Saturday, May 01, 2004

The Monkey Chased The Weasel – Opensecrets.Org

What would you do with access to the IRS's public information of non-profit companies and organizations?

Last year I wrote about the Center for Responsive Politics at which allows citizens to know who has contributed to political campaigns and how much money groups of people (and, by extension, companies) contribute to certain political efforts.

Using IRS public documents and the Freedom of Information Act you can find out just how much money the Dibold Corporation, a vendor of electronic voting machines heaved into the Dubya's election and now re-election efforts.

The (extreme) conservative right was slow on the uptake but has caught on. The CBS back down on the Reagan tele-movie was a focused targeted action taken by citizens who were mobilized by conservative, politically right organizations. This was not just talk radio, this was an Internet fueled buzz. In the interest of fair and balanced information, here is how the other side does it.

The Monkey Thought T'was All In Fun – Consumerfreedom.Com/Activist Cash

Consumer Freedom/Activist Cash presents itself as fighting those people against capitalism. They viewed 325,000 IRS documents to find what tax-exempt non-profits and activists are doing. If you are for environmental causes, non-genetically modified foods, universal health care, vegetarianism or believe in anything that they are against you make the anti-capitalist list, if you have money.

Ben and Jerry's Foundations and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are on the list. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and groups that have received grants through the foundation. I know George Sorros made the list. He has pledged $15 millions to prevent Dubya's occupation for another four years. Oh yeah, he's getting calls.

Robert Redford is on the list because of his involvement in the Natural Defense Council. I have a deeper respect and a burning desire to rent a copy of The Way We Were. This site is like a virtual Nixon Enemy List. I remember how proud or upset people were because they did or did not make the list.

Being cited is a total badge of honor. I know this was not the intent and 99.89% of the regular visitors are probably contemptuous of every name and organization that is listed. The site lists names, job titles, addresses, phone numbers and means of contact - or

Pop Goes the Weasel...

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