The New York Post reports today that the secretive Tides Foundation began organizing attacks on President Bush after receiving millions of dollars from foundations controlled by presidential candidate John Kerry’s wife. Tides’ role in this “charitable money-laundering” operation is hardly surprising. After all, for over two decades it has been a major financial clearinghouse for radical activist groups. Many major philanthropies like the Ford Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts fund projects through Tides to disguise themselves as the funding source.
Anti-consumer beneficiaries of Tides’ “anonymous” funds include Greenpeace, the
Ruckus Society, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Earth First!. Earth First! spun-off the FBI-certified “terrorist” Earth Liberation Front in 1992. Tides was instrumental in NRDC’s now-infamous (and unfounded) health scare about Alar on apples. NRDC paid the PR firm that was promoting the scare through the Tides Foundation.
In Congressional testimony in 2002, the Center for Consumer Freedom noted: “The Tides Foundation distributes other foundations’ money, while shielding the identity of the actual donors.” This way folks like Mrs. (Heinz) Kerry can fund an activist group anonymously without the money being traced directly back to them.
Tides founder Drummond Pike sugarcoats the function of his operation, telling The Chronicle of Philanthropy: “Anonymity is very important to most of the people we work with.” Anonymity shields accountability. Could that be what’s so important?