Senate Report Exposes Green Groups' Activist 'Billionaires Club'

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 04:48 PM

By Andrea Billups

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A report released Wednesday by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee says environmental groups and green party candidates may have violated tax laws by laundering money through nonprofits that in turn direct it to political causes, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The committee, in its report, "The Chain of Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA," called the network the "Billionaires Club." It said the club was made up primarily of three groups: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, the Democracy Alliance, and the "Invest/Divest movement," all acting as fronts for wealthy left-leaning activists.

Senate lawmakers noted the club worked behind the scenes of the green movement to turn over millions of dollars to move public policy decisions in their favor.

The report noted that the club was "adept at converting charitable donations into political outcomes by taking advantage of loopholes in the tax code. Numerous examples raise questions as to whether the charitable donations are indirectly supporting political activity," the Free Beacon reported.

Money was funneled from 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational groups. Noted the Beacon: "The club’s activities are frequently shielded from public scrutiny due to their use of nonprofit tax designations that do not require the public disclosure of donors."

"Although startling in its findings, the report covers only a small fraction of the amount of money that is being secreted and moved around," the committee's ranking member, Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, said in releasing the investigation, according to The Hill.

"It would be virtually impossible to examine this system completely given the enormity of this carefully coordinated effort and the lack of transparency surrounding it," the report said.

Forbes noted the deep connection between the environmental left and "the current White House and its regulatory agencies." It added that the report, at 90 pages and with more than 400 citations, pulls back the curtain on the movement's wealthy supporters and their covert activities.

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