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Non-Profit Flouts IRS Rules, Openly Working to Unseat Trump, GOP

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At the same time the Obama administration’s IRS was targeting conservative groups, it was granting special access and American taxpayer dollars to the tax-exempt Tides Foundation, which watchdog groups have charged with essentially being a money-laundering organization, allowing liberals to anonymously funnel millions of dollars to their favorite causes.

The group is now openly advocating for thwarting President Donald Trump’s agenda and flipping the Congress from red to blue in 2018.

The San Francisco-based organization, formed in the 1970s, describes itself as a “nonprofit accelerator dedicated to building a world of shared prosperity and social justice.”

The foundation’s assets were listed at approximately $187 million in 2015, with revenues of nearly $158 million.

Watchdog.org reported in 2013 that not only was the foundation receiving money from private donors, but the Obama administration funneled $28 million in grant money from the American taxpayers.

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Some of its supported programs at the time included the Open Society Institute of George Soros, the Arab American Action Network, the American Civil Liberties Union and the pro-Castro groups United for Peace and Justice and the Center for Constitutional Rights.

In 2012, Tides officials visited the White House 92 times, according to Watchdog.org.

The Tides Foundation is registered as 501(c)(3), meaning, unlike 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, it is greatly restricted in the political activities in which it is lawfully permitted to engage.

The Internal Revenue Code specifically provides that “501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

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The code further states: “Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.”

Nonetheless, in a story posted on its site in January titled “It’s Okay to Celebrate Virginia and Alabama…But Lock in for 2018,” Tides senior fellow Joshua Clark specifically targeted Trump and Republican candidates.

“We all knew 2017 would be a long year. Any lingering hopes to the contrary evaporated in the first weeks of the Trump administration,” he wrote.

Clark also rejoiced in the loss of Republican Judge Roy Moore in Alabama’s U.S. Senate special election in December and lauded the fact that Democrats made gains in the Virginia legislature and won all the statewide races, including governor.

“The most important midterm elections of any of our lifetimes await us this November,” the Tides fellow wrote. “As we work to support campaigns and candidates that match our values, we must not forget the many pressing threats across our country to a fundamental democratic right: the right to vote.”

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The Capital Research Center’s Hayden Ludwig told The Western Journal that the foundation’s “activities should definitely raise eyebrows at the IRS. 501(c)(3) organizations are not created nor given tax-exempt status in order to celebrate or advance candidates for public office.”

Ludwig recently reported that the Tides Foundation even more aggressively engages in political activities through its spin-off 501(c)(4) the Advocacy Fund (formerly the Tides Advocacy Fund).

The group’s website explains: “The Advocacy Fund enables progressive donors and activists to run high impact legislative and political campaigns by providing a legal and fiscal home to those advocating for social change.”

“By facilitating quick mobilization, efficient management, legal compliance and political advising, The Advocacy Fund empowers its clients to run successful legislative, ballot initiatives, and electoral campaigns.”

The Advocacy Fund claims to operative separately from Tides, however, a review of its required federal filings for 2010 through 2014 showed 33 grants totaling approximately $6.2 million from the foundation.

These grants are slated as educational in the filings, apparently to show they are in compliance with the IRS.

“But some of these grants call that educational intent into question,” Ludwig wrote. “At least $3 million in fourteen grants from Tides between 2013 and 2014 went to supporting the Alliance for Citizenship, which describes itself as a ‘project of the Advocacy Fund.’”

According to its website, “The Alliance for Citizenship is a broad coalition of national, regional, and local organizations founded in early 2013 to catalyze and support the movement for fair and humane immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.”

Its partners include some prominent liberal advocacy groups: AFL-CIO, America’s Voice, the Center for American Progress, the Center for Community Change/Fair Immigration Reform Movement and the National Council of La Raza.

“(M)oney is uniquely fungible, and dollars that go towards administrative support of blatantly political efforts (like the Alliance for Citizenship) deserve extra scrutiny from donors and the IRS alike — particularly when they come from a notoriously ideological pass-through like the Tides Foundation,” Ludwig concluded.

The Tides Foundation did not respond to an inquiry from The Western Journal regarding this story.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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