THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Trayvon Martin.
Filed under: Bill Gates, DEFEND YOUR GROUND ACT, Trayvon Martin.
BILL AND MELINDA GATES SAVING LIVES IN AFRICA BUT FOUNDATION GRANTS TO ALEC MAY CONTRIBUTE AND INCREASE THE LIKELY HOOD OF VIOLENT DEATHS IN THE U.S. AS IN THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE.
This is the Mission Statement for the Gates Foundation;
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
Given the noble causes the Foundation has dedicated its resources to why would it grant $376,635 to the American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC) a political/lobbying group that prepares and sponsors ultra right wing legislation that benefits its corporate sponsors at the expense of others. Donor members include tobacco, oil, pharmaceutical and others including the ultra right Koch brother’s companies. Many of these companies have direct conflicts with the Gates Foundation.
The Foundation justified the grant as an “educational” grant as stated below:
American Legislative Exchange Council
Date: November 2011
Purpose: to educate and engage its membership on more efficient state budget approaches to drive greater student outcomes, as well as educate them on beneficial ways to recruit, retain, evaluate and compensate effective teaching based upon merit and achievement
Term: 1 year and 10 months
Topic: Advocacy & Public Policy
Region Served: Global, North America
Program: Grantee Location: Washington, District of Columbia
THE CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY ANALYSIS OF “ALEC” ACTIVITIES
The Center for Media and Democracy on 8/11/2011 published an analysis of eight hundred of the proposed bills and concluded that the bills are not for the public welfare but for narrow business interests of its corporate donors at the expense of the public.
Also in 2011 The Nation magazine as well as many others published multiple articles describing the political/lobbying activities of ALEC entitled as follows:
The Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed. 2011
The Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed: Rigging Elections. 2011.
The Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed: Business Domination Inc.. 2011.
The Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed: Sabotaging Healthcare 2011.
The Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection., 2011.
The Nation Magazine.ALEC Exposed: Starving Public Schools. 2011.
Nation Magazine. ALEC Exposed: The Hidden History of ALEC and Prison Labor 2011.
These were not the only articles exposing ALEC. As stated most mainstream media published articles also exposing the efforts to influence state legislators in the interest of their corporate sponsor who hold veto power over the bills and acts prepared by ALEC. ALEC prepared and lobbied for the Defend Your Ground Act passed in Florida which was involved in the Trayvon Martin death
However despite all the evidence that ALEC was a political/lobbyist organization advocating measures directly in contradiction of the Gates Foundation goals the Gates Foundation said it would go forward with its donation as the grant had already been approved. Approved by who? One wonders was it Bill Gates himself? Or one of his employees?
This statement was made after it was determined that Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law was almost identical to the ALEC model act which it lobbied for passage through its corporate and active/retired politician membership. Also this same bill that was instrumental in the death of Trayvon Martin has been passed in some form by 31 states and is under consideration by other states despite the fact the Trayvon Martin killing revealed that instead of protecting people in Florida the numbers of people killed by gun death almost doubled after the act was passed
ALEC is obviously a political organization dedicated to preparing and lobbying for the passage of bills that benefit its sponsors like the Koch Brothers who disavow Global Warming among other scientific facts that might affect their companies. Its agenda is contrary to the alleged humanitarian goals of the Gate Foundation with assets of over thirty billion dollars. Then there is Bill Gate’s personal wealth which is under management by many of the same people. With so much wealth under their control maybe there is a conflict of interest between the goals of the Foundation and the goals of the Gates wealth managers who have invested in many of the companies represented by ALEC.
GATES STATEMENTS ON THE FOUNDATIONS 990PF TAX RETURN
The Gates Foundation has to submit a 990PF tax return and make it public on its web site. The Foundation’s tax return in 2010 asks the following questions which were answered and signed off on by Bill Gates on 10/26/2011. He answered no to all the questions listed below.
Statements Regarding Activities (FOUNDATION 990PF)
PART VII A
1a During the tax year, did the foundation attempt to influence any national, state, or local legislation or did it participate or intervene in any political campaign?
1b Did it spend more than $100 during the year (either directly or indirectly) for political purposes
If the answer is “Yes” to 1a or 1b, attach a detailed description of the activities and copies of any materials published or distributed by the foundation in connection with the activities.
1c Did the foundation file Form 1120-POL for this year?
1d Enter the amount (if any) of tax on political expenditures (section 4955) imposed during the year: (1) On the foundation. _____$ (2) On foundation managers ___$
1e Enter the reimbursement (if any) paid by the foundation during the year for political expenditure tax imposed on foundation managers.
2 Has the foundation engaged in any activities that have not previously been reported to the IRS?
PART VII B
5a During the year did the foundation pay or incur any amount to:
1) Carry on propaganda, or otherwise attempt to influence legislation (section 4945(e)?
2) Influence the outcome of any specific public election (see section 4955); or to carry on,
Directly or indirectly, any voter registration drives?
(3) Provide a grant to an individual for travel, study, or other similar purposes?
(4) Provide a grant to an organization other than a charitable, etc., organization described in section 509(a)(1), (2), or (3), or section 4940(d)(2)? (see page 22 of the instructions)
(5) Provide for any purpose other than religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational
purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals?
Gates signed the return before the Trayvon Martin death and may not have been aware of the grant to ALEC at the time as the Foundation makes hundreds if not thousands OF grants. However after the Martin death his spokesman said the Foundation would not make any future grants to ALEC but would continue with funding the present grant (to run 1 year and 10 months) approved before the MARTIN death.
Maybe Gates should also file an amended tax return giving correct answers and in the future make political gifts from his personal fortune which is managed by the same group that manages the Foundations assets or divest himself as trustee in favor of a neutral trustee. One wonders if a Captain of Industry who goes to the Davos Conference every year, often to speak, can change his spots to that of a Great Humanitarian. The foundation exists to provide tax shelter for about half of his fortune and the Foundation is designed to change Gates image from a ruthless businessman to a compassionate Humanitarian. Can a leopard change its spots?
Dark cloud over good works of Gates Foundation L.A.Times 9/25/13
The only book authored by Santorum was in 2006 or about six years ago so it is not current enough to warrant a review and it is highly unlikely he will be the Republican nominee. He was born May 10, 1958 which makes him 53 years old. Despite being on the far right of the Republican Party he may run for President again if, as the pundits predict, he will not be the Republican nominee in 2012. It also is unlikely he will be named as Romney’s running mate if Romney wins. Romney will seek a more moderate running mate in an effort to move to the center in the general election. That election is likely to be a close and bruising one.
He was born in Virginia to a clinical psychologist and an administrative nurse and raised and educated in Pennsylvania. He ultimately received a law degree from Penn State. He is Catholic and socially conservative being against same sex marriage, contraception and abortion.
He married Karen Garver in 1990 and they have had eight children one of whom died at birth. He took the fetus home to show to his other children and he and his wife slept with the dead fetus between them. They have a child born when Mrs. Santorum was 48 with a serious genetic disorder who is not expected to live beyond her first year.
Also in 1990 at the age of 32 he was elected to the U.S. House Of Representatives and in 1994 to the U.S. Senate where he served until 2006 when he was not re-elected.
While in office he supported The War On Terrorism and enhanced interrogation techniques. He also said that empty sarin and mustard gas casings from the Iran-Iraq conflict in the Nineties was evidence of weapons of mass destruction in relation for the justification for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He disagrees with John McCain that water boarding is torture.
He is for the privatization of Social Security. He follows neoconservative thinking on foreign policy and believes that climate change is a left wing conspiracy. He is a hawk on Iranian nuclear development and would bomb them if they chose not to be transparent in their nuclear activities. He supports gun rights. He voted the Republican line on almost all issues while in office. He supported earmarks. He would repeal The Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional.
He has written that moral relativism in the seminaries led to the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. He doesn’t believe in a strict separation of church and state.
In 2012 he has won more than five primary contests which means that if Romney does not get enough votes for a first ballot nomination then Santorum could be a contender for the nomination on second or subsequent ballots. His base appears to be in those states with a majority of fundamentalist Christians. However recently he lost primary elections in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington D.C.
He looks forward to winning in his home state of Pennsylvania and upcoming conservative states like Texas in May 2012.
Given the publicity gained during the nomination process and the fact that he showed strong extreme right support he is likely to be a force in the Republican Party in the future perhaps running for President again in future elections if as expected he loses the 2012 nomination.
In 2010 and the first half of 2011 his income was $1.3 million as a lawyer and advisor.
This then is the man that wants to be President of the United States.