Left-Wing Foundations, Research

Cut off federal funding to the Soros-funded Tides Network

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By Richard McCarty

The George Soros-funded Tides Network has received federal grants and contracts totaling at least $16.8 million since 2005, most of which came in 2016 and 2017 via USAID and the Department of Health and Human Services. The San Francisco-based Tides exists to advance a radical agenda on such issues as abortion, immigration, health care, guns, global warming, and Israel, among others. Tides certainly has the right to pursue its destructive agenda, but it has no right to taxpayer money; and Congress should bar the wealthy organization, and its affiliates, from receiving any additional federal funds.

The Tides empire was founded in 1976 by Drummond Pike, who has served on the boards of a number of left-wing organizations. Over the years, the empire has grown, and now the Tides Network consists of the Tides Foundation, the Tides Center, Tides Inc., the Tides Two Rivers Fund, and Tides Advocacy. In 2017, Tides had revenues of over $470 million; it has nearly $400 million in assets under management.

There are several ways that Tides advances the left’s agenda. It collects money from liberal donors and gives that money to left-wing extremists making it difficult to trace the source of the funds. If a donor wants to give money to a cause for which a group does not exist, Tides will set up such an organization. It also rents office space to liberal organizations.

One of the most valuable services that Tides provides is “fiscal sponsorship” for new left-leaning organizations. Sponsorship requires a fee of 9 percent or 15 percent of annual revenues depending upon the source; the fee may be adjusted after the first year of activity. In exchange for these fees, organizations can use the Tides Center’s 501(c)(3) tax status and gain access to the Center’s accounting, human resources, and legal services. Over the years, Tides claims to have sponsored over 1,400 “social ventures.” Once a sponsored organization matures sufficiently, it can become an independent organization. Tides has spun off a number of these organizations, including People for the American Way and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Tides amassed its huge fortune by accepting money from virtually any source. In fact, Tides has accepted money from a Russian-supported organization, the Sea Change Foundation. In addition to the Russians, Tides has been funded by, among others, Soros’ Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, the Google Foundation, the ChevronTexaco Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, the AT&T Foundation, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, the Levi Strauss Foundation, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Barbra Streisand Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Turner Foundation, the Heinz Family Foundation, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

With this money, Tides funds an extreme agenda. It has given money to the ACORN Institute , the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the anti-Trump group Indivisible, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, Media Matters, Code Pink, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the Ruckus Society, the Rainforest Action Network, and many others.

Here are a few quick facts about some of the less-well-known grantees:

  • Code Pink opposes the U.S. military and Israel while supporting repressive regimes.
  • MALDEF supports open borders.
  • The Ruckus Society trains violent protesters. One of the Ruckus Society’s co-founders has been arrested over 50 times.
  • The Rainforest Action Network was a spinoff of the ecoterrorist group Earth First!.

Not content with just causing problems in America, Tides has waded into Canada too. There, it funded a campaign to halt the development of the oil sands in the province of Alberta. However, the new conservative premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, has made it clear that he is tired of the shenanigans funded by Tides and will be fighting back.

On the subject of Tides, Americans for Limited Government’s President Rick Manning had the following to say, “The Tides Network is all about laundering money as their name suggests. Perhaps conservatives should found the Dawn Foundation so they can have clean money — and clean ducks.”

Tides has received millions of dollars in federal funds while advancing a radical leftist agenda. Congress should prohibit Tides from receiving any more funds to prevent the organization from further undermining our society with our tax dollars. Finally, conservative ought to get to work on building something similar to the Tides Center to start and grow conservative organizations.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.