (The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.) A nasty split from Nichiren Buddhists set off a cycle of alleged violence, blackmail and intimidation. Soka Gakkai members in Japan have been charged with illegal wiretapping and breaking into private databases. The sect says it has nothing to do with those activities, noting that its ranks include nearly 10% of all Japanese. But yet-darker allegations have been made (see box, p. 130).
Soka Gakkai (literally, "value-creating society") brings in, conservatively, $1.5 billion a year to the top line, according to our best estimates of its membership, its tithing demands and its commercial activities. Most of that revenue is collected in Japan, where the sect sells its flock funeral plots, assorted religious paraphernalia and a newspaper (5.5 million subscribers). The group's far-flung international assets include estates in France and the U.K. In gilded Santa Monica, Calif. a Soka-owned office high- rise and auditorium sit across Wilshire Boulevard from each other, near the town's beach. In the nearby hills a Soka affiliate holds the King Gillette Ranch-- which was used for footage of "Tara" in the film Gone with the Wind. A thousand spiritual centers worldwide include a site worth $6 million near New York City's Union Square.
In wealth and claimed following, Soka Gakkai exceeds more familiar sects such as Hare Krishna, the church of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and today's hippest (Madonna, etc.) group, members of the Kabbalah Centre. In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics. Soka managed to get around a similar restriction in Japan, where Ikeda has built up a political party, New Komeito, that helps the long-governing Liberal Democrats hold power.
Soka University of Japan opened in 1971. Soka University of America, first established in 1987 on what is now a graduate campus in Calabasas, Calif., near Malibu, recently obtained preaccreditation for its undergraduate program from an outfit certified by the U.S. Education Department. A parallel process that will cover graduate students also is moving forward.
The preaccreditation means that for the past year American undergrads at Soka U--which reported to the IRS that its assets exceed $740 million--have been eligible to obtain up to $23,000 in federal Stafford loans over the course of their education. Needy recipients can get up to an additional $4,000 a year in Pell Grants.
What are Ikeda's aims? Five years after gaining command of Soka Gakkai, he told a Japanese writer: "I am the king of Japan; I am its president; I am the master of its spiritual life; I am the supreme power who entirely directs its intellectual culture." In the years since, "world peace" has been the sect's mantra. New Komeito promotes pacifism in Japan. Representatives of the sect have worked the UN and other official venues touting international harmony and goodwill--and usually Ikeda. Followers mount a traveling show equating him with Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
In the sect's 1,000 meeting halls Soka members exercise the "life-enhancing" power of chanting. Believers are encouraged to be "many in body, one in mind." This means "You have to make sensei's [teacher's] heart your own. You have to fulfill [Ikeda's] dreams instead of your own," maintains Lisa Jones, a former aide and follower who ghostwrote an Ikeda book and now maintains a Soka-doubter Web site. "His dream is kosen-rufu, or what Soka members call ‘world peace,' which will be achieved when one third of the world chants, one third merely celebrates Ikeda, and the other third doesn't care," she says.
A Soka bid for favor in the U.S. a generation ago, drawing on the era's culture clash and some affiliated celebrities, attracted unwelcome press, and the sect receded a bit. But it has never given up efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century in a 13,000-square-foot Georgian building next to Harvard University. Ikeda has enticed Mikhail Gorbachev and Henry Kissinger into numerous discussions. He also met with historian Arnold Toynbee, double Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling and civil rights figure Rosa Parks (Soka's U.S. arm boasts a sizable black membership). Some of the conversations with luminaries have been published and sold.
More idealistic or benign than sinister and manipulative? The veil that surrounds the nonprofit world, especially religions, ensures that only the outlines are visible. Soka University files an IRS form; the organization behind it doesn't.
Congress is training its sights anew on nonprofits. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, held hearings in June on tax-exempt abuses. "Far too many charities have broken the understood covenant between the taxpayers and nonprofits," he said. He was angered by local news reports about the looting of family foundations. On Aug. 10 the Internal Revenue Service promised to increase from 230 to 300 the agents it assigns to nonprofit entities. This tiny crew is supposed to take on 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations and an estimated 400,000 additional religious groups that do not have to submit annual tax forms to the IRS. Investigations are typically initiated only in response to complaints. Exceptions to this passive role include the IRS' decades-long losing war with the Church of Scientology.
In the post-Sept. 11 era some Muslim groups have come under scrutiny for ties to terrorism. The Department of Justice recently prosecuted the former head of the American Muslim Council and indicted seven leaders of the Dallas-based Holy Land Foundation. But unless you're tied into terror, you can shout from the rooftops and no one is likely to come looking at your books. "Every revenue agent you assign to a corporate tax return will generate millions of dollars. Every [revenue agent] you assign to a tax-exempt one may not pay his own salary," says Marcus Owens, who headed the IRS' Exempt Organizations division from 1990 to 2000 and is now a private Washington attorney.
So the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable. In Japan, Soka has not only its 8,000-student university but also its enhanced political power. At least 20% of the Liberal Democrat deputies could have lost without the support of Soka followers last October, enough to give the opposition Democratic Party a plurality in the Diet. "It's like becoming addicted to amphetamines," says Katsuei Hirasawa, an LDP member of parliament, of his party's link with Komeito.
In a July op-ed in the Asahi newspaper, Koji Ishimura, a professor of tax law at Hakuho University, argued that Soka's political activities were an abuse of its status as a religion. "The influence of a ruling party that relies on a specific religion's organization to form its power base is growing stronger," wrote Ishimura, who called for Soka's donations to be taxed.
Ikeda established his fundraising prowess early on. According to University of North Carolina professor James White, who wrote a book about Soka, Ikeda threw a scare into the Japanese insurance industry in the 1960s in a crash four-day drive for a key temple at Mount Fuji. Record sums were raised, with some members cashing in life policies to help.
Soka's initial U.S. academic beachhead in rustic Calabasas met with bustle-wary neighbors. After an extended development fight, the 660 acres today may be home to only half a dozen linguistics students destined for jobs as language instructors for Japanese Soka emissaries.
The action shifted to Aliso Viejo in 2001, with promises of a nonsectarian institution with a first-rate library and renowned secular faculty. The new master-planned community was accommodating. Campus athletic and arts attractions, as well as the library, were open to the public. Popular U.S. author Joe McGinniss was a notable instructor hire.
But reality began to kick in when McGinniss and others complained of interference from on high. Several staff have left--McGinniss' contract wasn't renewed--and one sued. Another filed for arbitration and lost.
Earnest university officials are at pains to showcase an arts-and-letters idyll devoted to the betterment of mankind. Soka U insists it is an independent, nonsectarian school not even as religiously influenced as, say, Brigham Young or Notre Dame universities. But at least a majority of Soka U's trustees have direct Soka Gakkai connections. Today 70% of matriculants are Soka Gakkai members.
Some secular faculty felt squeezed. The university was sued in 2002 by Linda Southwell, a fired fine arts professor. Her complaint disputed a "commitment to rigorous academic endeavor, free and open dialogue, and an appreciation for human diversity" when "in reality the curriculum is intended to reflect cult beliefs and perspectives" and speech and association are limited. She also claimed Soka members were favored faculty.
Soka University settled the discrimination and wrongful termination in a "satisfactory" manner that included a confidentiality clause, Southwell's lawyer Brian Glicker says. Another professor, who quit her "frightening" job, begs off discussing the specifics of her beef.
Glicker maintains he's heard from several other non-Soka Gakkai International staff members. "Many or most non-SGI staff or faculty are at least considering leaving," says one disaffected professor. "The university was only able to hire 7 or 8 of the 21 faculty it tried to hire." University officials say they'd not heard this and attribute departures to the growing pains of a new school. They claim an 81% retention rate.
An initial goal of 1,200 students remains a ways off. Has the academic friction been a roadblock? The university says more hiring and building await full accreditation, which it expects soon. On campus, the image is of serenity and strength. The buildings use the same stone featured in the Colosseum in Rome. Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains. The campus also sports a security camera network rivaling that of any casino.
The university includes a sizable "guest house" and a larger "athenaeum" overlooking a regional park. The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda." It has ornate furniture, a portrait of Ikeda and many artworks, all covered in white cloth until the VIPs show.
The undergraduate catalog says that "as leaders and decision makers," Soka's graduates "will be guided by the ideal of a contributive life, a humanistic approach drawn from Buddhist thought." But Soka Gakkai newspapers and other publications, filling a prominent shelf in the Soka University library--named for Ikeda--all feature Ikeda's interpretations of Buddhism: To wit, achieve world peace and democracy by becoming one in Soka and chanting. The university notes it also has other Buddhist texts.
Like other students approached at Aliso Viejo, Fabiana Sanchez, 21, a senior and a Soka Gakkai member, says she wants to do something for society or peace. She plans to return to her native Venezuela upon graduation and get involved in some sort of work "linking education and politics."
Soka U denies a rumor that the aging sensei plans a visit soon to his American academic citadel. Succession at the sect's helm is uncertain: Two sons are vice presidents in Soka but the sect denies a hereditary rule. Meanwhile the tax-favored billions continue to roll in, almost entirely outside the purview of authorities anywhere.
Chant of the Faithful
Prominent believers in Soka Gakkai include Mariane Pearl, the widow of murdered journalists Daniel Pearl, jazz musician Herbie Hancock and Patrick Duffy of Dallas Tv show fame. Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
As of this fall, only 400 students will meander among the rich, Romanesque architecture.
They're still only having around that many students, and here we are, over 15 years after that article was written. Part of it is that Soka U rejects a large number of applicants because doing so creates a metric that is used to indicate "exclusivity" by ranking agencies. Will Soka U ever reach its goal of a 1,200-strong student body? My sources say No.
The sect says that's wrong but otherwise won't comment on its finances.
That's exactly the kind of criticism we get here from the SGI crusaders who pop in - they'll say "That's wrong" but never provide any documentation or even explanation as to why. We're expected to change everything on the basis of their "That's wrong". That's more of that "entitlement mentality" we were recently talking about.
the Ikeda-related wealth here is virtually untouchable
There is no financial transparency, no independent audits, no oversight by any outside agency. Remember that any time any SGI promoter talks about having reviewed their financials - never gonna happen.
efforts to establish legitimacy and further Ikeda's vision. He founded the Boston Research Center for the 21st Century
That building has since been renamed "The IKEDA Center for something, something, and something else". Who here is surprised?
In the U.S. a church can lose its federal tax exemption for getting into politics.
This is why Ikeda forbade the overseas organizations from forming their own "Komeito" political parties back in the 1970s. That ban remains in place.
Ikeda insisted on using it because he intends his university to last 2,000 years, a Soka U spokesman explains.
Oh more of this grandiose blather. Ikeda just loves talking in multiple thousands of years. The Sho-Hondo was supposed to last 10,000 years, if anyone remembers. Where's your Sho-Hondo now, Scamsei?? Ikeda apparently thinks talking in large terms will make him larger than life.
The sumptuous residence is set aside for VIPs, such as, in the words of one university official, "the president of Venezuela or Daisaku Ikeda."
It's just another "Ikeda House" (so of course it's "sumptuous", since it's for Scamsei) but they have to make it sound like it's more than just a private residence for Ikeda, because that will get them in trouble with nonprofit laws in this country. I'm betting NO ONE has ever stayed in it, since that was after Ikeda stopped traveling.
Singer Tina Turner was identified with Soka Gakkai in years past, but her spokesman would not confirm an association.
Ms. Turner isn't about to alienate any category of potential fans.
submitted by BlancheFromage to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

Lost in the Sauce: March 8 - 14

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater. House-keeping:
  1. How to read: Since the coronavirus was the one big story last week, I’m going to do away with the “Main Course” division this week - these are all “sides” in the sense that I have a feeling many people missed these developments.
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Let’s dig in!
Since the coronavirus was the one big story last week, I’m going to do away with the “Main Course” division this week - these are all “sides” in the sense that I have a feeling many people missed these developments.

Biden-probe subpoena

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) canceled a planned vote to issue a subpoena in its investigation into Hunter Biden and his work in Ukraine. Johnson informed the committee that instead of subpoenaing former consultant Andrii Telizhenko, he will issue a subpoena to the Democratic public relations firm he worked for: Blue Star Strategies.
Although Johnson said the subpoena vote was canceled to give senators time to “receive additional briefings,” a Ukrainian source (Chief editor of The Odessa Review Vladislav Davidzon) told CNN that the subject of the subpoena, Telizhenko, offered him cash to lobby Republican politicians to speak out against Ukraine’s anti-corruption efforts - specifically Ukrainian lawmaker’s attempts to censure two media networks for “broadcasting Russian propaganda.”
In October 2018, the same month that lawmakers voted in favor of a resolution to sanction the two stations, Telizhenko wrote to Davidzon, asking: "Have a question do you or your father have contacts with US Senators? I really need a favour for witch (sic) I can pay up to 5k."
...After expressing concerns about how the new Ukrainian proposals could shut the broadcasters down, Telizhenko then says: “My question is is it possible to get an official comment on a Senators (Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham for example) website next week about this situation of censorship in Ukraine? Really important for me and need fast.”
Ranking member on the committee, Sen. Gary Peters, opposed subpoenaing Telizhenko because he warned that the investigation could be tainted by Russian disinformation. The revelation that Telizhenko has indeed worked for Russian interests seems to substantiate his concerns.

Politicizing intelligence

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence provided its first briefing to Congress since the previous DNI, Joseph Maguire, was fired by Trump for allowing his aide to tell Congress that Russia was acting to boost his re-election chances. The current acting-DNI, Ric Grenell, backed out of briefing Congress himself, reportedly because he did not want to discuss issues that make President Trump angry. Instead, his office was represented by William Evanina, the top counterintelligence official at the ODNI.
The latest briefing provided information contradictory to Maguire’s briefing, confusing and frustrating House members. Grenell’s office told Congress that the Kremlin is not “directly aiding any candidate’s re-election or any other candidates’ election.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reportedly confronted the ODNI officials, accusing them of politicizing critical intelligence and providing insufficient and contradictory information about Russia’s interference.

Russia ramps up interference

While the Trump administration continues to hide and spin intelligence, the media reports that Russia continues to interfere in the U.S. political system. According to seven current officials, the Kremlin is increasing efforts to inflame racial tensions in America as part of its ongoing operation to influence the November elections.
...Now, Russia is also trying to influence white supremacist groups, the officials said; they gave few details, but one official said federal investigators are examining how at least one neo-Nazi organization with ties to Russia is funded. Other Russian efforts, which American intelligence agencies have tracked, involve simply prodding white nationalists to more aggressively spread hate messages and amplifying their invective. Russian operatives are also trying to push black extremist groups toward violence...
Last week, Facebook and Twitter announced they had discovered a Russian-led network of professional trolls outsourced to operatives in Ghana and Nigeria. The network’s 71 Twitter accounts, 49 Facebook accounts, and 85 Instagram accounts were removed.
“These 71 removed accounts, operating out of Ghana and Nigeria and which we can reliably associate with Russia, attempted to sow discord by engaging in conversations about social issues, like race and civil rights,” said Twitter’s safety team in a statement.
Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, sent a letter requesting that the EU introduce additional sanctions against “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeny Prighozin to deter him and the Kremlin from interfering in elections this year.
“As the presidential election in the United States draws closer, our concerns about foreign interference have intensified...The U.S. and European Union should be unified in facing this common threat and take concrete measures to isolate this malign actor and his affiliated firms. This includes sanctions, but also a joint diplomatic approach to urge that countries avoid engaging with Mr. Prigozhin, Wagner and any other organization associated with him."

Purge continues

Acting-DNI Ric Grenell imposed a hiring freeze at the ODNI starting last week, ordering a review of the agency’s personnel and mission:
Some current and former officials said they saw the effort as an attempt to oust intelligence officers who disagreed politically with Mr. Trump. Those officials questioned why Mr. Grenell, in the job temporarily, would undertake a large-scale reorganization, particularly one that previous directors had considered but put aside…Kashyap Patel, an aide in the director’s office who was transferred last month from the White House [and former aide to Representative Devin Nunes], is involved in the review…
The White House is also holding up the nomination of Kathryn Wheelbarger for one of the Pentagon’s top intelligence jobs because she is not considered sufficiently loyal to Trump. Wheelbarger, who has been serving as acting assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs since November 2018, is nominated to become the deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence.
The post that Wheelbarger would fill is one of 21 senior positions at the Pentagon that are empty or filled on a temporary basis, a record high for the Trump administration.
In the middle of a global pandemic, one of the lead response agencies is losing its chief: Mark Green is set to resign from the U.S. Agency for International Development at the end of the month. Green will be replaced by USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, a Trump loyalist.

FEC nominee confirmation

Last Tuesday, the Senate held a confirmation hearing for Trump’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission, James “Trey” Trainor. It’s been over two years since Trainor was first nominated to fill the seat left empty by Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman in 2018. Then, last year, the commission’s vice chairman, Matthew Petersen, resigned, leaving only three members in place. The FEC needs a minimum of four members to take actions like investigating campaign finance violations, enforcing rules, and issuing fines.
Trainor is a controversial nominee with a history of advancing partisan gerrymandering and past work for Trump. After the Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Trainor worked with gerrymandering expert and Republican strategist Thomas Hofeller to successfully implement redistricting maps in Texas that were previously ruled to be discriminatory. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the following at Tuesday’s hearing:
“He has worked closely with Thomas Hofeller, notorious for masterminding Republican gerrymandering schemes, to redraw maps that significantly disenfranchise minority voters at the local level. Mr. Trainor’s former law firm described him as being ‘intimately involved’ in Texas’s 2003 redistricting, which the Supreme Court deemed in violation of the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Trainor has argued the Voting Rights Act has become a political tool.”
Schumer also quoted Trainor as saying in 2017 that political donations should be anonymous.
“The Republicans have nominated someone who wants to roll back Citizens United, which the overwhelming majority of the American people support, public disclosure of who’s giving,” Schumer said, adding: “It’s amazing.”
Trainor faced pressure to recuse himself from overseeing any campaign finance matters involving Trump, because he served as a legal adviser on Trump’s 2016 campaign team. Ranking Senate Rules and Administration Committee Member Amy Klobuchar pressed Trainor:
“So you’re not going to just recuse yourself from the beginning on a Trump matter?” Klobuchar asked, visibly surprised.
“No, not as a blanket recusal, and I don’t think that there is anyone at the commission currently who has a blanket recusal,” Trainor said. “I think we should all follow the same rules and guidelines.”

Judges finally speak out

U.S District Judge Lynn Adelman, of Wisconsin, published an article in the Harvard Law and Policy Review titled “The Roberts Court's Assault on Democracy.” Adelman takes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to task for joining the court’s hard right justices in “undermining American democracy” by “carrying out a sustained assault on the right of poor people and minorities to vote” and “reinforcing the enormous imbalance in wealth and political power that has developed in recent decades.”
He described Roberts' 2005 Senate confirmation testimony as "misleading" and declared that "the Roberts Court has contributed to insuring that the political system in the United States pays little attention to ordinary Americans and responds only to the wishes of a relatively small number of powerful corporations and individuals."
Adelman also attacks President Trump for helping the Republican party continue policies that worsen wealth inequality:
Although he ran as a populist and promised to promote policies that benefited ordinary people, upon taking office Trump almost entirely reversed course. He appointed mostly wealthy far-right Republicans and their supporters to his cabinet and to key positions in his administration… Trump also supported a tax bill that provided big benefits to the country’s largest corporations and wealthiest individuals and virtually nothing to the majority of American taxpayers.
...Because Congressional Republicans depend on a relatively small number of wealthy donors to stay in power, their major public policy goal is to do whatever makes such donors happy.
Last week, another prominent member of the judicial community publicly blasted the Chief Justice: Former Hawaii District Judge for 27 years James Dannenberg submitted his resignation from the Supreme Court Bar to Roberts. In a public letter, Dannenberg criticized Roberts for “allowing the Court to become an ‘errand boy’ for an administration that has little respect for the rule of law.”
“I have been a member of the Supreme Court Bar since 1972, far longer than you have,” Dannenberg’s letter to Roberts begins.
The Court, under your leadership and with your votes, has wantonly flouted established precedent. Your “conservative” majority has cynically undermined basic freedoms by hypocritically weaponizing others… More than a score of decisions during your tenure have overturned established precedents—some more than forty years old– and you voted with the majority in most. There is nothing “conservative” about this trend. This is radical “legal activism” at its worst.
...The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.
...I no longer have respect for you or your majority, and I have little hope for change. I can’t vote you out of office because you have life tenure, but I can withdraw whatever insignificant support my Bar membership might seem to provide.

Important court rulings

McGahn and border wall
The full bench of the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals announced on Friday that it will rehear the House’s appeal for Don McGahn’s testimony, vacating the three-judge panel’s previous ruling that judges can’t resolve subpoena disputes between the executive branch and Congress. Arguments are set for April 28.
The same court will also take on the House’s challenge of Trump’s emergency declaration to use over $6 billion of federal funds to fund his southern border wall even though Congress only appropriated $1.375 billion. Trump-appointed judge Trevor McFadden dismissed the House’s initial lawsuit last year.
Mueller’s grand jury
In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the Justice Department must allow Congress access to secret material collected by Mueller’s grand jury in its Russian interference investigation. Judges Judith Rogers and Thomas Griffith - Clinton and W. Bush appointees, respectively - found that the House’s impeachment investigation is a legal judicial process that exempts Congress from secrecy rules that typically shield grand jury materials. The Appeals Court decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court.
Trump appointee Judge Neomi Rao dissented, saying the House did have legal grounds to ask the court to enforce the subpoena since the impeachment investigation has ended. Rao has taken Trump’s side in virtually every case she’s heard.
it’s hard not to see the trap Rao has built around Congress. Her Mazars opinion claims that Congress has only one path it can use to investigate President Trump. Then, when Congress traveled down the very same path that Rao identified in Mazars, Judge Rao invents a new limit — suggesting that Congress may only get one shot at an impeachment inquiry. Moreover, as Tatel suggests in the Mazars majority opinion, Rao appears to have invented the constitutional limit she placed on congressional investigations out of thin air.
The Atlantic’s David Frum wrote that Rao’s Mazars dissent was “wild talk that would shut down almost all congressional investigations.” Maybe that’s the point — at least as long as Trump is in the White House.
Food stamp cuts
Friday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from implementing a rule change that would force nearly 700,000 Americans off food stamps.
"Especially now, as a global pandemic poses widespread health risks, guaranteeing that government officials at both the federal and state levels have flexibility to address the nutritional needs of residents and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP, is essential," Howell wrote.

Trump cases

The Washington Post reported that District Court Judge Lorna Schofield ordered Trump and his three adult children to “search through 15 years of business records for materials that could inform a lawsuit alleging they profited by promoting a marketing scam targeting vulnerable investors.”
Trump is being sued by four people who say they were duped into joining the multilevel marketing company ACN years ago because of his endorsement. The suit characterizes ACN as a pyramid scheme and accuses Trump of having made misleading claims as a paid pitchman prior to his presidency. All four say they suffered financially as a result.
...In this case, unlike in others, he has not asserted presidential immunity as a defense, and his legal team has already turned over a number of documents.
Atlantic City officials announced they will soon be filing an injunction in Superior Court to demolish the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino tower because it is an “imminent hazard.” The city’s mayor, Mary Small, told the press that chunks of the building’s concrete and stucco facade are actively raining onto nearby streets.
“We could have had a fatality,” Small said. “Things will not be tolerated in the city of Atlantic City.”
The crumbling building has been owned by billionaire and Trump-ally Carl Icahn since 2016, though it has been closed since 2014.
Icahn endorsed Trump for president in 2016 and financially supported his campaign. Icahn also served as special economic adviser on financial regulation to Trump briefly in 2017, leaving amid concerns of conflicts of interest. In one of many concerning incidents, it was reported that stock for CVR Energy, in which Icahn has 82% ownership, doubled after President Trump's election, increasing $455 million in value.
  • Don’t miss: Teen models, powerful men and private dinners: when Trump hosted Look of the Year. “In the early 90s, Donald Trump judged the world’s biggest modelling competition - since hit by allegations of abuse… The stories we have heard suggest that Casablancas, and some of the men in his orbit, used the contest to engage in sexual relationships with vulnerable young models. Some of these allegations amount to sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation of teenage girls; others are more accurately described as rape.”

Trump profiting off presidency: Week 164

  • CNN: Hotels, clubs and restaurants owned by Trump or bearing his name have billed various federal agencies and personnel more than $1 million since he became the Republican nominee for president...About half of the documented expenses involve the U.S. Secret Service, which has been charged more than $600,000 by various Trump properties between September 2016 and August 2019.
  • CREW: Taxpayers paid President Trump’s Doonbeg resort $15,144.94 for Secret Service lodging during Vice President Mike Pence’s September 2019 trip to Ireland… We can now say definitively that Pence’s detour not only cost taxpayers extra due to large transportation costs, but also that the bill subsidized one of Trump’s struggling businesses.
  • CREW: On March 7, less than two weeks after President Trump returned from an official visit to India, the business he still owns and profits from made an announcement: it would now ship Trump-branded products to India. This appears to be a clear violation of the Trump family’s pledge of no new foreign business during the Trump presidency, and an invitation for corruption... India is joined on the announcement by Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland (which we must note is still technically part of the United Kingdom) and Germany.
  • ProPublica: The Trump Organization paid bribes, through middlemen, to New York City tax assessors to lower its property tax bills for several Manhattan buildings in the 1980s and 1990s, according to five former tax assessors and city employees as well as a former Trump Organization employee. Two of the five city employees said they personally took bribes to lower the assessment on a Trump property; the other three said they had indirect knowledge of the payments.
  • New York Times summarized by HuffPo: President Donald Trump’s campaign manager is quietly channeling money to Eric Trump’s wife, Lara Trump, and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle… The family benefits are linked to a network of politically connected private companies — operating with the support and help of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — that have charged roughly $75 million since 2017 to the Trump reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee and other Republican clients

States, elections, and environment

  • Ecowatch: A federal judge in Alaska ruled late Wednesday against a Trump administration plan to open 1.8 million acres of America's largest national forest to logging. The Forest Service plan targeted part of the Tongass National Forest on Prince of Wales Island.
  • Press release: The Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump administration today for failing to decide whether 241 plants and animals across the country — from the Midwest’s golden-winged warbler to Venus flytraps in the Carolinas — should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The lawsuit, filed in district court in Washington, D.C., is one of the largest ever under the Act and seeks to undo years of illegal inaction by the Trump administration.
  • NYT: A New York man who threatened to kill Representative Ilhan Omar in a hate-filled call to her office was sentenced to a year and a day in prison… Mr. Carlineo admitted to making the threatening call, and described himself as a patriot who loved Mr. Trump and hated “radical Muslims in our government,” according to the criminal complaint.
  • ProPublica: The Republican National Committee has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to contractors closely connected to the organization’s chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel. One contract went to her husband’s insurance company. Two others went to businesses whose executives recently donated to Ronna for Chair, a largely inactive political action committee that McDaniel controls.
  • CNN and NYT: Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was arrested in Texas on a charge of driving while intoxicated… [Also,] The New York State attorney general has issued a cease-and-desist order to Alex Jones, the conservative radio host, alarmed by false claims on his website that his diet supplements and toothpaste could be used to fight the coronavirus.

Immigration news

  • Politico: Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday he was unaware of any indication from his agency that physical barriers along America’s borders would help halt the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. — contradicting an assertion President Donald Trump made earlier in the day.
  • The Guardian: Doctors are concerned the spread of coronavirus to the US’s prison-like immigration detention centers is inevitable and will hit a system blighted by overcrowding and medical negligence… Dr Josiah Rich, an epidemiologist at Brown University, said one tool the US government has to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to release some of the 43,990 people in immigration detention, while their legal cases are being processed. People are held in these detention centers for civil immigration violations, not criminal charges, and the government can release them unless they are considered a danger to the community.
  • NPR: The U.S. Supreme Court delivered the Trump administration another win on one of its signature immigration policies on Wednesday, allowing it to continue the controversial "Remain in Mexico" policy across the entire southern border. The policy, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their day in U.S. immigration court. That has led to roughly 60,000 migrants getting sent back across the border since MPP was first implemented in January 2019.
  • NPR: Hundreds of asylum-seekers who reach the Texas-Mexico border aren't getting a chance to make their case in U.S. immigration court. Instead, the migrants — mostly women and children — are put on planes to Guatemala and told to ask for asylum in that country.
  • CNN: In explosive audio obtained through the work of a leading human rights group and released by CNN, a Trump administration attorney is heard finally admitting what experts and advocates have been insisting from the start: Remain in Mexico, the administration policy forcing tens of thousands of vulnerable asylum-seekers to wait for their U.S. immigration court dates in Mexico, is in fact dangerous.
    • “I think what I’m hearing from the government is, and I’ll be honest, I don’t like it,” the judge said, according to the audio. “What I’m hearing is, that well everybody has to take that risk and that chance, and you get kidnapped, you get kidnapped, that’s the risk you take for being in Mexico, and wanting to apply for asylum here in the United States … I don’t think it’s humane. But we’re talking about human beings and lives. It’s not a piece of paper in my opinion. And I really don’t like what I just heard.”
  • Washington Post: Pregnant woman dies after falling from border wall, a sign of migrants’ desperation… A year ago, during the height of the family migration surge, the couple probably would have tried to turn themselves in to seek asylum, he said. But an array of new restrictions imposed by the Trump administration is driving border-crossers to take more risks, migrant advocates say.
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"Prosperity Theology," the "Alt Right" and the Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism

DON'T believe me. Just examine the known facts and connect the dots for yourself:
Have you noticed the explosive growth of ostensibly but not actually Xtian congregations that leverage so-called "prosperity theology" to drive their flocks to get wealthy and tithe like mad? Think Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer right off the bat.
Some (many? most?) of those churches do seem to be set up like very aggressively recruiting, MLMs operating like this.
I know a devoted follower of Meyer who is a rabid alt righter. And my late natal mother and her husband -- both pretty big players in conservative politics in California's WASP-dominated OC -- were big fans of (and major donors to) Robert Schuller's "prosperity gospel" at the Crystal Cathedral there.
At this point, may I say that I am NOT hostile to religion in general or legitimate Christianity in particular. Religion serves a powerful and necessary social organization function in a world full of humans who are still just animals that can talk.
BUT... Dig around on that first Wikipedia link above. One may ultimately find themselves at Nancy MacLean's, Jane Mayer's and Kevin Phillips's published doorsteps (see below) on the long gestation of the alt right movement and how it seems to have been -- at least in significant part -- built on the back of the resurgence of Pentecostalism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Moreover, as the poor-left-empowering Roman Catholic church's own cultic pyramid began to cave in during the same period.
See The Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism in not-moses's reply to the OP on that reddit thread.
Many of the more evangelical, fundamentally Pentecostal (in not-moses's reply to the OP on that thread) -- e.g.: the Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel -- churches, along with those of the Southern Baptist Convention appear to have very dense (and pretty obvious) connections with alt right causes and leaders (see this list of SBCs in positions of political power for example). IMO, the quite cultish Watchtower Society and marginally less cultic Seventh Day Adventists are also significant players in this, albeit much further under the radar than the Pentecostals or SBCs.
While I would not assert that most of the Pentecostal or SBC churches operate like cults all the way down to the lower levels of classic cultic pyramids, reports from many investigative reporters over the past three decades suggest that many do work that way at the higher levels of their organizational schemes. And I will name one right off that has spawned a small army of imitators:
The Rev. Sung Myung Moon's Unification Church and so many of the other very cult-like, Pentecostal congregations across North and South America built in Krazy Korea (in the OP and not-moses's reply to it on that thread), some evidently with CIA financial support back in the 1950s aimed at combating the spread of North Korean communism. (The law of unintended consequences at work? IDK4S, but...)
If interested, see also
Cult Recruitment & Membership Patterns,
The Manipulation of Fear by the Pseudo-Christian Cults, and
Religion as the Principle Force for Civilization... at a Price in not-moses's lengthy discussion with the OP on that Reddit thread.
References & Resources
Karen Armstrong: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; New York: MJF Books, 1993.
Sharon Beder: Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR; London: Zed Books, 2001.
Eric Hoffer: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements; New York: Harper and Row, 1951, 1966.
Jane Mayer: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right; New York: Doubleday, 2016.
Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of The Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America; New York, Random House: 2017.
Elaine Pagels: Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelations; New York: Viking, 2012.
Kevin Phillips: American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century; New York: Viking, 2006.
Stephen Prothero: God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World; New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
Huston Smith: The World's Religions: The Revised & Updated Edition of The Religions of Man; orig. pub. 1958, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
Charles Strozier, Katherine Boyd; et al: The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History; London: Oxford University Press, 2010.
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LA CORRUPTION

LA Oligarch Rick Caruso Exposed by Ed Ryan MayorLA2022, as Founder of LAPD SLO Community Police Who Did LAPD Crime buster Vigilante Scandal that was Racist Hate Crime Stalking onto LA Homeless and LA Activist. Racist LA Oligarch Called LA Congresswoman a ‘Bitch”.
http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/caruso-leaves-police-commission/article\_ba7c0c0a-2fcc-5f00-be1d-
Caruso "Oligarch" Started the Community policing LAPD SLO now belong to LAPD Crimebuster Vigilante Group. LAPD Stalking homeless he un-housed. A Racist, called Maxine Waters Bitch. u/RadioJusticeLA u/LAist
Oligarch Caruso will never be mayor of LA. He started the LAPD SLO program that has been uncovered to do LAPD hate crime racist hate crime stalking onto the LA homeless, His pay for play LA City Hall development has wiped out thousands of LA rent-controlled Apartments. Many people thrown to streets and died. Most were Blacks and Latino. Caruso, the Oligarch is the manifestation of the LAPD control on LA local politics that deprives all LA of their constitutional right to do charter reform and install a 40 seat LA city Council so that the LA people are allowed to enjoy the same benefits of representative democracy that has been granted to voters in NYC and Chicago for over a decade. This Pay for Play, LAPD Connected Oligarch crowd will not allow regular LA voters to have the LA political power that is rightfully theirs. Why? because they now corruptly control the present LA Mayor and City Council. Bottom line, LAPD is used by corrupt oligarchs to hate terror gang stalking of political activist like me who attempt LA charter reform, and the stalk problem homeless as seen in the Topanga LAPD Crimebuster vigilante scandal. The truth is LAPD Vigilante hate crime stalking is done onto homeless all across LA. California Attorney General Becerra is also well funded by Caruso the LAPD Oligarch, and is part5 of the reason Becerra refuses to do a full investigation of LAPD Vigilante Scandal.
Related links Related links
I'm Ed Ryan, a former layer and political activist who is running for Mayor of LA 320222 to stop this corrupt oligarch/LAPD crowd that keeps power through terror tactics that kill homeless through induced suicide that is manslaughter. A full investigation by Becerra will uncover the many Manslaughter murders they are responsible for. Caruso, you have blood on your hands and belong in jail.
Ed Ryan Mayor LA 2022. Thank You. [email protected].

'A tricky area of philanthropy': LA mayor solicits millions for his favored causes
Mayor Eric Garcetti has used a little-known mechanism to raise $31.9 million in big donations for his favored causes. About two dozen of the contributors do business with the city. Images: Rich Polk for Environmental Media Association & Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Aaron Mendelson and Mary Plummer | August 23, 2017
Los Aaigns up and down the ballot.
As part of Shadow’s technology suite, ACRONYM will continue to license Groundbase technologies to campaigns and organizations across the progressive movement. But by
big money in local politics — has set a surprising city record requesting large contributions, using a little-known and largely unregulated process called “behested payments,” KPCC has found.
Since his election as mayor, records show Garcetti has used the mechanism to raise $31.9 million in large donations to his favored causes from individuals, businesses and foundations, some of which have won sizable contracts and crucial approvals from the city in recent years.
That amount is a new record for the city of Los Angeles, which first began tracking the payments in 1997.
Garcetti has raised more than twice as much in behested payments as California Gov. Jerry Brown and more than 40 times the amount of Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom over the same time period, according to a KPCC analysis of reports filed by the politicians.
Most of the donations Garcetti raised went to a charity he helped create after his election, the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, according to reports he filed with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
Other contributions given at his request benefited other efforts, including two that are dear to his heart: L.A.'s Olympic bid and The GRYD Foundation, which runs a summertime park program Garcetti has supported for years.
“It strikes me that he’s taking advantage of the law more than anybody else has ever done,” said Bob Stern, a former California Fair Political Practices Commission general counsel who helped write the state's 1974 Political Reform Act.
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“Corporations or special interests will look for ways to throw money at the feet of the lawmakers,” said Craig Holman, a campaign finance and government ethics lobbyist for the nonprofit consumer rights group Public Citizen. A behested payment “provides an ideal opportunity for the very wealthy and the lobbyist to buy access to lawmakers.”
Charitable foundations and private individuals have also made donations large and small, according to Garcetti’s reports.
mage: Getty Images. Data: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission & California Fair Political Practices Commission. Maya Sugarman/KPCC.
Garcetti’s press office scheduled an interview for this story, and then canceled it, but agreed to answer questions submitted by KPCC in writing. In an email sent by his press office, Garcetti defended the contributions as funding important civic causes. He dismissed concerns they raise ethical questions.
"Since I became mayor, we have raised tens of millions of dollars for philanthropic organizations, so that we can tackle those challenges together," one email read.
"Last year alone, we raised critical funding for programs like Summer Night Lights, Homes for Heroes, the L.A. College Promise, Hire L.A.’s Youth and our Welcome Home Project. These are programs that serve our city every day, and I am proud that my office has been able to help them make a difference in Angelenos’ lives," the email stated.
Behested payments and political contributions
The payments seem to contradict some of his public statements against money in politics.
In 2011, Garcetti pushed for a ban on campaign contributions from bidders for large city contracts. The measure, Charter Amendment H, passed by a healthy margin and barred contributions from bidders on city contracts of $100,000 or more.
Garcetti lent his name to the official argument for the measure in sample ballots, which declared “special interests are always trying to buy influence at City Hall. Charter Amendment H will help stop them.”
Then in 2013 during his mayoral bid, Garcetti criticized his opponent Wendy Greuel for benefiting from millions in outside spending.
“I've done things in this campaign that make me the independent candidate. I'm not the hand-picked candidate of the downtown power brokers … I’m not beholden,” he said during a debate.
He also pledged not to accept campaign contributions from retail giant Walmart, which he criticized during his campaign for paying workers low wages.
"Los Angeles loses if we run a race to the bottom in terms of wages and working conditions," he said.
At the end of the following year, city records show that Walmart made a $100,000 contribution to the Mayor’s Fund, at Garcetti’s behest.
Image: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images. Data: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission & Los Angeles City Clerk. Maya Sugarman/KPCC.
Garcetti chafed at comparing campaign contributions to behested payments, insisting “they are completely different” in his written statement.
“The funding we raise through organizations like the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles benefits philanthropic organizations, so that they can do things like house veterans, send students to college, and keep kids safe from the violence on our streets,” Garcetti’s statement read. “Campaign contributions benefit political candidates and campaigns. The two forms of fundraising are not comparable.”
His press secretary added that Garcetti spends “virtually no time” fundraising for the Mayor’s Fund.
Giving at the Mayor’s behest
Reviewing Garcetti’s reports of behested payments, city contracts and other government documents, KPCC found at least two dozen donors also had business before the city including:

“I think that that is normal for the beast,” said Craig Settles, a Bay Area broadband industry analyst.
He said telecoms who do businesses with big cities typically assign several lobbyists to help win and keep multi-million-dollar contracts. One way they do that: huge contributions.
“If there’s anyone that’s paying attention, you realize that the company doesn’t have to give the money to the legislator directly,” Settles said. “You just basically funnel it into different activities where the elected official can get a great photo op and then, boom, there you go."
Data: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission & Los Angeles City Clerk. Maya Sugarman/KPC
Heidi Flato, who handles external communications for Verizon on the West Coast, declined repeated requests for comment. Julia Cooksey, Verizon’s local lobbyist at the time of the $100,000 donation, also declined to be interviewed.
Verizon later transferred that $15 million contract to another company, but it still has plenty of business with the city: at least 11 contracts active since 2011, city records show, covering a wide variety of services, supplies and telecom equipment.
Garcetti did not sign the Verizon contract in question and had no veto power over it.
He did have approval power over the city ordinance involved in the Paramount studio expansion deal and could have vetoed it.
Jennifer Lynch, Paramount’s vice president of corporate social responsibility and internal communications — who oversaw the $50,000 donation to the Mayor’s Fund in 2015 — said that money went to support the Domestic Abuse Response Team initiative, a Los Angeles Police Department program.
“We are very proud of the local grants we make to support our Hollywood area community,” she wrote in an email, “and certainly providing the seed funding for a domestic abuse and response team at the Hollywood Police Station is a particular source of pride for Paramount, but we really do not seek to publicize the community investments that we make.”
Lynch declined KPCC's interview requests.
Paramount has been active in traditional political giving as well. Since 2015, the company has donated to 18 "officeholder accounts" held by L.A. politicians. That includes donations to politicians in each of L.A.’s 15 council districts and its three citywide offices: city attorney, controller and mayor.
Stern, the former general counsel for the FPPC, said regardless of whether he has a vote on contracts, Garcetti has clear influence over transactions in the city and that raises ethical concerns.
"People who have business pending in the city of Los Angeles shouldn’t be making payments at the behest of the mayor," he said.
‘Not considered gifts’
Other behested donations reported by the mayor include money from Disney and Goldman Sachs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the foundations of celebrities like “Star Wars” director J.J. Abrams and basketball great Kobe Bryant.
The list also includes wealthy philanthropists and their foundations: L.A.-based billionaire Eli Broad, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Casey Wasserman, an entertainment executive and chairman of the committee to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles.
Garcetti has reported more than 400 behested payments since his first mayoral election. The median reported payment is $25,000, but the list includes dozens of five, six and seven-figure contributions.
Garcetti signs each report disclosing a behested payment. Some donors contacted by KPCC said Garcetti had not directly asked them for the behested donation, rather his staff did.
Unlike campaign contributions, which are limited — to $1,400 in the case of mayoral candidates in Los Angeles — behested payments can be made in any amount. California requires politicians to report them, but only when a donor gave $5,000 or more in a single year.
"They’re not considered campaign donations because they’re not going to the campaign, and they’re not considered gifts," said Jay Wierenga, communications director with the California Fair Political Practices Commission. "So, there’s that in between area where lawmakers have come up with the term behested payments."
City records show many donors didn’t stop with hefty behested payments. Several also gave to Garcetti’s 2017 re-election campaign or his officeholder account. Some even donated all three ways — including Eric Smidt, CEO of Harbor Freight Tools, Geocities founder David Bohnett, Coca-Cola and Paramount Pictures.
No limits on behested payments
The unlimited nature of the behested payments at the request of a public official can create opportunities for influence buying, according to Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C.
“Limits on the amount that a donor can give directly to a candidate are in place for a reason, and that’s to limit corruption,” he said. “By a donor being allowed to support a public official above and beyond the legal contribution limits undermines the law’s anti-corruption purpose.”
To be sure, Garcetti isn’t the only official behesting payments.
Verizon and Paramount, for example, have been making behested payments in Los Angeles for more than a decade, according to records kept by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.
Verizon has also been active at the state level. It donated another $225,000 at the behest of more than a dozen statewide politicians and state legislators since 2011, including Gov. Brown, according to reports filed with the FPPC.
Garcetti’s predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa, also solicited behested payments. In his eight years in office, they totaled $22.8 million. Garcetti eclipsed that amount in his first four-year term.
Politician-branded charities like the Mayor’s Fund are fairly unusual, but Fischer, of the Campaign Legal Center, says nonprofits are increasingly viewed by both donors and public officials as a means of promoting an agenda and promoting policy.
“And for donors, nonprofits may increasingly be viewed as a means of influencing public officials and, perhaps, secretly influencing public officials,” he said.
L.A.’s Mayor’s Fund was modeled after a similar mayoral charity in New York created when Rudy Giuliani was mayor in the 1990s. Both organizations are 501(c)(3)s not 501(c)(4)s, so they aren’t allowed to advocate, participate in politics or spend money on influencing elections.
Deidre Lind of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles declined an interview with KPCC but said in an email that the fund is independent of the mayor.
“Our independent decision-making structure along with our commitment to transparency, collaboration and impact is critical to our ongoing success,” Lind wrote in a statement. She added paperwork is filed for every donation requiring a behested report “regardless of the level of engagement of the Mayor himself or his staff.”
Still, there are clear links between Garcetti’s mayoral administration and the Mayor’s Fund.
Garcetti’s press secretary said Mayor’s office staff are involved with the Mayor’s Fund. In addition, Garcetti’s former deputy chief of staff, Rick Jacobs, sits on the board of directors for the Mayor’s Fund. Jacobs did not return calls or emails for comment.
Tax records show the Mayor’s Fund has passed on millions of dollars of donations to local causes, including groups supporting immigrants, the city’s workforce development department, and efforts to reduce veteran homelessness through another nonprofit, United Way of Greater Los Angeles.
Money appears to have been coming in faster than it’s been spent. Tax documents from the Mayor’s Fund for its first two full years, the most recent available, show the nonprofit spent about 40 percent of the money it raised during that time.
David Callahan, editor of Inside Philanthropy, said he’s noticed a swell in local charitable giving and suspects that might be helping Garcetti. "I think the Mayor’s Fund has kind of caught the wave at a good moment," he said.
But he added that transparency is critical for an organization touting its connection to an elected official. “This is a tricky area of philanthropy,” he said.
Supporters: money goes to 'good causes’
A growing market is springing up around these contributions, according to attorney Nola Werren, who works for an Ohio-based company called State and Federal Communications Inc.
Werren advises corporate lobbyists on how to make behested payments legally — she said her company expanded services to cover the fundraising method when they started getting questions about it from clients a few years ago.
Werren said she cautions lobbyists and the corporations that employ them to keep in mind how the payments will appear to the public: “This is where you look before you leap.” She said she would never advise a company to go forward if she found an instance of ‘pay to play’ — where there's a demand for payment in exchange for governmental action.
But she argues the payments benefit society.
“You know, when you think of a 501(c)(3) charity, they’re for good causes,” she said. “It’s really a win-win situation. The lobbyist ingratiates themselves with the official, the public official appears as a very benevolent-minded person, and the charity gets money.”
Currently only two states, including California, require politicians to report some forms of behested payments. But other jurisdictions are moving to regulate the arrangement.
Behested payments are banned in New York and Maryland in certain cases, according to Werren. In New York State, public officials can’t direct these kinds of charitable gifts from an “interested source” — a person or group with business before the state.
Richard Briffault, Columbia University law professor and campaign finance expert, said New York’s limit on behested-style transactions “makes sense” given that the donations are ethically thorny.
“A true gift may come out of the blue, unasked-for, and may not even be something the covered person wants,” he said. “But a behested gift is one that the public servant has actually asked for. So the likelihood of actual gratitude is much higher.”
With contributions from Renee Gross
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Rick J. Caruso was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Commission for a five-year term by Mayor James Hahn in August of 2001. At that time, he was elected President of the Commission. Commissioner Caruso previously served on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners where he was President from 1985 through 1993 and again, in this capacity, from 1997 to 2000. At the time of first appointment, he had the distinction of being the youngest Commissioner in the City's history.
Commissioner Caruso is the Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated Holdings, a national diversified real estate company he founded in 1980. He directs the firm’s strategy and growth and leads its community outreach initiatives. Under his direction, the firm has expanded from a real estate investment company into one specializing in acquisition, development and management of commercial real estate with an ownership portfolio of more than 35 commercial and retail properties throughout the United States. Caruso Affiliated Holdings is recognized as the premier retail developer in California and the nation.
Commissioner Caruso maintains a community-sensitive development approach to projects which has led to California’s most distinctive and successful neighborhood and regional shopping centers. At the outset of project planning, he invites the community to become involved, making them an integral part of the development team. His centers are noted for artful, appealing design, attractive public spaces and an investment in quality materials. These factors have enabled Commissioner Caruso to fully lease all of his projects prior to groundbreaking, attract top tier lenders, and achieve above-market financial performance.
His projects continually receive the most prestigious national awards. The Promenade at Westlake, has won two distinctive awards that include: The 1997 Gold Nugget Grand Award Winner for the Best Commercial Project for Retail and The 1998 International Council of Shopping Centers 22nd International Design and Development Award. The Commons at Calabasas was recognized in the Innovative Designs and Construction of a New Project category. In 1996, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Commissioner Caruso as Developer of the Year, and he was named 1997 Man of the Year by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, due to his active involvement in Thousand Oaks and the development of the Promenade at Westlake. Additionally, he received The Humanitarian Award from both The National Conference for Community and Justice and The House Ear Institute.
A native of Los Angeles, Commissioner Caruso received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California in 1980 and Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983, where he was a Brock Scholar. Commissioner Caruso was "Of Counsel" with a national law firm as a member of the corporate finance department until 1987, when he then founded Caruso Affiliated Holdings.
Commissioner Caruso also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Transplantation, the California Medical Center Foundation, the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development, Pepperdine School of Law Board of Visitors, and is a Trustee for The St. John’s Health Center Foundation. In 1995, he was honored as the Alumnus of the Year for Pepperdine School of Law. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
A frequent speaker on real estate and retail industry issues as well as public administration, Commissioner Caruso has made presentations at the Urban Land Institute, the University of California Los Angeles, and has lectured at the Kennedy School of Public Administration. He is a guest lecturer at the Lusk Center for Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California and participates annually as a guest panelist for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Commissioner Caruso resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, three sons and one daughte . Caruso Commissioner, Los Angeles Police Commission
Rick J. Caruso was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Commission for a five-year term by Mayor James Hahn in August of 2001. At that time, he was elected President of the Commission. Commissioner Caruso previously served on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners where he was President from 1985 through 1993 and again, in this capacity, from 1997 to 2000. At the time of first appointment, he had the distinction of being the youngest Commissioner in the City's history.
Commissioner Caruso is the Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated Holdings, a national diversified real estate company he founded in 1980. He directs the firm’s strategy and growth and leads its community outreach initiatives. Under his direction, the firm has expanded from a real estate investment company into one specializing in acquisition, development and management of commercial real estate with an ownership portfolio of more than 35 commercial and retail properties throughout the United States. Caruso Affiliated Holdings is recognized as the premier retail developer in California and the nation.
Commissioner Caruso maintains a community-sensitive development approach to projects which has led to California’s most distinctive and successful neighborhood and regional shopping centers. At the outset of project planning, he invites the community to become involved, making them an integral part of the development team. His centers are noted for artful, appealing design, attractive public spaces and an investment in quality materials. These factors have enabled Commissioner Caruso to fully lease all of his projects prior to groundbreaking, attract top tier lenders, and achieve above-market financial performance.
His projects continually receive the most prestigious national awards. The Promenade at Westlake, has won two distinctive awards that include: The 1997 Gold Nugget Grand Award Winner for the Best Commercial Project for Retail and The 1998 International Council of Shopping Centers 22nd International Design and Development Award. The Commons at Calabasas was recognized in the Innovative Designs and Construction of a New Project category. In 1996, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Commissioner Caruso as Developer of the Year, and he was named 1997 Man of the Year by the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, due to his active involvement in Thousand Oaks and the development of the Promenade at Westlake. Additionally, he received The Humanitarian Award from both The National Conference for Community and Justice and The House Ear Institute.
A native of Los Angeles, Commissioner Caruso received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California in 1980 and Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law in 1983, where he was a Brock Scholar. Commissioner Caruso was "Of Counsel" with a national law firm as a member of the corporate finance department until 1987, when he then founded Caruso Affiliated Holdings.
Commissioner Caruso also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Transplantation, the California Medical Center Foundation, the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development, Pepperdine School of Law Board of Visitors, and is a Trustee for The St. John’s Health Center Foundation. In 1995, he was honored as the Alumnus of the Year for Pepperdine School of Law. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
A frequent speaker on real estate and retail industry issues as well as public administration, Commissioner Caruso has made presentations at the Urban Land Institute, the University of California Los Angeles, and has lectured at the Kennedy School of Public Administration. He is a guest lecturer at the Lusk Center for Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California and participates annually as a guest panelist for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Commissioner Caruso resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, three sons and one daughter. r.
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The Kochs and the far right/altright

This is something I've been trying to write for a while assembled from Jane Mayer and Nancy Macleans books, the UnKochMyCampus investigation and articles accumulated on /KochWatch. It's kinda rough. Let me know what you think.
--- Historical Background ---
In the 1950s the Koch Brothers father Fred Koch co-founded The John Birch Society. JBS opposed the Civil Rights Movement and School Integration, they accused Eisenhower of being a Soviet mole, wanted Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren impeached for Brown v Board of Education, accused Martin Luthor King of being a Soviet trained agent, and were distributing WANTED posters for JFK in Houston the day he was assassinated.
Charles worked in it as a young man, by the mid-1960s Fred Koch sent his four boys to attend Robert LeFevre's Freedom School (note: that's 24 pages so you might prefer a summary here).
Although Charles doesn't publicly discuss this era and his activities during it much he has acknowledged that it was here at the Freedom School he had a revelation upon first encountering the works of Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayek. Charles enthusiasm led him to taking on an active role in its funding and operation, a precursor of the vast network in operation today.
It would wind up changing its name to Rampart College to avoid confusion with the pro-Integration freedom schools in the South. Because the Freedom School had Segregationists among its financiers, faculty, and student body:
So far all the [nearly 1,000] students have been white. Applicants are required to state their race and religion on application forms. Negroes have applied, Mr. LeFevre said, but so far have not been enrolled. They would be if qualified, he said, though it might present a housing problem because some of his students are segregationists. New York Times, 1965
In addition to the Segregationists it also had early Holocaust Deniers giving lectures, on the faculty, and published in the journal. Men like Harry Elmer Barnes and James J. Martin.
“Even if one were to accept the most extreme and exaggerated indictment of Hitler and the national socialists for their activities after 1939 made by anybody fit to remain outside a mental hospital, it is almost alarmingly easy to demonstrate that the atrocities of the Allies in the same period were more numerous as to victims and were carried out for the most part by methods more brutal and painful than alleged extermination in gas ovens.” Harry Elmer Barnes, Rampart Journal, 1966
Charles had been Executive, Trustee, and Funder of the Freedom School/Rampart College for 2 years when that was published.
Deborah Lipstadt's 1993 book Denying the Holocaust devotes chapter 4 "The First Stirrings of Denial in America" to Barnes as the main link between revisionism in the 1920s (re-evaluation of German responsibility for World War I) and the emergence in the 1950s of Holocaust denial (arguing that the Jewish Holocaust either did not happen or was exaggerated by wartime Allied propaganda and postwar Jewish politics).
Following the schools collapse Charles found a new influence in Murray Rothbard and together they established Reason Foundation to publish Reason Magazine, The Cato Institute which was originally called the Charles Koch Foundation, and provided the start up funds for the Center for Libertarian Studies which described itself as "sister organizations" with the Cato Institute with whom they “coordinate their plans and their programs."
By the early 1970s Charles had also taken charge of the Institute for Humane Studies and it was presenting seminars co-hosted by Martin and Leonard Liggio.
Reason Magazine in its early days provided a forum for Holocaust Deniers publishing Martin, Austin J. App, Percy Greaves, and Gary North) - North was an associate of Ron Paul in his early days and the director of The Foundation for Economic Education at that time and is still on its board of trustees, it is one of the many think tanks the Kochs contribute to. He is also a Christian Dominionist.
MARTIN: Well, I never made a head count of all who lost their lives in the War—we've seen a wide variety of statistical materials, some of which have been pulled out of thin air... I don't believe that the evidence of a planned extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe is holding up. [...] The German concentration camps weren't health centers, but they appear to have been far smaller and much less lethal than the Russian ones. As proof that the Holocaust was a hoax, Martin told Reason's "journalists" that he relied on the works of Europe’s leading Holocaust denier, Paul Rassinier, whose books — “Debunking the Genocide Myth,” “The Drama of European Jewry” — described Nazi concentration camps as “a gesture of compassion” designed by the Nazis to “rehabilitate the strayed sheep.” According to Rassinier, the Holocaust was a “swindle” concocted by money-grubbing Zionists out to “make Germany an ever-lasting milk cow for Israel.”
By 1979 Martin had a seat on the board of trustees at the Center for Libertarian Studies. Early CLS officials consisted of Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Joseph Stromberg, Walter Block, and Lew Rockwell served as Vice President of CLS.
As well as writing introductions to pamphlets of Barnes essays reprinted by Cato.
With the dawn of the 1980s and the 'Reagan Revolution' bringing many libertarian ideals to the fore Charles sought to become mainstream, split with Rothbard and other fringe elements, and found a new influence in James McGill Buchanan. Buchanan had been involved in Virginias anti-Integration campaign where he crafted the concept of tax credits for private tuition to circumvent Federal intervention by shifting white students to private schools and crafting an argument based on personal choice devoid of racist rhetoric.
In the 1980s Buchanan worked as an adviser to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile aiding them in crafting "locks and bolts" in a new Constitution that would hamper government acting on the will of the majority of the population and continue to protect a wealthy elite minority even with democracy restored and the dictatorship long gone. F.A. Hayek who inspired Charles at the Freedom School/Rampart College was also an adviser and went on record declaring "Personally I prefer a liberal dictatorship to democratic government devoid of liberalism."
Is it a surprise then that José Piñera the Minister for Labor and Social Security, and of Mining in the Pinochet regime is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute?
With Buchanans appointment to George Mason University and Charles infusing it with hundreds of millions of dollars as well as locating IHS and Mercatus Center, which is headed by former Koch Industries VP Richard Fink, on its campus it would be transformed into an assembly line for Charles and Buchanans ideas producing a steady stream of academics and policy makers carrying forward their ideals.
It is the largest recipient of Koch funding of colleges, between 2005-2017 it received 85 million, with an additional 34 million to IHS and 8 million to Mercatus. In 2018 it was discovered they had in fact obtained through these donations control over the hiring and firing of faculty and input on curriculum.
Rothbard, Rockwell, and the other early CLS staff would go on to found the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Mises Institute as neo-confederate. Martin and Graves would go onto the Institute for Historical Review.
Other CLS and Mises affiliates would in turn form the violent neo-Confederate group the League of the South, with Rothbard and Rockwell charter members.
Although overt extremism like what they supported in their early days has now been publicly abandoned and there is the ostensible split between Charles Koch and Murray Rothbard, the founding of Mises by numerous people who began in the Koch network and the support many individual members still receive from the Koch network and the participation of Mises in Koch network events demonstrate that in many ways it acts as a stalking horse, saying and doing things and associating with people on behalf of the Kochs that they can no longer afford to be seen doing in public.
--- Contemporary ---
Charles Murray1, author of the infamous Bell Curve and the followup Losing Ground, was supported in the 1980s by Koch funded think tanks Heritage Foundation and Manhattan Institute, today is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute another Koch funded think tank and David Koch previous sat on its national council, is a regular presenter at Koch donor conferences, and Charles Koch’s book the Science of Success cites Murray.
Garret Jones (you have to scroll down a bit to the timeline of interviews), an economist at GMU's Mercatus Center. Jones draws heavily on the work of white supremacist and eugenicist Richard Lynn, and even personally thanked the Pioneer Fund figurehead in an article he published in the Journal of Economic Growth in 2005. In 2015 Jones delivered a lecture which argued that less democracy in the United States would lead to better governance. His monograph on third world immigration was positively reviewed by VDARE in 2017. Recently he has speculated on an unusual form of wealth redistribution.
Florida Atlantic University professor Marshall DeRosa is on the research advisory council at the Koch-funded Florida thinktank the James Madison Institute, a scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, on the faculty of the League of the South Institute - the 'educational branch' of the League of the South - and employed by the Kochs for their 'prisoner outreach'. At the James Madison Institute he has written that restoration of voting rights for prisoners be dependent upon the completion of civics courses such as his - his course implements books by Cleon Skousen to teach Tea Party inspired religious extremism.
Coupled with the larger criminal justice reforms being pushed by the Koch network, DeRosa’s project paints a grim picture of things to come. Under the pretence of reducing recidivism, and with the help of deeply flawed research, Koch-network reformers are advocating for the mass privatization of prisoner re-entry programs. This will create more opportunities for private contractors to profit, and for Charles Koch and his allies to inject free-market and religious extremism into public institutions.
The University of Arizona contains the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, also known as The Freedom Center, $1.8 million from the Koch Brothers and $2.6 million from Ken and Randy Kendrick, charter members of the Koch funding network. David Schmidtz, former head of the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom/Freedom Center now heads the Universities Department of Political Economy and Moral Science which the Center has been incorporated within.
One of the departments first hires was Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly, he has published an article Public Goods and Education. In it Anomaly discussed the value of exploring links between genetics and IQ of different racial groups, and the value of eugenics. In another article Defending Eugenics he states:
Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Ashkenazi Jews [was] contrary to what any reasonable eugenics program would hope to achieve: to produce future people with qualities that we value, including intelligence and creativity. A truly eugenic program might have encouraged Jews to breed more, not less.
And elsewhere opposes public education, "I conclude with a note of skepticism about the desirability of direct government involvement in education, even if it plays a limited role in financing it through vouchers, grants, or loans that can be redeemed at accredited schools."
In 2020 he published a new paper Dodging Darwin: Race, evolution, and the hereditarian hypothesis.
Another has been Jason Brennan whose book "Against Democracy" which justifies voter suppression by suggesting the American electorate is divided into hobbits (the disengaged electorate), hooligans (the stupid voters) and vulcans (the knowledgeable)..
The Center has also published a Dr. James Otteson written paper that attempts to combat “social justice” arguments. Otteson is the director of a $3.69 million Koch funded Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University meant to study "well being," and a manuscript reader at two Mises Institute journals and on the editorial board of a third. He was recorded at a 2014 Koch donor seminar titled Leverage Science and the Universities in which he discussed among other things how to rebrand capitalism as "wellness", serious concerns were raised by the faculty following its disclosure. Not a first for Otteson previously forced out from Yeshiva University for questionable hiring, biased curriculum, and operating an anonymous blog that contained material like this: he referred to “growing” evidence that women do less well in the sciences than men partly because of “differential abilities between men and women.” In another post, in which he quotes an author as saying that “women, without male guidance, are illogical, frivolous, and incapable of making any decisions beyond what to make for dinner,” Otteson himself refers to “high-functioning women”.
While at Arizona State University they have given $3 million to the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty. Its founding director William Boyes has addressed the Mises Institute on his opposition to public education: "[G]et rid of the public education, create private education as a replacement, have a market for education, then I think we really can have an impact."
Centers at both of Arizonas universities both funding anti-public education advocacy.
Samuel Adams of Sarah Lawrence College is a GMU and IHS alumnus and indulges in the usual fare of "liberal takeover" of colleges.
Timothy Shiell an English and Philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is the director of the Koch funded Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation. It is responsible for facilitating a "civil and rational debate and research" on how "civil liberty issues guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petitioning the government" are tied to "institutions and innovation in government, civic, business, social, scientific and religious settings." Shiell was a "whistleblower" that called on the Koch-funded free speech organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the National Coalition Against Censorship to stop the UW-Stout from taking down what was widely regarded by students and administrators as racist paintings from a campus building. In a 1998 book called "Campus Hate Speech On Trial," Shiell lamented that "despite commitments to free speech and the open exchange of ideas, American colleges and universities had increasingly ignored such principles by implementing numerous hate speech codes designed to protect students from racial, sexual, and other forms of harassment."
These come just from stories found on /KochWatch, considering how much money they spend on colleges, endowments they have provided, institutes they have set up on campuses how many more are there?
Through secretive 'donor advised fund sponsors' DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund the Kochs fund a variety of far-right anti-Muslim: Frank Gaffneys Center to Security Policy, David Horowitz and his Freedom Center, Daniel Pipes Middle East Forum, the Middle East Media and Research Institute, the American Freedom Defense Initiative which includes Pamela Gellers Stop Islamization of America. And anti-LGBTQ groups: Alliance Defending Freedom, Pacific Justice Initiative, Liberty Counsel,
The Kochs, along with the Mercers and DeVos, fund the college student outreach group Young America's Foundation that funded those lecture tours that caused so much commotion featuring Murray, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, Milo Yiannopoulos, Matt Walsh. Other speakers it has sponsored have included Robert Spencer, and Ben Shapiro 1 2
Current YAF president Ron Robinson and board member James B. Taylor were two of the three board members of a now-inactive political action committee called America’s PAC (its third Michael Boos is a GMU grad), which donated to the white nationalist Martel Society and consistently contributed to the campaigns of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who is also Koch linked and well known for his racism. He and Shapiro are also pals. Taylor is also former president of the National Policy Institute, which is now run by white nationalist and altright 'leader' Richard Spencer.
The Martel Society and National Policy institute were both founded by William Regnery II.
ALEC have also hosted Horowitz. While some donors backed out of involvement with ALEC after that the Kochs double down on their support. Not surprising then that his 'Freedom Center' has received $127,600 from DonorsTrust.
Incidentally Trumps immigration adviser Stephen Miller was a YAF alumni, formed a chapter of Horowitzs Students for Academic Freedom that targeted professors for expressing their views - and a college friend of... Richard Spencer. They raised money together to host a lecture by Peter Brimelow the founder of VDARE.
And simultaneous to this they are funding the creation of Campus Free Speech laws - the Goldwater Institute and the Ethics and Public Policy Center 'Campus Free Speech Act' and ALECs FORUM Act - to protect their speakers, silence dissent, and force in more extremists.
A new organisation employing many Koch alumni is Speech First despite their initial denials tax filings now show their close interaction with the Koch network. Its mission is to oppose College regulations protecting students from racial and sexual harassment - sharing the same intentions as Shiells center, the Free Speech laws prohibiting and criminalising protest that they are producing, and other parts of the Koch network aiming to protect and advance their extreme views.
Dave Rubin now has a "partnership" with Learn Liberty, which was established by IHS mentioned earlier.
Charlie Kirks TPUSA is another college student outreach group they fund - note: the author identifies two of its financiers as Koch funded but missed that Reason Foundation and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are also Koch funded, and that Reason Foundation and Generation Opportunity are also Koch founded, meaning that four of its sources of funds are funded by the Kochs. Also note that one of the groups contributing to TPUSA that the Kochs fund is the Gary North-linked The Foundation for Economic Education.
It has issues with illegal political activity for election campaigns and racial bias, its agenda can be summed up as: Once in control of student governments, the brochure says, Turning Point expects its allied campus leaders to follow a set political agenda. Among its planks are the defunding of progressive organizations on campus, the implementation of "free speech" policies eliminating barriers to hate speech, and the blocking of all campus "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movements. Turning Point’s agenda also calls for the student leaders it empowers to use student resources to host speakers and forums promoting "American Exceptionalism and Free Market ideals on campus." Bringing it into line with Speech First, Shiells center, the Kochs Campus Free Speech law push, and overall agenda of infusing college students with their beliefs about the market and denying racism in conservative policies and rhetoric.
Other activities have included injecting Dark Money into student government elections, growing links to the altright, and inviting an Identity Evropa white nationalist to speak at a college. A new spinoff Turning Point Action appears to already be violating IRS regulations before it has even begun.
Senior leadership have expressed Nazi sympathy, Hitler apologetics, white supremacism+held dual membership with Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement, and worked on campaigns with Roger Stone. And finally, Marshall DeRosa is the sponsor of the Florida Atlantic University TPUSA chapter.
Rebel Media was founded by Ezra Levant, in college he was a Koch Foundation Summer Fellow and attended various IHS and Liberty Fund events. He did his internship at the Charles G. Koch Foundation and then worked at the Koch funded Fraser Institute, their primary think tank in Canada. It has received funding from the Middle East Forum, which the Kochs fund. And has produced anti-Muslim attack ads with them featuring far-right personalities.
Rebel Media has been a regular platform for Jordan Peterson who they have raised money for, not to mention Lauren Southern, Gavin McInnes, and Faith Goldy - who favourably cite Richard Spencer.
Jordan Peterson also often recommends Koch linked groups like IHS, cites the Cato Institute sponsored HumanProgress, addresses the Koch funded Manhattan Institute and Heritage Foundation, pals around with Dave Rubin, and appears at TPUSA events with Kirk, Shapiro and other Koch linked speakers.
A recent TPUSA event hosted Peterson and Sebastian Gorka.
Tucker Carlson was a fellow at the Koch-founded Cato Institute until 2015. Among a number of online outlets, the Charles G. Koch Foundation - where Ezra Levant did his internship - and other Koch foundations have contributed significantly to Carlsons Daily Caller. The Daily Caller has reported very favourably on the Charlottesville altright march, its journalist Jason Kessler addressed the marchers 'in which he praised fascist and racist organizations, thanked a prominent Holocaust denier, and declared the beginnings of a cultural “civil war.” Kessler has many links to the far right and white nationalists. But he is not the only one there: Peter Brimelow the founder of VDARE - which reviewed Garret Jones favourably - has also contributed, several contributors have also written for it, several associate with Richard Spencer who remember took over from James B. Taylor at the National Policy Institute & was a college friend of Stephen Miller. Questions have also been raised about its 501(c)3 charitable registration. Without a doubt its content and staff are far more upfront and provocative than any other group or person yet listed here. Evan an ex-white nationalist has said Carlson does coded messaging better than White Nationalists. Representatives of Koch foundations have even call the Daily Caller abhorrent but wont say if they'll stop funding it.
And for additional evidence, the high school carriculum they donate when schools run short of funding (because of Koch backed efforts to cut taxes that fund them): 1, 2, 3.
--- Analysis (where I struggle the most) ---
What this background and contemporary associations point to is a Koch-backed network, intermediaries, and like minded individuals inspired by the network generating a plausible denial pipeline from libertarianism to anarcho capitalism to the altright.
As the Garret Jones link demonstrates Stefan Molyneux maintains connections to Jones, the von Mises Institute founded by their former associate Rothbard, Murray who is Koch funded, the League of the South which was founded by CLS and Mises associates and which DeRosa is associated with, and others in the emerging altright, which are all Koch linked either through direct funding or associating with those they fund. Mises itself despite ostensibly not receiving Koch money has many alumni and faculty who do receive Koch money or are involved with apparatus of the Koch network. Richard Spencer has similar repeated connections being cited by Rebel Media and The Daily Caller pundits and he runs a group formerly run by YAF board members.
The conventional libertarian economists and think tanks the Kochs support are combined with the more radical academics that provide an 'intellectual' underpinning to "racial realism"; through the manipulation of 'grievance politics' appealing to insecure and socially dislocated young men and an older working class left behind by neoliberalism - the mantra of liberal take over of college campuses, society being under threat from the SJWs and political correctness, excusing and downplaying anti-Black racism arguing that lack of prosperity is due to ones own lack of trying hard enough (or perhaps genetic inferiority) or dysfunctional Black culture and affirmative action is discrimination, Feminazis are wrong, illegal immigrants are taking jobs, Islam is at war with the West, etc - pushed by the likes of Shapiro, Rubin, Peterson, outlets like Rebel Media, Daily Caller, Kirk and TPUSA, etc all provide simple emotionally appealing explanations that cite the academics and institutes for what the supposed real cause of their problems are; and the fellow travellers like Molyneux, Spencer, Mises Institute, and VDARE provide an additional extreme admixture to push things further.
All advancing into the mainstream extreme views and directing the adherents to support campaigns and politicians the Kochs back.
Partly this is motivated by self interest as they are aligning this radicalised base with support for the Kochs policy agenda that few would adopt if stated openly: lowering taxes for the wealthy, industrial and financial and environmental deregulation, privatisation and rollback of public services.
But more than anything the Kochs are no mere classical liberals or libertarians concerned with government overreach. Instead while we have no direct quotes we can nevertheless surmise from their repeated pattern of associations and funding that the Kochs seek to create a 'let the chips fall where they may' institutionally-biased racism and even a segregated society concealed within economic jargon. Just like Buchanans "locks and bolts."
And it should also point to a confluence of these academics and media personalities pushing a demographic to an increasingly extreme position that welcomes conflict.
As one of their pet academics once said at an early CLS conference:
In support of building their own youth movement, another speaker, the libertarian historian Leonard Liggio, cited the success of the Nazi model. In his paper titled "National Socialist Political Strategy: Social Change in a Modern Industrial Society with an Authoritarian Tradition," Liggio, who was affiliated with the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) from 1974 to 1998, described the Nazis' successful creation of a youth movement a key to their capture of the state. Like the Nazis, he suggested, libertarians should organise university students to create group identity.f
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Possible Discussion on /r/cults in post ""Prosperity Theology," the "Alt Right" and the Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism"

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Submission "Prosperity Theology," the "Alt Right" and the Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism
Comments "Prosperity Theology," the "Alt Right" and the Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism
Author not-moses
Subreddit /cults
Posted On Wed Jan 01 21:01:52 UTC 2020
Score 50 as of Sat Jan 11 20:04:19 UTC 2020
Total Comments 15

Post Body:

DON'T believe me. Just examine the known facts and connect the dots for yourself:
Have you noticed the explosive growth of ostensibly but not actually Xtian congregations that leverage so-called "prosperity theology" to drive their flocks to get wealthy and tithe like mad? Think Kenneth Copeland, Paula White, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer right off the bat.
Some (many? most?) of those churches do seem to be set up like very aggressively recruiting, MLMs operating like this.
I know a devoted follower of Meyer who is a rabid alt righter. And my late natal mother and her husband -- both pretty big players in conservative politics in California's WASP-dominated OC -- were big fans of (and major donors to) Robert Schuller's "prosperity gospel" at the Crystal Cathedral there.
At this point, may I say that I am NOT hostile to religion in general or legitimate Christianity in particular. Religion serves a powerful and necessary social organization function in a world full of humans who are still just animals that can talk.
BUT... Dig around on that first Wikipedia link above. One may ultimately find themselves at Nancy MacLean's, Jane Mayer's and Kevin Phillips's published doorsteps (see below) on the long gestation of the alt right movement and how it seems to have been -- at least in significant part -- built on the back of the resurgence of Pentecostalism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Moreover, as the poor-left-empowering Roman Catholic church's own cultic pyramid began to cave in during the same period.
See The Political Purpose of Evangelical Totalism in not-moses's reply to the OP on that reddit thread.
Many of the more evangelical, fundamentally Pentecostal (in not-moses's reply to the OP on that thread) -- e.g.: the Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel -- churches, along with those of the Southern Baptist Convention appear to have very dense (and pretty obvious) connections with alt right causes and leaders (see this list of SBCs in positions of political power for example). IMO, the quite cultish Watchtower Society and marginally less cultic Seventh Day Adventists are also significant players in this, albeit much further under the radar than the Pentecostals or SBCs.
While I would not assert that most of the Pentecostal or SBC churches operate like cults all the way down to the lower levels of classic cultic pyramids, reports from many investigative reporters over the past three decades suggest that many do work that way at the higher levels of their organizational schemes. And I will name one right off that has spawned a small army of imitators:
The Rev. Sung Myung Moon's Unification Church and so many of the other very cult-like, Pentecostal congregations across North and South America built in Krazy Korea (in the OP and not-moses's reply to it on that thread), some evidently with CIA financial support back in the 1950s aimed at combating the spread of North Korean communism. (The law of unintended consequences at work? IDK4S, but...)
If interested, see also
Cult Recruitment & Membership Patterns,
The Manipulation of Fear by the Pseudo-Christian Cults, and
Religion as the Principle Force for Civilization... at a Price in not-moses's lengthy discussion with the OP on that Reddit thread.
References & Resources
Karen Armstrong: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam; New York: MJF Books, 1993.
Sharon Beder: Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR; London: Zed Books, 2001.
Eric Hoffer: The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements; New York: Harper and Row, 1951, 1966.
Jane Mayer: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right; New York: Doubleday, 2016.
Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of The Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America; New York, Random House: 2017.
Elaine Pagels: Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelations; New York: Viking, 2012.
Kevin Phillips: American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century; New York: Viking, 2006.
Stephen Prothero: God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World; New York: Harper Collins, 2010.
Huston Smith: The World's Religions: The Revised & Updated Edition of The Religions of Man; orig. pub. 1958, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.
Charles Strozier, Katherine Boyd; et al: The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence, and History; London: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Related Comments (2):

--- --- Notes
Author not-moses
Posted On Thu Jan 02 06:32:43 UTC 2020
Score 3 as of Sat Jan 11 20:04:19 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 0
Body link
It may be well worth the time to look into the cultic pyramid and how the majority of members of any large cult know little if anything about the workings of the elites at the eight, ninth and tenth levels. And -- in fact -- how the elites prefer that the fifth, sixth and seventh level folks stay out of the common culture while the elites at the top quietly use their wealth politically to further their own aims.
With respect to the JWs, that has meant contributing to the electoral campaigns of a) city council members who favor the often controversial construction of new or enlarged Kingdom Halls in their cities, and b) superior court judges who favor the WS in litigation over such a blood transfusion for WS children. Having seen examples of both first-hand...
--- --- Notes
Author willow-the-fairy
Posted On Thu Jan 02 03:54:58 UTC 2020
Score 4 as of Sat Jan 11 20:04:19 UTC 2020
Conversation Size 1
Body link
I don't think the Jehovah's Witnesses (i.e. Watchtower) are involved in any political party or activities one way or another, as they believe themselves to be apolitical even though their religious belief may overlap with some of the alt-right's beliefs (such as opposition to homosexuality, traditional patriarchal view of family).
In fact JWs are prohibited from even voting -- and that prohibition is enforced by disfellowshipping (shunning).
http://news.jrn.msu.edu/2017/12/staying-out-of-the-fray-jehovahs-witnesses-political-neutrality/
submitted by jw_mentions to jw_mentions [link] [comments]

The Koch Brothers and the far right.

This is something I've been trying to write for a while assembled from Jane Mayer and Nancy Macleans books, the UnKochMyCampus investigation and articles accumulated on /KochWatch. It's kinda rough. Let me know what you think.
--- Historical Background ---
In the 1950s the Koch Brothers father Fred Koch co-founded The John Birch Society. JBS opposed the Civil Rights Movement and School Integration, they accused Eisenhower of being a Soviet mole, wanted Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren impeached for Brown v Board of Education, accused Martin Luthor King of being a Soviet trained agent, and were distributing WANTED posters for JFK in Houston the day he was assassinated.
Charles worked in it as a young man, by the mid-1960s Fred Koch sent his four boys to attend Robert LeFevre's Freedom School (note: that's 24 pages so you might prefer a summary here).
Although Charles doesn't publicly discuss this era and his activities during it much he has acknowledged that it was here at the Freedom School he had a revelation upon first encountering the works of Ludwig von Mises and F.A. Hayak. Charles enthusiasm led him to taking on an active role in its funding and operation, a precursor of the vast network in operation today.
It would wind up changing its name to Rampart College to avoid confusion with the pro-Integration freedom schools in the South. Because the Freedom School had Segregationists among its financiers, on the faculty, and among its student body:
So far all the [nearly 1,000] students have been white. Applicants are required to state their race and religion on application forms. Negroes have applied, Mr. LeFevre said, but so far have not been enrolled. They would be if qualified, he said, though it might present a housing problem because some of his students are segregationists. New York Times, 1965
In addition to the Segregationists it also had early Holocaust Deniers giving lectures, on the faculty, and published in the journal. Men like Harry Elmer Barnes and James J. Martin.
“Even if one were to accept the most extreme and exaggerated indictment of Hitler and the national socialists for their activities after 1939 made by anybody fit to remain outside a mental hospital, it is almost alarmingly easy to demonstrate that the atrocities of the Allies in the same period were more numerous as to victims and were carried out for the most part by methods more brutal and painful than alleged extermination in gas ovens.” Harry Elmer Barnes, Rampart Journal, 1966
Charles had been Executive, Trustee, and Funder of the Freedom School/Rampart College for 2 years when that was published.
Deborah Lipstadt's 1993 book Denying the Holocaust devotes chapter 4 "The First Stirrings of Denial in America" to Barnes as the main link between revisionism in the 1920s (re-evaluation of German responsibility for World War I) and the emergence in the 1950s of Holocaust denial (arguing that the Jewish Holocaust either did not happen or was exaggerated by wartime Allied propaganda and postwar Jewish politics).
By the early 1970s Charles had taken charge of the Institute for Humane Studies and it was presenting seminars co-hosted by Martin and Leonard Liggio.
Following the schools collapse Charles found a new influence in Murray Rothbard and together they established Reason Foundation to publish Reason Magazine, The Cato Institute which was originally called the Charles Koch Foundation, and provided the start up funds for the Center for Libertarian Studies which described itself as "sister organizations" with the Cato Institute with whom they “coordinate their plans and their programs."
Reason Magazine in its early days provided a forum for Holocaust Deniers publishing Martin, Austin J. App, Percy Greaves, and Gary North) - North was the director of The Foundation for Economic Education at that time and is still on its board of trustees, it is one of the many think tanks the Kochs contribute to.
MARTIN: Well, I never made a head count of all who lost their lives in the War—we've seen a wide variety of statistical materials, some of which have been pulled out of thin air... I don't believe that the evidence of a planned extermination of the entire Jewish population of Europe is holding up. [...] The German concentration camps weren't health centers, but they appear to have been far smaller and much less lethal than the Russian ones. As proof that the Holocaust was a hoax, Martin told Reason's "journalists" that he relied on the works of Europe’s leading Holocaust denier, Paul Rassinier, whose books — “Debunking the Genocide Myth,” “The Drama of European Jewry” — described Nazi concentration camps as “a gesture of compassion” designed by the Nazis to “rehabilitate the strayed sheep.” According to Rassinier, the Holocaust was a “swindle” concocted by money-grubbing Zionists out to “make Germany an ever-lasting milk cow for Israel.”
By 1979 Martin had a seat on the board of trustees at the Center for Libertarian Studies. Early CLS officials consisted of Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Joseph Stromberg, Walter Block, and Lew Rockwell served as Vice President of CLS.
As well as writing introductions to pamphlets of Barnes essays reprinted by Cato.
With the dawn of the 1980s and the 'Reagan Revolution' bringing many libertarian ideals to the fore Charles sought to become mainstream, split with Rothbard and other fringe elements, and found a new influence in James McGill Buchanan. Buchanan had been involved in Virginias anti-Integration campaign where he crafted the concept of tax credits for private tuition to circumvent Federal intervention by shifting white students to private schools and crafting an argument based on personal choice devoid of racist rhetoric. In the 1980s Buchanan work as an advisor to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile aiding them in crafting "locks and bolts" in a new Constitution that would hamper government acting on the will of the majority of the population and protect a wealthy elite minority even with democracy restored and the dictatorship long gone.
With Buchanans appointment to George Mason University and Charles infusing it with hundreds of millions of dollars as well as locating the IHS and Mercatus Center, which is headed by former Koch Industries VP Richard Fink, on its campus it would be transformed into an assembly line for Charles and Buchanans ideas producing a steady stream of academics and policy makers carrying forward their ideals.
It is the largest recipient of Koch funding of colleges, between 2005-2017 it received 85 million, 34 million went to IHS, and 8 million went to Mercatus. In 2018 it was discovered they had in fact obtained control over the hiring and firing of faculty.
Rothbard, Rockwell, and the other early CLS staff would go on to found the Ludwig von Mises Institute. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Mises Institute as neo-confederate. Martin and Graves would go onto the Institute for Historical Review.
Other CLS and Mises affiliates would in turn form the League of the South, with Rothbard and Rockwell charter members.
Although overt extremism like what they supported in their early days has now been publicly abandoned and there is the ostensible split between Charles Koch and Murray Rothbard, the founding of Mises by numerous people who began in the Koch network and the support many individual members still receive from the Koch network and the participation of Mises in Koch network events demonstrate that in many ways it acts as a stalking horse, saying and doing things and associating with people on behalf of the Kochs that they can no longer afford to be seen doing in public.
What this points to is Koch-backed intermediaries create spin-off groups generating a plausible denial pipeline from libertarianism to anarcho capitalism to the altright.
--- Contemporary ---
Charles Murray (1), author of the infamous Bell Curve and the followup Losing Ground, was supported in the 1980s by Koch funded think tanks Heritage Foundation and Manhattan Institute, today is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute another Koch funded think tank and David Koch sits on the board of directors, is a regular presenter at Koch donor conferences, and Charles Koch’s book the Science of Success cites Murray.
Garret Jones (you have to scroll down a bit to the timeline of interviews), an economist at GMU's Mercatus Center. Jones draws heavily on the work of white supremacist and eugenicist Richard Lynn, and even personally thanked the Pioneer Fund figurehead in an article he published in the Journal of Economic Growth in 2005. In 2015 Jones delivered a lecture which argued that less democracy in the United States would lead to better governance. His monograph on third world immigration was positively reviewed by VDARE in 2017. Recently he has speculated on an unusual form of wealth redistribution.
Florida Atlantic University professor Marshall DeRosa is on the research advisory council at the Koch-funded Florida thinktank the James Madison Institute, a scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, on the faculty of the League of the South Institute - the 'educational branch' of the violent neo-confederate League of the South - and employed by the Kochs for their 'prisoner outreach'. At the James Madison Institute he has written that restoration of voting rights for prisoners be dependent upon the completion of civics courses such as his - his course implements books by Cleon Skousen to teach Tea Party inspired religious extremism.
Coupled with the larger criminal justice reforms being pushed by the Koch network, DeRosa’s project paints a grim picture of things to come. Under the pretence of reducing recidivism, and with the help of deeply flawed research, Koch-network reformers are advocating for the mass privatization of prisoner re-entry programs. This will create more opportunities for private contractors to profit, and for Charles Koch and his allies to inject free-market and religious extremism into public institutions.
The University of Arizona contains the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, also known as The Freedom Center, $1.8 million from the Koch Brothers and $2.6 million from Ken and Randy Kendrick, charter members of the Koch funding network. David Schmidtz, former head of the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom/Freedom Center now heads the Universities Department of Political Economy and Moral Science which the Center has been incorporated within. One of the departments first hires was Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly, he has published an article Public Goods and Education. In it Anomaly discussed the value of exploring links between genetics and IQ of different racial groups, and the value of eugenics. In another article Defending Eugenics he states:
Hitler’s attempt to exterminate Ashkenazi Jews [was] contrary to what any reasonable eugenics program would hope to achieve: to produce future people with qualities that we value, including intelligence and creativity. A truly eugenic program might have encouraged Jews to breed more, not less.
And elsewhere opposes public education, "I conclude with a note of skepticism about the desirability of direct government involvement in education, even if it plays a limited role in financing it through vouchers, grants, or loans that can be redeemed at accredited schools."
The Center has also published a Dr. James Otteson written paper that attempts to combat “social justice” arguments. Otteson is he director of a $3.69 million Koch funded Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University meant to study "well being," and a manuscript reader at two Mises Institute journals and on the editorial board of a third. He was recorded at a 2014 Koch donor seminar titled Leverage Science and the Universities in which he discussed among other things how to rebrand capitalism as "wellness", serious concerns were raised by the faculty following its disclosure. Not a first for Otteson previously forced out from Yeshiva University for questionable hiring, biased curriculum, and operating an anonymous blog that contained material like this: he referred to “growing” evidence that women do less well in the sciences than men partly because of “differential abilities between men and women.” In another post, in which he quotes an author as saying that “women, without male guidance, are illogical, frivolous, and incapable of making any decisions beyond what to make for dinner,” Otteson himself refers to “high-functioning women”.
While at Arizona State University they have given $3 million to the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty. Its founding director William Boyes has addressed the Mises Institute on his opposition to public education: "[G]et rid of the public education, create private education as a replacement, have a market for education, then I think we really can have an impact."
Centers at both of Arizonas universities both funding anti-public education advocacy.
Samuel Adams of Sarah Lawrence College is a GMU and IHS alumnus and indulges in the usual fare of "liberal takeover" of colleges.
Timothy Shiell an English and Philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout is the director of the Koch funded Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation. It is responsible for facilitating a "civil and rational debate and research" on how "civil liberty issues guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petitioning the government" are tied to "institutions and innovation in government, civic, business, social, scientific and religious settings." Shiell was a "whistleblower" that called on the Koch-funded free speech organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the National Coalition Against Censorship to stop the UW-Stout from taking down what was widely regarded by students and administrators as racist paintings from a campus building. In a 1998 book called "Campus Hate Speech On Trial," Shiell lamented that "despite commitments to free speech and the open exchange of ideas, American colleges and universities had increasingly ignored such principles by implementing numerous hate speech codes designed to protect students from racial, sexual, and other forms of harassment."
These come just from stories found on /KochWatch, considering how much money they spend on colleges, endowments they have provided, institutes they have set up on campuses how many more are there?
Through Donors Capital Fund the Kochs fund Daniel Pipes Islamophobic 'think tank' Middle East Forum.
The Kochs, along with the Mercers and DeVos, fund the college student outreach group Young America's Foundation that funded those lecture tours that caused so much commotion featuring Murray, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, Milo Yiannopoulos. Other speakers it has sponsored have included Robert Spencer, and Ben Shapiro (1, 2)
And simultaneous to this they are funding the creation of Campus Free Speech laws - the Goldwater Institute and the Ethics and Public Policy Center 'Campus Free Speech Act' and ALECs FORUM Act - to protect their speakers, silence dissent, and force in more extremists.
Current YAF president Ron Robinson and board member James B. Taylor were two of the three board members of a now-inactive political action committee called America’s PAC (its third Michael Boos is a GMU grad), which donated to the white nationalist Martel Society and consistently contributed to the campaigns of Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, who is also Koch linked and well known for his racism. Taylor is also former president of the National Policy Institute, which is now run by White Supremacist and altright 'leader' Richard Spencer.
ALEC have also hosted Horowitz. While some donors backed out of involvement with ALEC after that the Kochs double down on their support. Not surprising then that his 'Freedom Center' has received $127,600 from DonorsTrust.
Incidentally Trumps immigration advisor Stephen Miller was a YAF alumni, formed a chapter of Horowitzs Students for Academic Freedom that targeted professors for expressing their views - and a college friend of... Richard Spencer. They raised money together to host a lecture by Peter Brimelow the founder of VDARE.
A new organisation employing many Koch alumni is Speech First, its funding is not yet known but the millions it spends far outstrip what its student membership fee raises and the claims it makes are in line with many here. Its mission is to oppose College regulations protecting students from racial and sexual harassment - sharing the same intentions as Shiells center, the Free Speech Laws they are producing, and other parts of the Koch network aiming to protect Hate Speech and discrimination. But of course its representatives insist it has no connection.
Dave Rubin now has a "partnership" with Learn Library, which was established by the Institute for Humane Studies mentioned earlier.
Charlie Kirks TPUSA is another college student outreach group they fund - note: the author identifies two of its financiers as Koch funded but missed that Reason Foundation and Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are also Koch funded, remember that Charles in fact founded Reason Foundation, meaning that four of its sources of funds are funded by the Kochs. Also note that one of the groups contributing to TPUSA that the Kochs fund is the Gary North-linked The Foundation for Economic Education.
It has issues with illegal political activity for election campaigns and racial bias, its agenda can be summed up as: Once in control of student governments, the brochure says, Turning Point expects its allied campus leaders to follow a set political agenda. Among its planks are the defunding of progressive organizations on campus, the implementation of "free speech" policies eliminating barriers to hate speech, and the blocking of all campus "boycott, divestment and sanctions" movements. Turning Point’s agenda also calls for the student leaders it empowers to use student resources to host speakers and forums promoting "American Exceptionalism and Free Market ideals on campus." Bringing it into line with the Speech First, Shiells center, the Kochs Campus Free Speech law push, and overall agenda of infusing college students with their beliefs about the market and denying racism in conservative policies and rhetoric.
Other activities have included injecting Dark Money into student government elections, growing links to the altright, and inviting an Identity Evropa white nationalist to speak at a college. A new spinoff Turning Point Action appears to already be violating IRS regulations before it has even begun.
Senior leadership have expressed Nazi sympathy, Hitler apologetics, white supremacism+held dual membership with Identity Evropa/American Identity Movement, and worked on campaigns with Roger Stone. And finally, Marshall DeRosa is the sponsor of the Florida Atlantic University TPUSA chapter.
Rebel Media was founded by Ezra Levant – formerly he worked at the Koch funded Fraser Institute their primary think tank in Canada and did his internship at the Charles G. Koch Foundation. It has received funding from the Middle East Forum, which the Kochs fund. And has produced anti-Muslim attack ads with them featuring far-right personalities.
Rebel Media has been a regular platform for Jordan Peterson who they have raised money for, Lauren Southern, Gavin McInnes, and Faith Goldy - who favourably cite Richard Spencer.
Jordan Peterson also often recommends Koch linked groups like IHS, cites the Cato Institute sponsored HumanProgress, addresses the Koch funded Manhattan Institute and Heritage Foundation, pals around with Dave Rubin, and appears at TPUSA events with Kirk, Shapiro and other Koch linked speakers.
A recent TPUSA event hosted Peterson and Sebastian Gorka.
Tucker Carlson was a fellow at the Koch-founded Cato Institute until 2015. Among a number of online outlets, the Charles G. Koch Foundation - where Ezra Levant did his internship - and other Koch foundations have contributed significantly to Carlsons Daily Caller. The Daily Caller has reported very favourably on the Charlottesville altright march, its journalist Jason Kessler addressed the marchers 'in which he praised fascist and racist organizations, thanked a prominent Holocaust denier, and declared the beginnings of a cultural “civil war.” Kessler has many links to the far right and white nationalists. But he is not the only one there: Peter Brimelow the founder of VDARE - which reviewed Garret Jones favourably - has also contributed, several contributors have also written for it, several associate with Richard Spencer who remember took over from James B. Taylor at the National Policy Institute & was a college friend of Stephen Miller. Questions have also been raised about its 501(c)3 charitable registration. Without a doubt its content and staff are far more upfront and provocative than any other group or person yet listed here. Evan an ex-White Nationalist has said Carlson does coded messaging better than White Nationalists.
And for additional evidence, the high school carriculum they donate when schools run short of funding (because of Koch backed efforts to cut taxes that fund them): 1, 2, 3.
--- Analysis (where I struggle the most) ---
As the Garret Jones link demonstrates Stefan Molyneux maintains connections to Jones, the von Mises Institute founded by their former associate Rothbard, Murray who is Koch funded, the League of the South which was founded by CLS and Mises associates and which DeRosa is associated with, and others in the emerging altright, which are all Koch linked either through direct funding or associating with those they fund. Mises itself despite ostensibly not receiving Koch money has many alumni and faculty who do receive Koch money or are involved with apparatus of the Koch network. Richard Spencer has similar repeated connections being cited by Rebel Media and The Daily Caller pundits and he runs a group formerly run by YAF board members.
The conventional libertarian economists and think tanks the Kochs support are combined with the more radical academics that provide an 'intellectual' underpinning to "racial realism"; through the manipulation of 'grievance politics' appealing to disaffected youth and a working class left behind by neoliberalism - the mantra of liberal take over of college campuses, society being under threat from the SJWs and political correctness, that there is no racism in America and that lack of prosperity is due to ones own lack of trying hard enough (or perhaps genetic inferiority) and affirmative action is discrimination, Feminazis are wrong, illegal immigrants are taking jobs, Islam is at war with the West, etc - pushed by the likes of Shapiro, Rubin, Peterson, Kirk, outlets like Rebel Media, Daily Caller, etc all provide simple emotionally appealing explanations that cite the academics and institutes for what the supposed real cause of their problems are; and the fellow travellers like Molyneux, Spencer, Mises Institute, and VDARE provide an additional extreme admixture to push things further.
All advancing into the mainstream extreme views and directing the adherents to support campaigns and politicians the Kochs back.
Partly this is motivated by self interest as they are aligning this radicalised base with support for the Kochs policy agenda that few would adopt if stated openly: lowering taxes for the wealthy, industrial and financial and environmental deregulation, privatisation and rollback of public services.
But more than anything the Kochs are no mere classical liberals or libertarians concerned with government overreach. Instead while we have no direct quotes we can nevertheless surmise from their repeated pattern of associations and funding that the Kochs seek to create a 'let the chips fall where they may' institutionally-biased racism and even a segregated society concealed within economic jargon. Just like Buchanans "locks and bolts."
And it should also point to a confluence of these academics and media personalities pushing a demographic to an increasingly extreme position that welcomes conflict.
As one of their pet academics once said at an early CLS conference:
In support of building their own youth movement, another speaker, the libertarian historian Leonard Liggio, cited the success of the Nazi model. In his paper titled "National Socialist Political Strategy: Social Change in a Modern Industrial Society with an Authoritarian Tradition," Liggio, who was affiliated with the Koch-funded Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) from 1974 to 1998, described the Nazis' successful creation of a youth movement a key to their capture of the state. Like the Nazis, he suggested, libertarians should organise university students to create group identity.
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