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How Ford Funds the Left By: William Bacon
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, May 15, 2003


One of the most disturbing realities in American society today is that the Ford Foundation, which is supposed to represent the love of America and of American values, finances the far Left. Ford is especially financially generous, for instance, to radical entities such as the anti-War, neo-Com movement. It also provides substantial grants to the Tides Foundation and its sister non-profits: The Tides Center, Thoreau Center for Sustainability, Groundspring.org, the Tsunami Fund, Tides Canada Foundation, and Highwater, Inc., a for-profit real estate firm that manages Tides’ properties including its home office in San Francisco’s Presidio.

The story of what Tides actually does with its wealth is one that is rarely told or heard of.

It is time to tell it.

Tides was founded in 1976 by Drummond Pike as "a convenient vehicle with squeaky clean books." While the former is undoubtedly true, the latter is, at best, questionable. The Foundation is a foundation in name, only. Legally, it is a public charity; allowed under IRS rules to solicit contributions and distribute them, which is exactly what the group does. It has distributed over $300 million dollars in grants to various groups for the full array of neo-Com activities: anti-globalism, anti-war, gun control, etc.

The Tides Center, although distinct from the Foundation by the letter of the law, itself takes in substantial amounts of money to "manage" various radical-left projects. Of course, each project managed by the Center is subject to a substantial fee -- usually 8 percent of all funds collected. Additionally, the Foundation, itself, may rake off another amount as a "Program Advisory fee" between 1 and 13 percent of the donation.

For example, if someone wants to fund a left-wing movement, they make a fully tax-deductible donation to the Tides Foundation, for which the Foundation will take its share as mentioned. The Foundation will pass the funding along to the Tides Center, which will manage the organization, including hiring program and support staff, providing office space, financial management, employee benefits and legal advice; all for an 8 percent fee.

It becomes very easy to see how the Tides group can accumulate assets of almost $190 million (based on the combined 2001 annual reports). For a non-profit without a permanent endowment, relying almost entirely on contributions for its operations, the Tides group has done incredibly well for itself, financially.

While some of Tides’ funding might come from our hypothetical neo-Com donor, the bulk of it comes from the normal leftist philanthropic groups. The Ford Foundation has given more than $26 million to Tides groups since 1990. The California Endowment has given it more than $20 million, while leftist billionaire trader George Soros has given the Tides empire more than $7 million.

The largest funding source for Tides, however, is the Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew has given almost $109 million between 1990 and 2002. Most of that funding has come from Tides’ "management" of three initiatives: The Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism, the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, and the Pew Center for the People and the Press. None of these three projects could have been legally funded directly by Pew, since they are for-profit media companies. Tides, on the other hand, has no such legal problem; so it is happy to funnel the money for Pew – at its standard 8 percent fee.

In addition to the projects funded by Pew, other organizations managed by the Tides empire include the Americans for Gun Safety Foundation, the Institute for Global Communications (providing online presence for various leftist groups), the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the Youth Gender Project.

The Tides Foundation distributes about 60 percent of its assets to grantees who are not managed by the Tides Center. These various grantees vary across the full variety of sizes and include such well-known leftist groups as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Since the September 11 attacks on the U.S., the Tides foundation has actively worked in support of Islamists and their advocates.

The Foundation began the Tides 9/11 Fund to "promote a just and peaceful national response" to the attacks, dispersing over half a million dollars so far to such groups as the New York Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, to provide technical assistance to gay/lesbian/transgender Arab-American groups. Evidently, gay and lesbian Arab-Americans were considered far more at risk of being attacked by angry Americans than Islamic terrorists.

The fund also provided support to Islamic Networks, Inc., a public relations organization which has attempted to convince Americas that Islam doesn't oppress women, in spite of the evidence. The Council for American Islamic Relations received significant funding from the Fund as well. Other recipients of Fund aid included our old friends the National Lawyer's Guild and other "social justice" and neo-Com "independent media" groups.

One distinct lack of recipients of Tides' largess from the 9/11 Fund: the actual victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Tides has since replaced the 9/11 Fund with a Democratic Justice Fund, founded in collaboration with the Open Society Institute, to support Muslim and Arabic domestic political groups advocating policies which would make it far easier for Muslim terrorists to enter the United States. This fund has provided grants to, among other leftist groups, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the Asian Law Caucus. The Caucus received Tide funding in order to support a lawsuit supporting the "right" of immigrants to hold airport baggage screening jobs in spite of not being able to speak English.

As a direct effort to fund the anti-war movement, Tides established an Iraq Peace Fund which has granted about a half-million dollars to various anti-war groups, including MoveOn and the radical leftist National Council of Churches.

One specific grant made from the Peace Fund went to the Florence Fund, for creation of a poster arguing that the liberation of Iraq would harm U.S. efforts against the Al-Qaeda terror network. Never mind that the Florence Fund wasn’t in favor of action against Al-Qaeda either, consistency isn’t a strong suit among neo-Com, anti-war activists.

Other grants included $40,000 for the "Peace Action Education Fund." This group is highly active in the efforts to turn Iraq over to the tender mercies of the United Nations, allowing the French and Germans the opportunity to continue to profit from the miseries of the Iraqi people and to hide their own complicity in the despotism of the Hussein regime.

Specifically, the funds granted by Tides were for a large anti-war rally in Washington, DC last October as well as for "general support."

The Peace Fund also provided $20,000 for the "True Majority" campaign, an effort of a group called Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities. The Business Leaders group received $300,000 from the Tides Foundation in 2001-2002 alone. This group claims to want to reduce Pentagon funding on "Cold War era" weapons systems, with the savings going toward social programs. One of True Majority’s military advisors is retired Admiral Jack Shanahan, who claims that many of the weapons relied upon by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan are unnecessary. It seems that the B-52 bombers decried by the Admiral were well used in Iraq, as a launching platform for more precise bombing than has ever been conducted in the history of warfare. How necessary were they? It is virtually certain there would have been far more collateral damage and civilian casualties without them.

Recently, the Tides Foundation launched yet another attempt to capitalize on the anti-war movement. The Peace Strategies Fund has provided over $800,000 – all funneled through its Groundspring.org subsidiary – to leftist groups such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Arab American Action Network, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and United for Peace and Justice..

The Tides Foundation and its sister organizations provide a huge amount of funding to left-wing radical groups just as the Ford Foundation, and other leftist philanthropists, do. All this money goes to a huge web of anti-Americanism. Hillary Clinton spoke of a "right-wing conspiracy," yet few people realize how large the neo-Communist web is. The American people deserve to see the truth, for lack of the truth may yet set us in chains.




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