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Archive for June 16th, 2017

Why Bother To Unravel the Proliferation of Private Associations Representing Public Offices? Well, re: the sponsored database project SchoolMatters.com, That Might be a $10M Question for “The Council of Chief State School Officers” (CCSSO.org) in D.C., Grantee, and “The Broad Foundation,” in Los Angeles, Donor. (Publ. June 16, 2017)

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Published without tags, about 13,500 words (including captions to its many images), Friday, June 16, 2017.

By the time you read this, if you’re still in denial about the extensive networks of private associations involving government officials on the board, or restricted to them as members (but — hey, let’s not reject some donations — not as sponsoring partners or “Associates”) and that while government at different levels continues to fund such entities, they aren’t exactly advertising the inter-relationships on gov’t websites, or the financials on the association websites — and that these associations operate in the private, nonprofit sector with intent to affect the government sector (at all levels) bypassing normal input from citizens — then please seek personal help.  Fast.  You’re cognitively disabled.

* My last two at June 15, 2017.

Maybe this post should have preceded the two I just unleashed,* for just one example of why we ought to be talking about and in terms of the hidden scaffolding of private associations dedicated to individual government positions (Governor, Mayor, Chief Justice — or, case in point here, Chief State School Officer — State TANF Administrator, not to mention, below state level, City or County Manager, Child Support Enforcement Directors, etc.) or entities (State Court, Legislature, etc.).  Every branch of state-level government is covered with some association.

There’s even an association called “Council of State Governments” (EIN# 366000818) which proudly describes itself as serving all three branches of (state) governments, and being the only national organization to do so. This is not one to lose sight of…particularly with their “CSG Justice Center” which has its own EIN# (56-2655371) and Identity — sort of — but is “℅” the CSG. (Keep reading, I discuss it below).  Sections in purple-background color + any related images:

(<=EIN#366000818, that links to its latest tax return showing about $33M Total Gross assets, and where its $36M Gross Receipts came from, went to, and are being held.

For example, in a symptom of “fantastic” stewardship, (see Pt X Balance Sheet, Assets) ALMOST NONE is being held in public traded securities, or income-producing assets, but $26M in “Savings and temporary investments.”).

In a symptom of “fantastic” awareness of how to follow instructions on an IRS Form, that is, to label different sources of its own $36M of revenues being held in cash, not investments to produce some sort of revenue which might reduce their need for contributions (or membership dues of $7M), this nonprofit (coordinating efforts to coach all three branches of state governments AND with a program to draft suggested state legislation), on  Pt. VIII, Statement of Revenues, Line 1 shows $11M total”Contributions,” none from “Government.**” ($7M from membership dues — no doubt from member government entities’ budgets — and only $4M from “other contributions.”  However, Line 2 on the same page shows they’ve (improperly) lumped “Grants (which belong on Line 1) and Contracts (Line 2) together under $17M of revenue.  Could some of that be, actually, government grants?  Or more corporate?  Certainly.  In fact, (see image, or Page 2, Pt. III Line 4a) they admit it is and even name  some of the federal granting agencies.  Foundations are also granting to it (improperly listed on Pt. VIII Ln2 also)

But a higher number on Line 2 makes it look like more valuable services are being provided, and justifying the high percentage spent on employees for this entity.)

Page 1 FY2014 Council of State Gov’ts Form 990 (Hdr Info only)

From PtX Assets –notice almost nothing (relative to the total assets) listed after Ln 10 (Land, buildings equipmt), which isn’t much either. See large total. $26M of this (NS in image, see tax return) is on Ln2, Savings. See (related image) Pt.VIII Ln3, Revenues — little investment income).

Pt VIII, Statemt of Revs (Lns 1-3 only)

Pt. VIII, Page 2 Lns 4abcd, Progr Serv Accomplishmts.

Sched O (Supplemental Info). Note it has a website for explaining the Form 990 at top. CSG didn’t follow, though.

EACH IMAGE above is ANNOTATED (relating to above para.) I also have more on the CSG below on this post.  The information is disturbing at a gut level, on quick review of just FY2014:  it’s mis-categorizing revenues, avoiding explanation of its high “Consultant Expenses” where required, and running the “Pt. III Line 4c avoidance” tactics, which this year failed to account for over $892,000–almost $1M — of Line4d expenses, as well as not posting its financial statements (but people may request them).  I didn’t even post an EXTENDED section on attempts to draft legislation affecting the criminal justice system (Sched D details), or Sched C details, its attempt to bypass an Ethics Commission requirement to register as a lobbyist (when it was actually lobbying) in one or more states, or that its primary “Other Liabilities” (almost exactly matching its $11M admitted contributions) are “due to managed organizations which brings up the question — which ones?  All or some of its listed “affiliates”?   For the record, the Council of Chief State School Officers (different — and not listed as an “affiliated” org at CSG.org), of this post, has about the same Total Assets per its tax returns.

 

(The reasoning for Council of State Governments (<=its website) I guess, being, “What the heck — why not combine all three branches created originally for separation of powers, and unify them into just one master-planning entity membership organization? After all, wouldn’t this be more efficient use of “scarce governmental resources” and result in better “evidence-based” policies?”).

CSG is active in criminal justice reform, one thing I discovered (as I recall) long ago tracking some HHS | “HMRF” programming.  The tax return tells about this, too, on a Sched C or D attachment, in detail.  Some webshots from the “CSGJustice Center “Collaborative Approaches to Public Safety.” show: what by sectors, what it’s doing, that it’s “120 employees spanning three time zones,” and, at the bottom (in almost invisible print) who funds the website, and a disclaimer for any responsibility on what it says on behalf of those federal agencies providing funding (!):

This website is funded in part through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this website (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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Written by Let's Get Honest

June 16, 2017 at 4:09 pm

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