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Kerry's green machine

By Henry Lamb
web posted February 23, 2004

John Kerry and Theresa HeinzThe League of Conservation Voters has launched a vigorous campaign to get John Kerry elected President. And why wouldn't they? As a Senator, Kerry votes for the League's position 96 per cent of the time. More importantly, John's wife, Teresa F. Heinz Kerry, directs the distribution of grants from three Heinz foundations with combined assets worth more than $1.5 billion.

The Heinz foundations provide substantial funding for the League, and for several of the organizations whose directors are also members of the board of the LCV.

In recent years, the Heinz foundations have given $57,300 directly to the LCV. LCV board members who have also benefitted from Kerry's wife include:

  • Natural Resources Defense Council - John Adams (LCV Board) received $56,000;
  • Wilderness Society - William Meadows III (LCV Board) received $106,350;
  • Environmental Defense - Fred Krupp (LCV Board) received $601,000;
  • West Harlem Environmental Action - Peggy Shepard (LCV Board) received $250,000.

Ron Arnold's Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise has developed a very thorough record of Kerry's wife's involvement in green politics.

The League has a lot at stake in this election. The last Democrat in the White House appointed Bruce Babbitt, then head of the League of Conservation Voters, to be the Secretary of Interior. Should Kerry reclaim the White House, the League will expect, and undoubtedly get, similar influence in the Kerry administration.

The League's Kerry campaign includes television ads aired in primary states, as well as telephone banks, and "mobilizing scores of volunteers for visibility efforts." These campaign efforts appear to ignore new rules issued by the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Election Commission that restrict the political activity of not-for-profit organizations.

IRS Ruling 2004-6, says that not-for-profit organizations "have to be very careful that they don't cross the line into speech that is "directly related to and support[s] the process of influencing or attempting to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to public office or office in a political organization."

According to the new rule, the criteria for identifying such forbidden speech "include, but are not limited to":

a) The communication identifies a candidate for public office;
b) The timing of the communication coincides with an electoral campaign;
c) The communication targets voters in a particular election,

Perhaps the League of Conservation Voters considers itself above these rules, or perhaps the League is betting that the confusion over the new rules will not be resolved before they get their candidate elected.

The League, and its gaggle of green organizations will not have to worry about money. John Kerry's wife has plenty, and with her influence over her family's and other well-heeled foundations, she can pretty well guarantee that the green army will mobilize behind her husband.

This green money flow, however, is somehow different from the "special interest" money that Kerry has vowed to eliminate in Washington. It is quite likely that Kerry – like Clinton-Gore – would fill his cabinet with people from these same "special interest" groups. Democrats continually chastize Bush for filling his cabinet with "corporate special interests," but applauded Clinton-Gore for doing the same thing. This is simply politics, regardless of the party.

At the end of the day, politics reflect a philosophy. Kerry's philosophy, as well as his wife's, is very clear; both have supported issues and causes that are at best, socialist, and at worst, anti-American. In 1970, Kerry told the Harvard Crimson: "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations." Though less direct, his current campaign speeches carry the same message.

Kerry's wife's foundations provided $4.3 million to the Tides Foundation, a "portal" operation through which money flows to a variety of leftist groups, including Ramsey Clark's International Action Center, which is the force behind International ANSWER, which sponsored the major antiwar (and anti-Bush) rallies before the invasion of Iraq. When ANSWER was outed as a Communist organization, United for Peace and Justice, headed by longtime Communist Party member Leslie Cagan was created as a "moderate" alternative.

A Kerry presidency, like Clinton's, would be a "twofer." You get two for the price of one - Bill and Hillary; John and Teresa. Neither make any apologies for their support of projects and causes that are blatantly socialist – or worse. If America is ready to abandon its founding principles and move into the global socialist community, then John and Teresa are ready to lead the way.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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