Also TOP ADVISER TO NIXON ADMITTED ‘WAR ON DRUGS’ WAS POLICY TOOL TO GO AFTER ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS AND ‘BLACK PEOPLE’ https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ex-nixon-aide-war-drugs-claims-article-1.2574918
“If this was indeed true, it would have been the Nixon-Ehrlichman private agenda. I can’t believe (Nixon administration official Egil) Bud Krogh would run the program with that agenda knowingly.”
Dean said he never heard Nixon or Ehrlichman speak in such terms. But now that he’s listened to the secretly recorded discussions between his former boss and aides, Dean isn’t willing to discount that the
administration’s drug policy was built on sinister intentions.
“It’s startling, but based on my listening of the tapes, it’s certainly possible,” he said.
Journalist Dan Baum referenced the damning Ehrlichman quotes from 1994 in an article in the April issue of Harper’s magazine.
At the time, Baum was interviewing the Nixon aide for a book project.
Asked about Nixon’s harsh anti-drug policies, Ehrlichman revealed the administration had a secret agenda.
“You want to know what this was really all about,” Ehrlichman allegedly told Baum.
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying,” added Ehrlichman, who died in 1999.
“Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did,” he said.
The FBI called Dean the “master manipulator of the coverup.” He pleaded guilty to a single felony count, was a key witness against Nixon administration officials and served eight months in jail.
Ehrlichman also served more than a year behind bars for perjury and other crimes.
September 14, 2012, Bill Moyers on Democracy https://billmoyers.com/content/the-powell-memo-a-call-to-arms-for-corporations/
In this excerpt from Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, authors Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson explain the significance of the Powell Memorandum, a call-to-arms for American corporations written by Virginia lawyer (and future U.S. Supreme Court justice) Lewis Powell to a neighbor working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In the fall of 1972, the venerable National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) made a surprising announcement: It planned to move its main offices from New York to Washington, D.C. As its chief, Burt Raynes, observed:
We have been in New York since before the turn of the century, because we regarded this city as the center of business and industry. But the thing that affects business most today is government. The interrelationship of business with business is no longer so important as the interrelationship of business with government. In the last several years, that has become very apparent to us.
To be more precise, what had become very apparent to the business community was that it was getting its clock cleaned. Used to having broad sway, employers faced a series of surprising defeats in the 1960s and early 1970s. As we have seen, these defeats continued unabated when Richard Nixon won the White House. Despite electoral setbacks, the liberalism of the Great Society had surprising political momentum. “From 1969 to 1972,” as the political scientist David Vogel summarizes in one of the best books on the political role of business, “virtually the entire American business community experienced a series of political setbacks without parallel in the postwar period.” In particular, Washington undertook a vast expansion of its regulatory power, introducing tough and extensive restrictions and requirements on business in areas from the environment to occupational safety to consumer protection.
In corporate circles, this pronounced and sustained shift was met with disbelief and then alarm. By 1971, future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell felt compelled to assert, in a memo that was to help galvanize business circles, that the “American economic system is under broad attack.” This attack, Powell maintained, required mobilization for political combat: “Business must learn the lesson . . . that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.” Moreover, Powell stressed, the critical ingredient for success would be organization: “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”
U.S. President Richard Nixon holds a commission that he will present to Lewis F. Powell Jr., left, and another will be given to William Rehnquist, right, at a White House ceremony in Washington, D.C., Dec. 22, 1971. The two men were appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)
Powell was just one of many who pushed to reinvigorate the political clout of employers. Before the policy winds shifted in the ’60s, business had seen little need to mobilize anything more than a network of trade associations. It relied mostly on personal contacts, and the main role of lobbyists in Washington was to troll for government contracts and tax breaks. The explosion of policy activism, and rise of public interest groups like those affiliated with Ralph Nader, created a fundamental challenge. And as the 1970s progressed, the problems seemed to be getting worse. Powell wrote in 1971, but even after Nixon swept to a landslide reelection the following year, the legislative tide continued to come in. With Watergate leading to Nixon’s humiliating resignation and a spectacular Democratic victory in 1974, the situation grew even more dire. “The danger had suddenly escalated,” Bryce Harlow, senior Washington representative for Procter & Gamble and one of the engineers of the corporate political revival was to say later. “We had to prevent business from being rolled up and put in the trash can by that Congress.”
Powell, Harlow, and others sought to replace the old boys’ club with a more modern, sophisticated, and diversified apparatus — one capable of advancing employers’ interests even under the most difficult political circumstances. They recognized that business had hardly begun to tap its potential for wielding political power. Not only were the financial resources at the disposal of business leaders unrivaled. The hierarchical structures of corporations made it possible for a handful of decision-makers to deploy those resources and combine them with the massive but underutilized capacities of their far-flung organizations. These were the preconditions for an organizational revolution that was to remake Washington in less than a decade — and, in the process, lay the critical groundwork for winner-take-all politics.
Businessmen of the World, Unite!
The organizational counterattack of business in the 1970s was swift and sweeping — a domestic version of Shock and Awe. The number of corporations with public affairs offices in Washington grew from 100 in 1968 to over 500 in 1978. In 1971, only 175 firms had registered lobbyists in Washington, but by 1982, nearly 2,500 did. The number of corporate PACs increased from under 300 in 1976 to over 1,200 by the middle of 1980. On every dimension of corporate political activity, the numbers reveal a dramatic, rapid mobilization of business resources in the mid-1970s.
What the numbers alone cannot show is something of potentially even greater significance: Employers learned how to work together to achieve shared political goals. As members of coalitions, firms could mobilize more proactively and on a much broader front. Corporate leaders became advocates not just for the narrow interests of their firms but also for the shared interests of business as a whole.
Ironically, this new capacity was in part an unexpected gift of Great Society liberalism. One of the distinctive features of the big expansion of government authority in the ’60s and early ’70s was that it created new forms of regulation that simultaneously affected many industries. Previously, the airlines might have lobbied the Civil Aeronautics Board, the steel companies might have focused on restricting foreign competitors, the energy producers might have gained special tax breaks from a favorite congressman. Now companies across a wide range of sectors faced a common threat: increasingly powerful regulatory agencies overseeing their treatment of the environment, workers, and consumers. Individual firms had little chance of fending off such broad initiatives on their own; to craft an appropriately broad political defense, they needed organization.
Business was galvanized by more than perceived government overreach. It was also responding to the growing economic challenges it faced. Organization-building began even before the economy soured in the early 1970s, but the tumultuous economy of that decade — battered by two major oil shocks, which pushed up inflation and dragged down growth — created panic in corporate sectors as well as growing dissatisfaction among voters. The 1970s was not the economic wasteland that retrospective accounts often suggest. The economy actually grew more quickly overall (after adjusting for inflation) during the 1970s than during the 1980s. But against the backdrop of the roaring 1960s, the economic turbulence was a rude jolt that strengthened the case of business leaders that a new governing approach was needed.
When he penned his influential memo, Lewis Powell was chair of the Education Committee of the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber was one of a number of business groups that responded to the emerging threat by becoming much more organized. The Chamber doubled in membership between 1974 and 1980. Its budget tripled. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) doubled its membership between 1970 and 1979.Recognizing that lawmaking in Washington had become more open and dynamic, business groups remade themselves to fit the times.The expansion of the Chamber and the NFIB signaled not only a rise in the collective capacity of business; it brought a harder-edged form of mobilization. Composed disproportionately of smaller firms, these organizations were especially livid about the rise of government regulation. Big companies had an easier time absorbing the administrative costs of complying with new rules, and more opportunities to pass the costs on to consumers. Moreover, business associations based on a multitude of small firms proved especially capable of mobilizing mass outrage, which would turn out to be a very effective political weapon.
Of course, big business fought back as well. In 1972, three business organizations merged to form the Business Roundtable, the first business association whose membership was restricted to top corporate CEOs. In part at the urging of Bryce Harlow, lobbyist for Procter & Gamble, this new organization combined two groups focused on relatively narrow business issues with an informal organization called the March Group. The March Group had grown out of a meeting with top Nixon administration officials and prominent executives and was designed to bring together many of the nation’s most powerful CEOs. Within five years the new mega-organization had enlisted 113 of the top Fortune 200 companies, accounting for nearly half of the economy.
The Business Roundtable quickly developed into a formidable group, designed to mobilize high-level CEOs as a collective force to lobby for the advancement of shared interests. President Ford’s deputy treasury secretary Charls Walker, a leading corporate organizer about whom we’ll say more in a moment, later put it this way: “The Roundtable has made a lot of difference. They know how to get the CEOs into Washington and lobby; they maintain good relationships with the congressional staffs; they’ve just learned a lot about Washington they didn’t know before.”
Keeping Up With the Naders
The role of the business community not only grew but expanded, shifting into new modes of organization that had previously been confined to its critics. Recognizing that lawmaking in Washington had become more open and dynamic, business groups remade themselves to fit the times. The expanding network of business groups would soon be capable of hoisting the public interest groups on their own petards. Using rapidly emerging tools of marketing and communications, they learned how to generate mass campaigns. Building networks of employees, shareholders, local companies, and firms with shared interests (for example, retailers and suppliers), they could soon flood Washington with letters and phone calls. Within a few years, these classically top-down organizations were to thrive at generating “bottom up”–style campaigns that not only matched the efforts of their rivals but surpassed them.
These emerging “outside” strategies were married to “inside” ones. Business organizations developed lists of prominent executives capable of making personal contacts with key legislative figures. In private meetings organized by the Conference Board, CEOs compared notes and discussed how to learn from and outmaneuver organized labor. In the words of one executive, “If you don’t know your senators on a first-name basis, you are not doing an adequate job for your stockholders.”
Business also massively increased its political giving — at precisely the time when the cost of campaigns began to skyrocket (in part because of the ascendance of television). The insatiable need for cash gave politicians good reason to be attentive to those with deep pockets. Business had by far the deepest pockets, and was happy to make contributions to members of both parties. Clifton Garvin, chairman of both Exxon and the Business Roundtable in the early 1980s, summarized the attitude toward partisanship this way: “The Roundtable tries to work with whichever political party is in power. We may each individually have our own political alliances, but as a group the Roundtable works with every administration to the degree they let us.”
The newly mobilized business groups understood that Democrats and Republicans could play distinct but complementary roles. As the party with a seemingly permanent lock on Congress, Democrats needed to be pried away from their traditional alliance with organized labor. Money was key here: From the late 1970s to the late 1980s, corporate PACs increased their expenditures in congressional races nearly fivefold. Labor PAC spending only rose about half as fast. In the early 1970s, business PACs contributed less to congressional races overall than labor PACs did. By the mid-1970s, the two were at rough parity, and by the end of the decade, business PACs were way ahead. By 1980, unions accounted for less than a quarter of all PAC contributions — down from half six years earlier. The shift was largest among Democrats, who were of course the most reliant on labor money: Nearly half of Senate incumbents’ campaign funds came from labor PACs in the mid-1970s. A decade later, the share was below one-fifth.
By this time, however, business PACs were shifting away from their traditional focus on buttering up (mostly Democratic) incumbents toward a strategy that mixed donations to those in power with support for conservative political challengers. Such a pattern was evident in the critical election year of 1978. Through September of the election season, nearly half of corporate campaign contributions flowed into Democrats’ coffers. In the crucial weeks before the 1978 election, however, only 29 percent did. By the end of the 1978 campaign, more than 60 percent of corporate contributions had gone to Republicans, both GOP challengers and Republican incumbents fighting off liberal Democrats. A new era of campaign finance was born: Not only were corporate contributions growing ever bigger, Democrats had to work harder for them. More and more, to receive business largesse, they had to do more than hold power; they had to wield it in ways that business liked.
- 1. National Journal, 1974, 14.
- 2. David Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America (New York: Basic Books, 1989), 59; R. Shep Melnick, “From Tax-and-Spend to Mandate-and-Sue: Liberalism After the Great Society,” in The Great Society and the High Tide of Liberalism, Sidney Milkis and Jerome Mileur, eds. (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).
- 3. Lewis Powell, “Confidential Memorandum: Attack on the Free Enterprise System,” August 23, 1971, quoted in Kim Phelps-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (New York: Norton, 2009), 158, 160.
- 4. Thomas Byrne Edsall, The New Politics of Inequality (New York: Norton, 1984), 114.
- 5. Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes, ch. 8.
- 6. Calculated from http://www.bea.gov/national/xls/gdplev.xls.
- 7. Ibid., 198.
- 8. Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes, 198; John Judis, The Paradox of American Democracy: Elites, Special Interests, and the Betrayal of Public Trust (Pantheon: New York, 2000), 121.
- 9. Quoted in Sidney Blumenthal, The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: From Conservative Ideology to Political Power (New York: Times Books, 1986), 80.
- 10. Quoted in Leonard Silk and David Vogel, Ethics and Profits: The Crisis of Confidence in American Business (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), 65.
- 11. Blumenthal, Rise of the Counter-Establishment, 78.
- 12. Taylor E. Dark, The Unions and the Democrats: An Enduring Alliance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999), 149.
- 13. Vogel, Fluctuating Fortunes, ch. 8
Excerpt from Winner -Take-All Politics by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson
Copyright © 2010 by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY. For more information please visit www.SimonandSchuster.com.
“Dark Money ATM of the Conservative Movement” Gives $1.5 Million to White Nationalist Hate Group
At a 2017 conference hosted by the white nationalist hate group American Renaissance, Peter Brimelow, spoke about President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“Crime in this country is ethnically variegated,” claimed Brimelow, president of the white nationalist hate group the VDARE Foundation. “There’s ethnic specialization in crime. And Hispanics do specialize in rape, particularly of children. They’re very prone to it, compared to other groups.”
Blatantly racist statements like these are commonplace for Brimelow and for Jared Taylor, president of American Renaissance, two of the most notorious white nationalist leaders in the United States.
Two years after the conference, for the first time, a prominent conservative charity would fund both VDARE and the nonprofit behind American Renaissance. DonorsTrust, a donor-advised fund sponsor that manages and disperses wealthy conservatives’ charitable funds anonymously, gave over $1.5 million to the VDARE Foundation in 2019, according to tax records obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). That amount is nearly three times larger than VDARE’s total 2018 revenue, meaning that, with DonorsTrust’s help, the hate group was poised to significantly expand its operations last year.
DonorsTrust also gave $10,500 to the New Century Foundation, the nonprofit that finances American Renaissance, which publishes a website, videos, and podcasts and puts on annual conferences that draw a coterie of the country’s most prominent white nationalists. That donation appears to be DonorsTrust’s first to the group.
“DonorsTrust is a community of donors devoted to creating a better future,” states the group’s 2019 donor prospectus. “Our donors support charities they believe protect our nation’s constitutional liberties and strengthen civil society through private institutions rather than with government programs.”
DonorsTrust and its sister nonprofit, Donors Capital Fund, are favorite funding vehicles of Republican billionaire families such as the DeVoses, Kochs, and Mercers. Donors deposit money into individual accounts, managed by DonorsTrust or Donors Capital Fund, and direct the fund managers to deliver their money to the nonprofits of their choosing, a process that shields the donors’ identities from the public. Donor-advised funds offer a “double tax benefit” to the wealthy; when donating appreciable assets like stock or business shares into their individual funds, donors get a capital gains tax break as well as the typical charitable tax deduction.
DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund distributed $165 million in total grants last year, $90 million of which went to support right-wing think tanks, advocacy groups, litigation centers, media outlets, extremists, and climate deniers, CMD found.
Lawson Bader, president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, told CMD, “DonorsTrust–like the vast majority of donor-advised funds–allows its donor-advisors and not the DAF itself, to create a list of preferred and legally recognized charitable and public-interest organizations that they individually wish to support.”
However, the organization’s donor prospectus states, “Grants from accounts are made upon request to board-approved charities.” This indicates that the DonorsTrust board must review and approve of each potential recipient. That board consists of Bader and multiple others with close ties to conservative advocacy groups and academic programs funded in part by Charles Koch.
Bader did not respond to follow-up questions about the approval process and why he and the board approved two white nationalist groups.
As he defended his organization’s substantial funding of white nationalist hate groups, Bader invoked a 1958 court case that protected the identities of donors to the Black civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
“The Supreme Court has made it clear that releasing names of private givers poses a direct threat of retaliation,” Bader said. “This occurred most notably in 1968 (sic) when the court struck down Alabama’s attempts to gain access to the NAACP’s donor list during the heyday of the civil rights movement.”
“We are extremely troubled by the findings in your report,” Michael Edison Hayden, a senior investigative reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), told CMD. “Here, you have extremely wealthy activist donors funneling money into white nationalist groups. These are groups that traffic in the type of dehumanizing racist pseudoscience that has inspired both terrorism and government-sanctioned horrors, like so-called child separation.”
SPLC has been tracking hate activity since 1971, when it was founded “to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all.”
“The sick joke, of course, is that the white nationalist movement in the U.S. poses as if they are fighting against elites,” said Hayden. “Now we know that elites are fighting alongside white nationalists, putting the lives of everyday people in danger.”
A White Nationalist Castle
It is likely that DonorsTrust’s 2019 donation of $1.5 million helped VDARE purchase an historic castle in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia for $1.4 million without a loan in February 2020. As the SPLC documented, local residents were disturbed by VDARE’s presence and feared that it would reinforce negative stereotypes of West Virginia, which is 95 percent white and one of the least diverse states in the country.
“The castle gives VDARE close access to Washington, D.C., where they have White House allies like [senior policy adviser] Stephen Miller and [communications officer] Julia Hahn,” said Hayden. “These donations help to explain where they might have gotten that kind of money.”
Brimelow came to prominence in 1995, when he published Alien Nation, a book that argued that America has historically been dominated by white people and should remain that way. In 1999, he founded what would become the VDARE Foundation.
For years, VDARE has attacked immigrants and people of color in the U.S., and it has also trafficked in antisemitism.
“The [Jewish] objective has been control of economic resources and political power,” wrote antisemite Kevin MacDonald on VDARE’s website in 2006. “One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority.”
MacDonald was describing a classic tenet of white nationalism around the world: that Jews destroy white society by facilitating immigration by people of color, a trope often referred to as “white genocide.”
Writing on VDARE.com two years later, American Renaissance’s Jared Taylor, who personally avoids overt antisemitism, echoed this general sentiment, claiming that “our rulers and elites welcome replacement by aliens,” and “this is a disease that is killing us.”
In recent years, VDARE has continued its toxic influence on the country.
“VDARE in particular defended the deadly Unite the Right rally staged in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017 and has expressed sympathies for the writings of white supremacist murderers, like the man who killed 23 people in an El Paso WalMart in 2019,” said Hayden. “Additionally, VDARE published vile, racist conspiracy theories related to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to fuel the chaos we see now across our country.”
Brimelow and Taylor have a close relationship and are both affiliated with the racist “alt-right” and its figurehead, Richard Spencer. And Brimelow has ties to the Trump administration beyond Miller and Hahn; Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow hosted Brimelow at his home for his birthday party in 2018.
The “Black-on-White Crime” Myth
Taylor’s racist ideas have inspired deadly hate crimes.
He and American Renaissance created the “black-on-white crime” myth, a theory popular among white nationalists that, in recent years, spread online and inspired deadly terror attacks, including Dylan Roof’s 2015 murder of nine Black parishioners at a South Carolina church. Roof read about the myth via the website of the Council of Conservative Citizens, another white nationalist group with close ties to Taylor.
This myth is premised on a false argument, as stated by Taylor, that,: “The United States has neither a unique ‘culture of violence’ nor inadequate gun laws. It has a high rate of violent crime because it has a large number of violent black criminals.”
“Taylor is at the center of white supremacist propaganda,” Heidi Beirich, the former head of SPLC’s Intelligence Project, told this author in 2019. “He is THE purveyor of the black-on-white crime myth that has inspired so much violence. His ideas led to Dylann Roof and lord only knows how much more hate crime.”
After Roof’s terror attack, Taylor condemned the murders but defended both the Council of Conservative Citizens and his organization’s hateful propaganda, saying, “Our site educated [Roof]. Our site told him the truth about interracial crime.”
Reporters have revealed few donations to the New Century Foundation, a relatively small nonprofit that took in $381,000 in 2018 and less than that the year before. But Sludge exposed over $100,000 in contributions by Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, a donor-advised fund sponsor affiliated with Fidelity Investments, over the 2016 to 2018 fiscal years.
This year, the New Century Foundation got some extra help from taxpayers. According to Accountable.us, the nonprofit received $51,600 in Paycheck Protection Program funds, which were approved by Congress to help businesses during the pandemic-caused recession.
Past Donations to Hate Groups
While its recent donations to white nationalist groups are new, DonorsTrust has a history of funding groups that the SPLC considers anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ hate groups.
In 2019 alone, DonorsTrust donated $916,000 to the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, $163,000 to the anti-Muslim David Horowitz Freedom Center, and $50,000 to the anti-immigrant Center for Immigration Studies, among other contributions to hate groups and other discriminatory organizations. In the five years prior, DonorsTrust DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund gave over $13 million to organizations that express anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, or anti-LGBTQ sentiments, including more than $2.7 million to nonprofits considered hate groups by SPLC.
The National Christian Foundation has given the most money to hate groups of any prominent donor-advised fund sponsor. Several donor-advised funds that are not associated with any particular political ideology or religion, including Fidelity Charitable and Vanguard Charitable, which is linked to investment firm Vanguard, have also been funding hate groups for years.
Featured image derived from CGTN America/YouTube and Craig Bodeker/YouTube.
About Alex Kotch
Alex is an investigative reporter based in Brooklyn, New York, and a contributor for the Center for Media and Democracy. A campaign finance expert, Alex helped launch money-in-politics website Sludge, and his work has been published by more than two dozen media outlets including International Business Times, The American Prospect, The Nation and Vice.com.All articles by Alex Kotch https://www.exposedbycmd.org/2020/12/04/dark-money-atm-of-the-conservative-movement-gives-1-5-million-to-white-nationalist-hate-group/