The Friends of Abe has acted as a clandestine club for Hollywood conservatives for more than a decade, hosting secret events where they could vent rightwing views and hear speeches from visiting Tea Party luminaries.
“Effective immediately, we are going to begin to wind down the 501 c3 organization, bring the Sustaining Membership dues to an end, and do away with the costly infrastructure and the abespal.com website,” the executive director, Jeremy Boreing, told members in an email, a copy of which the Guardian has seen.
“Today, because we have been successful in creating a community that extends far beyond our events, people just don’t feel as much of a need to show up for every speaker or bar night, and fewer people pay the dues that help us maintain that large infrastructure.”
The announcement caught members by surprise and fueled speculation that infighting over Donald Trump’s candidacy, among other factors, had drained commitment. Others said the group had been losing steam for years.
Lionel Chetwynd, a producer and screenwriter and co-founder of the FOA, recently spoke of the primary campaign causing a “civil war in slow motion”, which fractured friendships and shredded solidarity.
Boreing, a director and producer, put a positive gloss on the announcement, saying the initial hunger for fellowship had prompted the group to build an expensive website, rent offices and hire staff, including lawyers and accountants.
“It’s time to change how we do it. As our group has grown in size and success, many of the structures that helped us grow have become less useful … It means an end to the standing organization, but not an end to the mission or the fellowship.”
Boreing vowed to maintain the mailing list and stage events, but without the infrastructure, staff or budget requirements.
“We will still get together for drinks and speakers, but we may reassess how we approach those events logistically. In short, FOA will return to its roots. It will be a passion project, like it was in the beginning … We’ll still be a private organization that protects the names of our members at all costs.”
Boreing did not immediately respond to interview requests.
Members expressed surprise and dismay at the weakening, and perhaps loss, of a refuge from what they see as Hollywood’s bullying liberal ethos.
It was the one place where many of its members – actors, producers, writers and technicians – felt safe from liberal sneers and potential retribution. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Ortel’s quest to expose Clinton Foundation fraud has a Lois Lerner connection.
Myra Adams writes: Does anyone remember Henry Markopolos? In case you don’t, he was the former securities industry executive who for nine years persistently, but unsuccessfully, tried to convince the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the respected securities investment firm headed by Bernie Madoff was engaged in massive long-term fraud.
In 2010, Markopolos wrote about his dramatic whistle-blower experience in a book aptly titled, “No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller.”
So why am I bringing up the heroic efforts of Harry Markopolos?
The answer is a whistle-blower in the mold of Markopolos has come to my attention and his name is Charles Ortel. Like Markopolos, Ortel has a background as a financial industry executive in addition to a successful track record of identifying economic trends and systemic problems within companies, most notably General Electric.
Throughout 2015, Ortel has carefully studied and documented a decade’s worth of domestic and global fraud, theft, corruption and violations of strict IRS rules being perpetrated by a prestigious multi-billion dollar charitable organization known as the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.
Unlike Markopolos, who went to the SEC and was largely ignored because of incompetence, Ortel believes that the IRS is actively in collusion with the Clinton Foundation.
Collusion with the high-profile charity explains why the IRS is not thoroughly investigating Ortel’s carefully documented allegations of illegal activity on a scale so grand that a major audit would certainly be triggered if the name of the foundation was not “Clinton.”
Only collusion explains why, for over a decade, the IRS has allowed the Clinton Foundation, and all its umbrella organizations with different names to operate outside the strict rules and regulations under which all tax-exempt charities must operate or risk losing their tax-exempt status. Read the rest of this entry »
REWIND: One Year Ago Today, May 22, 2014: Hillary Clinton Has Made $5 MILLION in Speaking Fees Since Leaving OfficePosted: May 22, 2015
Hillary Clinton has raked in nearly $5 million for her various appearances and speeches since leaving the State Department in February 2013, even though many of her more than 90 appearances have been unpaid. Her usual speaking fee is approximately $200,000 per appearance.
“This is a great way for a company to get access to her, to hear what she’s thinking, to be remembered if and when she does run for office, and to help her grow that nice little nest egg that she and her husband have been intent on building.”
The Clinton Foundation looks more and more like a foreign laundering operation than a charitable organization.
Sean Davis writes: BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.
If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, that’s because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization. In this case, however, rather than taking cash from blatantly illegal activities (as far as we know) and then cleaning it up by running it through legitimate businesses before it ends up at its final destination, the Clinton Foundation mops up cash from wealthy foreigners, bundles it within a larger organization to hide the money’s original source, and then funnels the cash from that legitimate charity right into the Clinton Foundation coffers.
“While Canada does include a ban on the release of donor information in the course of commercial activity, it specifically exempts fundraising from that definition.”
After the New York Times uncovered the connections between uranium mining magnate Frank Giustra, his Canadian charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, and official actions taken by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that benefitted Giustra’s global uranium mining operations, the Clinton Foundation immediately entered spin mode.
According to Clinton Foundation executives, CGEPartnership was banned by federal law in Canada from releasing any donor names without the prior consent of the donor. However, an extensive analysis of Canada’s federal privacy laws by The Federalist found that the Clinton Foundation’s claim had zero merit.
“And because the public disclosure of a donor’s name doesn’t include any transaction or consideration, it’s not considered to be commercial activity.”
Multiple Canadian tax and privacy law experts contacted by The Federalist, the Washington Post, and BloombergPolitics said there was no such blanket prohibition on public disclosure of charitable donor identities. While Canada does include a ban on the release of donor information in the course of commercial activity, it specifically exempts fundraising from that definition. And because the public disclosure of a donor’s name doesn’t include any transaction or consideration, it’s not considered to be commercial activity.
“The Clinton Foundation’s deliberate misinterpretation of Canadian privacy law in order to rationalize its secrecy raises several questions, chief among them: why?”
“Federal law prohibits disclosure related to commercial activity: things like selling, renting, or bartering of a list. Fundraising is not a covered activity under PIPEDA, the federal privacy law,” Adam Aptowitzer, a Canadian charitable organization attorney, told The Federalist.
“I don’t see how the public disclosure of a donor’s name constitutes commercial activity,” Aptowitzer concluded. “There’s no transaction; there’s no consideration.”
“The scheme works like this: collect millions of dollars in foreign money, dump it into a foreign charity, pretend that the law prohibits you from ever disclosing the identities of those foreign donors to the foreign charity, then have the foreign charity bundle all the cash and send it to the Clinton Foundation.”
The Clinton Foundation’s deliberate misinterpretation of Canadian privacy law in order to rationalize its secrecy raises several questions, chief among them: why? Why go to all this effort to hide years’ worth of million-dollar donations from foreign citizens and foreign governments? Donations which were almost certainly being made while Hillary Clinton was serving as Secretary of State, and almost certainly with the intent to influence her decisions? Read the rest of this entry »
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy revealed that he will prohibit all state-sponsored travel to this heretical member of the Union. He joins the mayor of Seattle, who also blocked city-funded travel to Indiana in protest over this perfectly banal law.
Noah Rothman writes: The frenzied outpouring of disproportionate outrage from the left over Indiana’s state-level version of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act can be best described as a tantrum.
A number of firms including Apple and Angie’s List Inc. have announced that they will respond to the legislation that critics insist is designed to discriminate against gays and lesbians by reviewing their commitments to do business in the state. A cornucopia of liberal groups are organizing a boycott of all things Hoosier. And, on Monday, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy revealed that he will prohibit all state-sponsored travel to this heretical member of the Union. He joins the mayor of Seattle, who also blocked city-funded travel to Indiana in protest over this perfectly banal law.
“This law, like other RFRAs, merely requires that state laws meet a demanding, but hardly insurmountable, test before infringing upon the religious practice or conscience of religious believers.”
— The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blogger Jonathan Adler
This reaction is nothing short of an embarrassment for the left and a repudiation of the values that the Democratic Party espoused as recently as the 1990s, when President Bill Clinton signed a national version of this act into law.
“RFRA is a shield, not a sword. It can be used to defend oneself against lawsuits or administrative action. It can’t be used affirmatively to try and deprive others of the protections of law.”
— Attorney Gabriel Malor, The Federalist
The hypocrisy exhibited by the left in this display of childish pique over Indiana’s RFRA bill is impossible to ignore.
“[W]hile Indiana is being criticized, the NCAA didn’t say it was concerned over how athletes and employees would be affected by Kentucky’s RFRA when games were played there last week, there aren’t any plans to boycott states like Illinois or Connecticut, and Miley Cyrus has yet to post a photo of President Clinton or any of the 19 other governors who have also signed RFRAs,” The Washington Post’s Hunter Schwarz wrote. “Indiana might be treated as if it’s the only state with a bill like this, but it’s not.”
“Malloy’s absurd response to the Indiana law is, no doubt, an effort to distract his liberal constituents from the fact that Connecticut’s RFRA law – yes, they have one, too – goes farther than the act signed last week by Governor Mike Pence.”
“This law, like other RFRAs, merely requires that state laws meet a demanding, but hardly insurmountable, test before infringing upon the religious practice or conscience of religious believers,” observed The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blogger Jonathan Adler. “If the law imposes a substantial burden on religious belief, the law must yield unless the law serves a compelling state interest and is the least burdensome way to advance that interest.”
Malloy’s absurd response to the Indiana law is, no doubt, an effort to distract his liberal constituents from the fact that Connecticut’s RFRA law – yes, they have one, too – goes farther than the act signed last week by Gov. Mike Pence.
Connecticut’s law, however, is far more restrictive of government action and far more protective of religious freedoms. How? Because the Connecticut RFRA law states that government shall not “burden a person’s exercise of religion[.]” Note that the word “substantially” is not included in Connecticut’s law.
The effect of the absence of that single word is enormous…(read more)
That seems straightforward enough. Still have questions? Over at The Federalist, attorney Gabriel Malor answers all of your pressing inquiries. The most substantive assertion that he makes, however, is that all RFRA’s do not and cannot license discrimination. Read the rest of this entry »
Nonprofits take your donations and give them to a good cause, right? To be fair, most do, while paying their employees competitive but modest salaries. But a handful of nonprofits pay their top executives shockingly high salaries that could make their for-profit corporate counterparts jealous.