Editor’s Note: This story was updated on March 25, 2013 to reflect additional Tides revenue.
By Tori Richards and Earl Glynn | Watchdog.org
A left-leaning San Francisco clearinghouse that bankrolls lobbyists, Islamic militant organizations, Planned Parenthood and the National Council of La Raza collected $28 million in taxpayer funds over three years, but won’t identify the specific sources of the government cash.
A Watchdog investigation into the Tides Foundation used a government database and other sources, but has tracked down only $3.1 million in federal grants from U.S. taxpayers to the group.
Tides, a 501(c)3 charity, brought in an average of $251.5 million a year over the past five years from left-leaning donors and government entities. That cash — and the influence it buys on the left — suggest why the group has earned White House access and carved out a role in writing legislation, such as President Obama’s stimulus bill.
Despite that high-profile role, most Americans don’t know who funds Tides. Donor funds aren’t itemized on its tax return, the only public document available.
Turning to USASpending.gov, Watchdog found 44 grants totaling $6.4 million dating back to 2002. Alameda County, Calif. paid the group $1.87 million between 2009 and 2013, part of a homelessness initiative.
The federal agencies that donated to Tides include:
- $32,250 from The U.S. Institute of Peace, to help with Peruvian reconstruction after a civil war
- $693,953 from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up hazardous-materials sites
- $285,000 from the Administration for Children and Families for “Comprehensive Torture Treatment Services”
- $434,428 by NASA for planetary astronomy
- $669,960 by the Department of Defense so teachers and children can learn Chinese, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi.
Watchdog emailed Tides to seek comment for this story but did not receive a response.