Have you ever wondered how non profits get their money? How much is from real people, and how much from government? Does the organization spend its money based on its goals or those of government?
We need to better understand the finances of non profit organizations. That will tell you if they are real or just a front for government—which the political action—too much and you know the answer.
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Stephen Frank, California Political News and Views Editorial, 1/5/13
Years ago a non profit was a tax exempt organization doing what government could not. It fought diseases, provided scholarships, helped beautify the community. A non-profit was something to look up to as a value for the people, the families and children.
Now, many non profits are merely fronts for government and using the goodwill of “not” being government, promoting taxes, theft of land and higher taxes. The recent Prop. 29 battle pitted taxpayers versus the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the Heart Association and even a Texas non profit founded by Lance Armstrong for the purpose of researching cancer. The Lance Armstrong Foundation gave more than $2 million to pass a tax increase on the people of California—money NOT used for cancer research—and it was a Texas foundation, not even Californian.
Then you have the “conservancies”, non profits with a goal of keeping open space for the public, using the purchase of land that government can not afford to buy. Wonder how they get their money?
I am on numerous email lists, receiving over 1,000 emails a day on a normal day. Newspapers send out alerts and information each days with fascinating news only found in a local paper. One such is the “Mountain Democrat” from El Dorado County.
A few days ago I received a story from the Mountain Democrat about the American River Conservancy. They were putting on a program promoting the buying of electric vehicles by the public. Strange, what is a conservancy doing talking about cars?
“The American River Conservancy is presenting a program on “Revenge of the Electric Car: Good for the planet, you and your Wallet” on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Electric vehicles are fun to drive, incredibly cheap to maintain and run, emit zero emissions, and keep United State citizens from needing so much foreign oil.
Come check out one of these competitively priced win-win vehicles — the Nissan Leaf — with Alice Cantelow, and hear of her local experience driving it as her primary car.
This will be a great chance to ask practical questions.”
Are they selling cars, burying them on land bought by the conservancy? This made no sense. What is the purpose of the American River Conservancy?
From their web site:
For more than 20 years, the American River Conservancy (ARC) has been preserving rivers and land for life. As a non-profit community organization in the central Sierra Nevada foothills, we work to preserve natural areas and cultural resources and build an enduring ethic of care, building a sustainable future for humans in harmony with nature.
We purchase or accept land and conservation easements from willing landowners and actively partner with governmental agencies, private donors, and foundations to acquire funding and to transfer these lands into the public domain. To date, we have achieved more than 10,000 acres of success.”
Nothing in the above, or anything else on their web site talks about cars, pollution, gas or any other issue, other than land use.
So, I looked at who is funding this “non-profit”. That is when I found this was really a government agency, calling its funders “partners”.
“The Power of Partnerships
Partnerships are an essential part of community, key to achieving together what seems impossible individually.
The Conservancy has developed funding partnerships and management agreements with federal , state, and local government agencies including the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, State Department of Fish and Game, State Wildlife Conservation Board, State Department of Fire and Forest Protection, California Bay Delta Authority, El Dorado County, and El Dorado Irrigation District. Explore the American River Conservancy’s public agency partnerships.”
Why does government spend its money, your money, in this way? Easy. Secrecy.
When government buys land, has a policy, discusses goals, all of this is public. It must be transparent. But, fund a “non profit” and everything can be done by the Conservancy Board of Directors behind closed doors, the public is not allowed hearings and those pesky questions that are asked.. This is government by secret society.
Oh, the electric car thing? The State of California, using tax dollars, is setting up re-charging stations all over the State. But, they need customers. Therefore, promote electric cars. Make the magical case for expensive cars. Imagine a Government Motors Volt in the middle of the Sierras in a snow storm—are they serious? Maybe in downtown San Francisco—but not the mountains. But as a quasi-government agency the American River Conservancy they are promoting the policies of Gov. Brown and his Administration.
To fix this, the first step is to declare all non profits that take government money must give notice and open their meetings to the public. Then, if they get more than half their money from government, the tax exempt status should be reviewed.
Importantly a list of all non profits that receive tax dollars should be put on the Internet, how much they get and for what purpose. That, along with the details of the organizations and its Board of Directors.
It is too easy for a non profit to front for the government. This is not about Air America being a CIA front, this is about the manipulation of the public using tax dollars by government and its agents.