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Bush Ads in HeinzSight
by Daniel Sargis
08 March 2004G-Dub

Almost without exception, the family members quoted in this and similar stories are associated with pro-Kerry and/or, ipso facto, anti-Bush causes.

Is President Bush really in a pickle over his recently released campaign advertisements?  The media would have you believing the issue has some traction.  As Reuters reported, “Families who lost relatives in the September 11, 2001, attacks pressed President Bush's re-election campaign on Friday to stop running political ads that use images of the devastated World Trade Center....”  Of course, there are “57 Varieties” of truth to this story.

Almost without exception, the family members quoted in this and other similar stories are associated with pro-Kerry and/or, ipso facto, anti-Bush causes.  And, God forbid, some of these causes feed from the trough of Teresa “The Pickle Queen” Heinz...you know, Mrs. John Kerry.

Bob McIlvaine, whose son perished in the 9-11 attacks, condemned the content of the President’s ads because , “...using footage of the wreckage of the towers to further someone's political career...needs to be rejected outright....”  Bob is a member of “September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows."  Long before the Bush ads aired, McIlvaine was no friend of the President. 

McIlvaine, on July 4, 2003, was the guest speaker for the “Justice in July National Protest.”  As the event’s announcement described it, “The National Constitution Center opens in Philadelphia on July 4, and George W. Bush has been invited to celebrate. We're inviting thousands of people from Philadelphia and around the country to gather and demonstrate against Bush....”  Lordy, Lordy...why would “September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows” be so motivated to criticize the President?

In the ebb and flow of special interest groups, Peaceful Tomorrows is a child of the Tides Center which, in turn, is a spin-off of the Tides Foundation.  As explained in one analysis, “The Tides Foundation and its off-spring, the Tides Center, effectively ‘launder’ donor dollars when they give to other nonprofits...”  Tides is "...the epicenter of a large financial operation that collects and disperses millions of dollars to left-wing activist groups...."  In 2001, the Tides Foundation and the Pennsylvania-based Heinz private foundations launched the Tides Center of Western Pennsylvania.

The Heinz foundations consist of the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Vera I. Heinz Endowment.  Teresa Heinz Kerry is Chairperson of the Howard Heinz Endowment and a director of the Vera I. Heinz Endowment.  Collectively, the Heinz Endowments, under Teresa’s stewardship, have donated in excess of $5 million to the Tides’ operations.  Who says that Senator Kerry is special interest averse!

The Tides Foundation is the brainchild of 1970’s anti-war activist Drummond Pike.  Somehow, he overcame his capitalist phobias to create a spider web of non-profit and for-profit entities which approach the $100 million per year mark.  The allure of the Tides’ non-profits is their ability to opaquely funnel money from private donors to activist causes.

Private foundations, such as the Heinz endowments, must publicly report their donations.  Both the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center are 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporations considered by the I.R.S. to be public charities.  As such, they are not required to disclose their donors.

Therefore, the millions of dollars that Tides receives from Heinz, Pew Charitable Trusts, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and others is, in turn, redistributed to organizations like The Ruckus Society, Greenpeace, Peaceful Tomorrows and others.  Thus, using Tides as an intermediary, there is no direct reporting connection between the private foundations and the activist groups they support.  And you thought Swiss banking was secretive.

Don’t worry about poor Drummond Pike.  Besides declaring almost $100,000 in 2002 compensation from the Tides Center, he has a few for-profit enterprises that feed off the non-profits.  A short list of the for-profits includes WAFS and Highwater, Inc.  WAFS reportedly sells credit card, telephone and mutual fund services.  Highwater, Inc. is a real estate management operation that rents space to the Tides Center.  And...the Tides Center used some of those non-profit donation dollars to lend Highwater $650,000.  If you find this hard to believe, the I.R.S. Form 990’s for Tides are public reading.

As a footnote, should you ever venture to the Peaceful Tomorrows’ website, you will find a page where you can make a donation.  If you wish to donate by check, make it out to “Peaceful Tomorrows/Tides Center.”  Or you may donate online via credit card by clicking on the “Donate Now” link supplied by Groundspring.org...a Tides subsidiary.  And somehow, Peaceful Tomorrows “borrows” Tides' non-profit status to enable deductibility.

So, the next time John Kerry tells you that, “there is no excuse for special tax cuts for the rich,” try not to vomit.  Unlike President Bush, who cuts taxes for those who actually pay taxes, Kerry’s friends seem to keep passing hundreds of millions around while protected by non-profit status.  At least Teresa can buy humble John plenty of political friends without paying a penny in taxes.  And... all this madness is subsidized by you, the taxpayer.  Who says this election won’t be fun!  

Daniel Sargis, a freelance writer, is a principal in a private investment development company.  His website is dansargis.org

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