Heinz-Kerry funds radical pals
April 14, 2004
By Steven Malanga
John Kerry is the Senate's most liberal member. But his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, looks to be even farther left, judging from her charitable giving. Over the years, she has poured nearly $6 million into the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, a kind of front philanthropy, founded by California activist Drummond Pike in 1976, that channels donations to left-wing causes in ways that make the original funders hard to trace directly.
The Tides Foundation gives to causes to the left - sometimes way to the left - of the Democratic mainstream. It has been a big supporter (to the tune of $1 million over the last three years) of the ``living wage'' movement, which seeks to force urban firms to pay up to double the minimum wage - a sneaky way of bringing socialist economics to America's cities. Tides has also helped bankroll environmentalist radicalism, shelling out $205,000 over a two-year period to the Ruckus Society, a wacky anarchist Green organization, and nearly $500,000 over the past decade to the alarmist National Resources Defense Council, responsible for the Alar scare a while back, which wrongly convinced people that eating apples sprayed with the chemical put them at higher risk of getting cancer. Growers needlessly lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
Most recently, Tides has donated $500,000 to set up the Iraq Peace Fund, which contributes to a motley assortment of hard-left groups that opposed the war. Among the recipients: MoveOn.com, the George Soros-funded outfit that notoriously featured online ads comparing President Bush with Hitler.
Responding to criticism, Mrs. Kerry has downplayed her Tides connection, emphasizing that the foundation used her money mostly to support mainstream conservationist and environmental groups in western Pennsylvania, home of her first husband's family fortune. Tides founder Pike claims that Mrs. Kerry's money didn't fund anti-war efforts. But why then did she funnel her giving through Tides, instead of making direct grants through her Heinz family foundation? After all, that philanthropy already openly gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to centrist western Pennsylvania Green organizations.
John Kerry may find his wife's radical ties a problem as the presidential race kicks into high gear.
Steven Malanga is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and contributing editor of City Journal (www.city-journal.org), from whose Spring 2004 issue this article is adapted.
©2004 Boston Herald
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