Sunday, June 4, 2017

Grifters Gotta Grift: "Political Warfare" Edition

An article in the Washington Post demonstrates why progressives need to be active not only in marches, organizing, and other social actions to fight the menace that neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump poses to American democracy. As we note in the post below, it requires contributing to progressive organizations that will battle in the courts, state legislatures, and Congress. As reporters Robert O'Harrow, Jr. and Shawn Boberg write:
"Long before Trump promised to build a wall, ban Muslims and abandon the Paris climate accord, [David] Horowitz used his tax-exempt group to rail against illegal immigrants, the spread of Islam and global warming. Center officials described Hillary Clinton as evil, President Barack Obama as a secret communist and the Democratic Party as a front for enemies of the United States.

The Freedom Center has declared itself a 'School for Political Warfare,' and it is part of a loose nationwide network of like-minded charities linked together by ideology, personalities, conservative funders and websites, including the for-profit Breitbart News." (emphasis added)
"Like-minded charities" whose purpose is to create and defend policies that afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable, to smear and lie as they do it, and to steer this country toward right-wing authoritarian government. Some "charities." Founder Horowitz -- a radical right-winger if there ever was one -- rakes off a tidy 10% for his salary ($583,000) from donations to his "Freedom Center," formerly known as the "Center for the Study of Popular Culture." As a "charity," his Center is subject to the IRS' rules on charities, which prohibit propagandizing or lobbying for a particular political cause. However, that's undercut by statements that his organization has publicly made:
"In his IRS application for tax-exempt status in August 1988, Horowitz wrote his center would be 'entirely non-profit, non-partisan,' according to records obtained through a public records request. 'It will not be organized to promote any particular political program.'

Twenty years later, a brochure for one of the charity’s events would sharply contradict that claim: 'In 1988, Horowitz created the Center for the Study of Popular Culture to institutionalize his campaigns against the Left and its anti-American agendas.'" (emphasis added)
It's also undercut by the Center declaring itself a "School for Political Warfare."

As part of the wingnut welfare system, Horowitz gets infusions from right wing donors like the Olin Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, and the Scaife family (of Richard Mellon Scaife infamy). No doubt there are other right-wing sugar daddies out there contributing to the "Freedom Center," who can write their donations off as "charitable donations." A very neat grift, and one that the IRS would crack down on, if only Horowitz's man in the White (Supremacist) House weren't there to obstruct it.

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