Friday, 26 March 2010

Big Tax-exempt Foundations Push Census Activism

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censusSome of the biggest guns of the tax-exempt philanthropy world — Ford, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Soros — are using their funding clout to promote participation in the federal 2010 Census, especially among the many activist organizations they finance. And a new study released by their coalition of foundations indicates they hope to use the census process to duplicate in the 2010 mid-term elections some of the successes their activist grantees scored with the election of President Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2008.

On March 15, the Ford Foundation announced on its website: "Ford Foundation Encourages Grant Makers to Get Involved in 2010 Census." The announcement goes on to state that the "Ford Foundation has invested more than $15 million dollars to support 2010 Census activities and is a major funder of grassroots organizations working to increase census participation, particularly of historically undercounted groups."

Many of the "grassroots" organizations Ford has been funding for decades are, actually, radical Astroturf front groups employing the "community organizing" skills taught by Marxist Saul Alinsky. Barack Obama trained as a "community organizer" in Chicago under Alinsky's top disciples. In a Boston Globe letter to the editor, Saul Alinsky's son, L. David Alinsky, paid tribute to Obama's application of the Alinsky methods and networks in his 2008 presidential campaign. "Obama learned his lesson well," said the younger Alinsky. "I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday."

The Ford Foundation's March 15 announcement also states:

The Ford Foundation is committed to educating and engaging historically undercounted populations about the importance of the 2010 Census and is encouraging other funders to get involved to help ensure an accurate count....

A number of foundations and nonprofits are promoting the 2010 Census in the communities they serve. The Ford Foundation is an active member of the Funders Census Initiative, a working group of funders and grantees committed to ensuring an accurate count. In addition, Ford has developed a 2010 Census Funder Tool Kit (PDF) and supported a Census Message Manual (PDF) for funders.

The above-mentioned Funders Census Initiative is a project of the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP). Among the foundations listed as members of the FCCP are:

Ford Foundation

Open Society Institute

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Rockefeller Family Fund

Pew Charitable Trusts

Bauman Foundation

Joyce Foundation

New World Foundation

New York Foundation

Hagedorn Foundation

Tides Foundation

Arca Foundation

Organizing a Census of Entitlement

The Ford Foundation's Census Message Manual is intended for use by canvassers for the Funders Census Initiative. The subtitle on the  manual's cover reads: "Increasing Democratic Participation: Motivating Undercounted Populations to Be Counted in the 2010 Census: A Resource for Census Activists."

The Manual, created by "a team of researchers managed by Hattaway Communications," emphasizes the need for activists to stress the importance of participating in the Census in order to "help our community get its fair share of $400 billion of government money."

"Message-testing focus groups employed research methods designed to elicit language from participants that people in the target populations would retain and repeat," the Manual informs us. "Messages were then crafted with words and phrases used by participants to talk among themselves about the Census," it continues.

And what are the "target populations" of the foundation activists? According to the Manual, they are "Black men and undocumented Latino immigrants."

Among the brief, canned messages the Manual suggests activists use on Black men is this one (emphasis in the original):

Filling out the Census form helps organizations that advocate for our families and community fight for our fair share of government money.

Things are changing. Millions of people voted for the first time to elect an African American man to the highest office in the land. Voting for President Obama was a step forward. It's time to take another step and fill out the Census form. Filling out the Census form is a free and easy way to fight for the resources and respect our community deserves....

And there's always the concluding tag line: "Be smart. Be counted."

The "organizations that advocate for our families and community" that will be helped by the Census include, of course, many of the Alinsky-style groups that worked to elect Obama and that favor his socialist programs. Although not widely known by the general public, it is no secret that many of the FCCP foundations have been promoting collectivist agendas for decades. It was their continuous support for socialist, communist, and subversive causes, projects, organizations, and individuals that caused Congress to launch several investigations of the tax-exempt foundations in the 1950s. The Ford Foundation was then, and remains today, one of the most notorious funders of left-wing activism. In his meticulously researched 1980 exposé The Tax-exempt Foundations, William H. McIlhany II notes that "the Ford Foundation has been the leading supporter of practically every scheme to increase the power of government in the United States."

The Ford Foundation's Manual offers this canned patter for use with "undocumented immigrants" — in both Spanish and English:

The Census is a count of all the people in the United States. It's used to distribute $400 billion every year in government money to communities.... The form does not ask about immigration status. In times like these, it doesn't make sense to leave money on the table for someone else to take. We contribute to this country — and our families and community deserve their fair share.

Explosive Admission: Buying the Election with Tax-free Cash

A recently released study  by the Funders' Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP) should remove any doubts that the foundation coalition intends to use the Census drive as a huge tax-supported venture in radical political organizing. The exposure over the past year of Alinsky-spawned, foundation-funded organizations such as ACORN forced the Census Bureau to sever ties with, and terminate its multi-billion dollar contract with, ACORN.

However, ACORN was but one of hundreds of "community" activist groups carrying out the Alinsky revolution. An important admission of the role these organizations played in the 2008 elections is revealed in the new FCCP study entitled, The Untold Story of the 2008 Election: The Role and Impact of 501 (c)(3) Organizations.  Although tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organizations are prohibited from engaging in partisan politics, The Untold Story makes clear the FCCP funders recognize full well that the vote registration operations they fund are geared to registering illegal aliens and other populations they believe will vote for ever bigger government programs. The study reports:

On November 4, 2008, a record 132 million Americans went to the polls — 9 million more voters than in 2004. That 62.3% turnout was the highest this country has seen since 1964. Even more impressive, most of these new voters came from traditionally underrepresented communities.

Organizing by 501(c)(3) groups played a critical role in significantly increasing turnout, particularly for traditionally underrepresented communities. The numbers speak to the importance of 501(c)(3) organizations in the 2008 election: they registered more than 4 million new voters and turned out 2.2 million voters.

"These registration numbers are more impressive," the study notes, "in that they're focused almost entirely on the hardest to register voters, particularly youth, African-Americans, Hispanics, single women, and low-income voters. C3 organizations registered a larger share of voters in all of these underrepresented groups."

But the foundation managers are worried that the new voters they registered to sweep Obama into the White House in 2008 won't come out to vote in this year's important mid-term Congressional elections. The Untold Story warns:

Right now, it's particularly important to examine 2008 because those civic engagement successes haven't carried over to 2009. In fact, voter turnout in underrepresented communities in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts has been dismal. For example, youth turnout was below 20% in both New Jersey and Virginia, and reached rock-bottom in the recent special election in Massachusetts (15% according to exit poll data).

The FCCP study says that a continuation of this drop off "would be a real tragedy for our democracy if it carried into 2010." That is why the FCCP foundations are cranking up efforts to fund the Census drive, which will help the same radical groups they funded in 2008 to organize politically in the "target population" communities, while collecting data for the Census Bureau. An added bonus, of course, is that many of Alinskyite organizers will be able to have their organizing efforts paid for by the taxpayers, via the Census Bureau.

Related articles:

Sins of the Census

Census Should Stick To Constitutional Limits, Says Ron Paul

2010 Census: Much More than Simple Enumeration

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