Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, was given $590,000 from non-profit group in 2013

IRSFormer Texas Governor Ann Richards once said of former President George Bush:

“Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth”

If former Texas governors can roll over in their graves, it happened this past week as her daughter Cecile – President of Planned Parenthood – boasted both a silver spoon and a silver foot, while trying to explain away a video discussing body parts and their transportation reimbursements to her organization.

Ann passed September 13, 2006, the same year her daughter, Cecile, took over leadership of Planned Parenthood from Gloria Feldt, who had begun the shift of Planned Parenthood in 1996 from a public asset to also focus on political action. The organization, founded by Margaret Sanger, Ethel Byrne and Fania Mindell in 1916, had grown to four million clients by the Bill Clinton years, thanks to the leadership of former president Faye Wattleton.

Cecile continued the Feldt course with an advocacy we will examine later in this blog.

In this modern era, when millions or folks volunteer their time to churches and civic organizations, the big charities often pay big bucks to staffs and leaders. Very big bucks.

Cecile received some $591,000 working for her non-profit in 2013, according to IRS records. A host of other folks also saw $200,000 or more in their pockets that year from the parenthood group – see above. But money is only part of the story of Cecile.

Cecile

C. Richards

Since charitable non-profits don’t legally play politics, I thought I would examine Cecile’s background. Some facts were interesting, but not a surprise. She is a New York Democrat, married to a union organizer with S.E.I.U., and they have three children (good planning!).

Cecile was once deputy chief of staff to the U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader in the House of Representatives. Of more concern to me, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of national Democrat Party-affiliated organizations. Wikipedia notes that the organization “does not disclose its donors. The group raised $12.7 million in 2013, and projects revenue of $8.5 million in 2014.

America Votes, according to Wikipedia, describes the following groups as “national partners”:

According to the Center for Public Integrity, “Between 40 percent and 50 percent of support for America Votes is projected to come from wealthy donors connected to the Democracy Alliance.”

Finally, as we unravel this web, we ask what is Democracy Alliance? Wikipedia describes the group this way:

“The Democracy Alliance is a network of progressive donors who coordinate their political donations to groups that the Alliance has endorsed. As of 2015, the organization has approximately 110 partners who are required to contribute at least $200,000 a year to groups the Democracy Alliance vets and recommends. The Alliance has helped distribute approximately $500 million to liberal organizations since its founding in 2005. Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.

“The Democracy Alliance planned to spend $374 million during the 2014 midterm election cycle to boost liberal candidates and causes. According to the Democracy Alliance’s website, the group “was created to build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus in the areas of civic engagement, leadership, media, and ideas.”

No surprise that Democracy Alliance also funds a host of organizations, according to Wikipedia, and many are often in the news:

The Democracy Alliance surely must have its counterpart for the GOP, as wealthy donors are the source of funds for both parties, and probably many funders give to both party entities to protect and lobby their own interests. And many of these organizations share my beliefs, but that’s not the issue.

Sadly, the movers and shakers of many organization are now funded by the jingling of coins in the pockets of very wealthy individuals, fat cats whose personal secrecy and real goals are only enhanced by a tangled web of secret, mutual purposes. It does explain how one group after another comes out in favor of some political action or candidate, or refutes some common sense public initiative. It also reveals why so much of the media public discourse ignores mention of everyday problems of the bottom 99%.

2 responses

  1. Linda Donaldson | Reply

    These lists form the skeleton over which the skin of partisan PR is stretched. Following the money is getting so much more complex! Where are the real journalists now? And where are our “representatives”? Sadly, those in Congress are there for the donors and their own re-election, not to write or change laws for we the people.

    Like

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