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'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?…' (posted 3/23 & 3/5/2014). Over 680 posts, Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

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. (started June 10, 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).

(*AS I WRITE THIS — headline news involves Republican lawmakers targeted, and one U.S. Rep.resentative and associates shot at a baseball outing in Virginia — so I wonder how that’s working out?  Shooter was, alleged, a 66 year old white man (now dead from the related shootout) upset about tax issues, who’d participated in Senator Bernie Sanders recent presidential campaign — so how’s this collaboration all working out?)

Click to read fine print disclaimer, and notice the © is CSG Justice Center, but the logo Council of State Gov’ts. CSG Justice Center does exist as a separate org., but claims no revenues over $50K 2010-2015 and only filed Form 990-Ns, I just discovered. But its address matches the CSG’s.

“Justice (star) Center” See 8 categories across the top, with graphics

The Council of State Government’s FY2014 Form 990 (<== the link to its EIN#366000818), Sched C (about Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities) acknowledges on its Part II Line 1 they had both paid staff (lobbying) and spent $167K (that year alone) on direct contact with legislators (The board of this organization is full of legislators, too).  Pt. IV supplemental information to the “Yes” answers on Sched C part B, Line 1, is extensive.  My quoting it here is less about the details, then to be aware of the unique situation in which a private association run by legislators lobbies as its own (managed organization? the Justice Center) for the passage of specific legislation its hired consultants and board of directors over time, obviously, wants passed, and the influence is apparently successful.  Look at the extent of activity, and compare to the “Justice Center” disclaimer above….

The Council of State Governments Justice Center worked in FY 15 to advance criminal justice issues on Capitol Hill and with the Administration, including 1) efforts to ensure funding, reauthorization, and the successful implementation of the Second Chance Act, 2) efforts to ensure funding, reauthorization, of the Mentally III Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act, 3) secure funding support for a justice Reinvestment Initiative, and 4) raise awareness on Capitol Hill about state corrections challenges, prisoner reentry and recidivism reduction efforts SECOND CHANCE coordinated efforts to secure funding for the grant programs that the Second Chance Act authorizes for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 Activities included work with the Hill to submit to Congress a letter in support of FY2016 funding The FY16 Criminal, Justice, Science appropriations bills released by the House included a mark of $68 million and $68 million in the Senate In June of 2015, the Second Chance Reauthorization Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate by Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Portman (R-O H) Congressmen Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and, Davis (D-IL) introduced the House version of the bill CSG has had several meetings with Members of Congress to increase support for the bill In June 2014, CSG released a report highlighting recidivism reductions in eight states To promote the report, CSG held a Congressional staff briefing that featured the governors of West Virginia and Pennsylvania and several Members of CongressREINVESTMENT coordinated efforts to secure funding for the justice Reinvestment Initiative (JR) for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 Played a pivotal role in garnering congressional approval for critical criminal justice programs, including the Justice Reinvestment InitiativeActivities included work with the Hill to submit to Congress a letter in support of FY2016 funding The FY16 Criminal, Justice, Science appropriations bill was approved by the House on June 3rd which included $27 5 million for the justice Reinvestment Initiative The Senate Appropriations Committee approved their version of the FY16 bill at $22 million In June 2014, CSG and Pew Charitable Trust co-sponsored the three-day “justice Reinvestment National Summit, Sustaining Success, Maintaining Momentum” aimed to give participants an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences with justice reinvestment, an approach designed to reduce corrections spending and reinvest in strategies that can reduce recidivism and improve public safety MENTALLY ILL OFFENDER TREATMENT CRIME AND REDUCTION ACT coordinated efforts to secure funding for the Mentally III Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 Activities included work with the Hill to submit to Congress letters in support of FY2016 funding The FY16 Criminal, Justice, Science appropriations bills released by the House included a mark of $13 million and $10 million in the Senate In April 2015, Senators Al Franken (D- MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) and Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015 (which would reauthorize MIOTCRA) The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill by unanimous consent on April 30 CSG has had several meetings with Members ofCongress to increase support forthe bill CSG also provided input on Senator Cornyn’s (R-TX) Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015, which also reauthorizes MIOTCRA. STATE LOBBYING During FY15,Justice Center staff registered as lobbyists in Alabama, Nebraska and Washington State to supplement efforts to raise awareness and educate policymakers about justice reinvestment legislation in being considered by the legislature in each state This legislation was informed by analyses and technical assistance provided to all three states at the request of their governor, legislative leaders, and other state officials In Nebraska, Justice Center simultaneously pursued an exemption ruling from the Ethics Commission, in an effort to avoid possible registration for “rulemaking” work in Nebraska post legislation passage The lobbyist exemption for justice Center was issued by the Nebraska Ethics Commission in May 2015 While this exemption was issued shortly after legislation passed in Nebraska, it does address any concerns about future rulemaking work in the state the legislation implementation phaseThe State of Idaho’s definition of lobby also includes rulemaking work that may occur post legislation [J]ustice Center renewed the lobbyist registration during 2015 to complete technical assistance guidance and rulemaking work, as required by the state As of the completion of FY15 Justice Center staff had completed all lobbyist work and terminated registrations in Idaho, Alabama, Nebraska and Washington, However, Justice Center remains listed as a Principal in Alabama (an entity that employs lobbyists) while working with a consultant to monitor budget negotiations within the state

[[ODDLY, this FORM 990 covers FY2014 (which ends June 30, 2015), not 2015. Yet its own document here, intended to cover activities BEFORE June 30, 2015, refers to what it did at the end of FY2015  (which would’ve been one whole year later, June 30, 2016]]

(Where I found CSG Justice Center, Inc’s EIN# 56-2655371, off-site)

I went looking for an EIN# for the CSG Justice Center (and found one — it’s listed as “subordinate” to the CSG (by the website nonprofitslookup), but not showing on the CSG’s list of “affiliates,” or on its tax return as a Schedule-R entity.  See two images nearby.

Imp’t! Click on THIS IMAGE first (to access the pdf format) after which the annotations about clickable links on the will apply, otherwise on this “png” image they won’t. CSG Justice Center, Inc. (EIN#56-2655371 Form 990-N search results at apps.irs.gov/app/eos)


When it comes to education (which isn’t even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, although schools certainly existed at the time — that department, which came to be a separate Department ONLY in 1980, when the Department of HEW (Health, Education and Welfare) split up (leaving another well-known one, HHS, administering “welfare funds…”), comes under the Executive Branch. Now, having split those two departments a few decades ago, the trend is again featuring “collaboration,” and putting “health” at the top of the pyramid of at least departmental control.

Click IMAGE to read details (HiAP for Big Cities discussed in NIH publication)

As I noted when talking about how California’s recent “HiAP” (Health In All Policies) restructuring was an idea taken from, as I recall, the WHO.  While this may sound good in press releases, in practice I don’t see how submerging Justice BELOW Health in priorities fits with the principles under which the USA was originally organized.

Click Image to read #2 of 2, what WHO started in 1988, Finland in 2006 (then Pres. of the EU) promoted as HiAP, which US and other countries quickly adopted. I’ll say (Calif. 2008 Exec Order on HiAP!)

You’d THINK individual government positions would be under the jurisdiction of and most accountable to residents, citizens, and other taxpayers inhabiting their respective states and territories. That is basically how they are portrayed TO  their constituents — in those states, and/or in those territories, but these associations exist to affect that balance and to help standardize and coordinate across jurisdictions, while providing multiple forums to corporations who can afford to join as partners or sponsors, and present their proposals at conferences.

Technically speaking, the private associations individually are not 100% hidden; once a person is aware of the situation, its details come into clearer focus, and each new association of the same type becomes more obvious.  Although I noticed, in writing this post identifying several of these private, nonprofit associations representing (each, respectively) some government office or state-level administrator of an executive-branch department tend to avoid posting their own Form 990s on their own websites.

Instead they tend to advertise the great public benefit they are producing, in other words, what I have for years on this blog called out as a problem — favoring cause-based rhetoric and vocabulary over accounting-based literacy or even casual use of terms which might induce readers to check up on the tax returns (let alone the pertinent government-entity “CAFR” (<==figures not current.  Author of this site died in 2004, but the information is still an excellent breakdown of the issue. It’s a reminder of the “CAFR” situation as regards the budget, and as regards using accounting terms to conceal accumulated government assets as potential sources of revenue. Not to mention delaying publication of the CAFR, needlessly in the computer age. See next two B/W images, annotated in color, click any image to enlarge if needed).

Below them, another excerpt and reminder (dated 2014 but still relevant) HERE. (“The Dumbing Down of America — WhoProfits?” 8/14/2014 by Walter Burien).  Notice (image) that he references government owning collectively by investments starting in certain decades AND networking the management of the holdings by associations, including GFOA, GASB (actually a board of another association I’m about to post on, the FAF).  In this post I’m also referencing some of those coordinated associations — just focusing on different ones. Taken as a whole, they constitute a “shadow government.”  The associations literally do “shadow” each legitimate elected, and many appointed offices, always the ones with major input to control of either money OR people, although controlling money is one effective way to indirectly control (and/or extort) large groups of people targeted by ethnicity, gender, income-levels, religion, or anything else.

from CAFR1.com (other two were from CAFRman.com)

Tax returns (USA Form 990) need to reconcile their differences with audited financial statements; it is a section ON the Schedule D Pts XI (for revenues) and XII (for expenses) of the tax return (see next image, the example is from main nonprofit for this post, although not much reconciliation had to be done that year).  There are things to be learned on those forms which are not shown even on the financial statements.  For example, names of grantees totaling the amount reported on Summary page under “Grants.”

Sample of “Reconciliation” part of a FOrm 990 (Sched D parts XI-revs and XII-exps).

So, a lot hangs on what is required to be reported under which category on either the government financial report form (“CAFR” often found on an entity’s “finance department” page or comptroller’s office page) — or the ones that private, nonprofit, NON-government associations (including those which may even be operated by a government entity, or almost entirely funded by one) — must (unless exempt per the IRS) report.  BOTH of those forms talk assets, liabilities, revenues and expenditures, and under specific categories.  These are most important in assessing overall, “what’s really up.”

When an association doesn’t voluntarily post its own Form 990s, while they are not legally required to (I imagine) on a website, they must report on those Form 990s how they make them available (whether on website, or whether a person must contact the entity).  Reluctance to simply post them is telling.  Similarly, I’ve read enough tax returns to see entities which have websites (and have for years) which do not disclose on the Form 990s that they do, where prompted to on page 1, top, Header Info.  It seems to be a “thing.”

So, the post’s legitimate question “Why Bother to Unravel?” admits that it IS  bother — it’s a lot of work to hunt this information down and detail it.  But what, really is at stake?  

Apparently something, or the virtual shadow government as reflected by these entities working parallel to but outside the control of government entities (i.e., in the private, nonprofit membership association sector) under which people hold their rights (what rights remain) and standing, either would not exist, or people visiting each and every government website which has a corresponding private association, would be informed it exists and so eventually see that a network of organizations determined to influence (if not direct) government also exists.  And under which organization names.  We’d know the network existed, know the association names, and when we encounter it in some other context (like as a co-sponsor of some initiative or conference), we’d understand what we’re dealing with sooner, as a “type” of entity.

I came to understand this gradually — but, I am a highly motivated reader, a voracious reader on the many topics covered by this blog, and also (less so now, but over time), participant in many discussions of subject matter covered by it.  I remember discovering the National Governor’s Association, or the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and wondering why, for example, groups like SEEDCO, or the Annie E. Casey Foundation, were invited into their conferences, but the people they represented (most of who would not usually be free to travel nationwide regularly for such conferences, or afford attendance fees) were NOT.

What happened to taking in put from the people through the normal channels?  And if leaders are indebted to corporate sponsorships in association after association helping draft legislation, counsel, advise, and talk about their development projects without interference from the “commoners,” how are they really free from conflict of interest to represent the best interests of the people at home?

I hope why I bothered at least will be understood by anyone reading all of this post. ALL of this is a “very big deal,” and the amount would be expressed in billions — not just $10,500,000 (seen so far re: SchoolMatters.com, from just one donor) as seems to apply here.

This post starts with the general class of organization giving examples, and some details — screenprints, quotes, and/or table of tax returns — from those examples, then moves to the specifics on the Council of Chief State School Officers (a certain association in that class), the website SchoolMatters.com (a specific project) as viewed in 2017 (and possibly “The Wayback Machine” for earlier versions, if any existed), showing The Broad Foundation’s 2005 statement of the gift to the association (image from tax return).

The Broad Foundation is influential in many areas of society — I’ve already documented some of their (I should say, “its”) activity (cf. also the Annenberg Challenge to Public Education $500M Grants) in urban school districts; they were on the news the other day (google Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR and gene-targeting projects, warring startups and a patent war), a “Broad-MIT” was referenced. They were referencing the 2008-created “Broad Institute” associated with Harvard and MIT specifically through its articles of incorporation, which reference “Members.”  And of course, because it involves their faculty members. JUST A FEW PARAGRAPHS (next section) ON THIS, as A DIFFERENT PROJECT OF THE SAME PHILANTHROPISTS…. AND AS IT’S CURRENT NEWS:

Click any image to see better as needed, and the next link (interesting articles of corporation) which, along with the Form 990 (not shown here) show a 2008 start date — while the website claims a 2004 start date.  The images from their website show the purpose.Commonwealth Mass Corp Div, TheBroadInstitute Inc (ID 000986018) Articles of Org (8pp) showing Sept 11 2008 Stamp (AND its SOLE 3 MEMBERS) @June 15 2017 In looking at it (I took about a day and a half so far), I was again forced to face the size of grants and asset exchanges moving between various organizations that even just one or two of them involve.






I want to show who controls The Broad Institute and its supporting foundation (as found on a Form 990 also), and the size of startup funding for both (one, 2008, the other, 2013).  I saw that the THREE (and three only) MEMBERS of the Broad Institute (which includes the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Harvard and MIT) that per its incorporation documents and by-laws, and as allowable by law, actually control the governing body. This information is on its articles of organization and on its Form 990.  I also wanted to point out the emphasis of both, but particularly the supporting foundation (new — only one full-sized tax return so far) is focused on the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research (or similar name) which is part of the Broad Institute as to collaborating institutions.  But, other than this, further discussion will be off-post (and on other posts…)

I also showed separately that around 2006/2007 as to “TBF” it switched EIN#s and one of its primary education-related nonprofits — which claims NOT to be a related entity — terminated and another one started up, different names and different EIN#s too.

The successor “Broad Foundation” donated to both old and new ($1M and $3M respectively) in 2005, but (the same year — and I show at the bottom of this post) also cited $10,500,000 total (two separate grants I saw) for “SchoolMatters.com.”

One of the nonprofits whose primary contributor is “TBF” has connections to a training academy for (urban?) institutes in Michigan.  Meanwhile, forms 990PF + 990 showed (regarding all 4 entities, both former (2) and successor (2)) had management or subcontractors managing (DNR which) an LLC which managed the Broad wealth, overall, in Los Angeles.  This is how many foundations operate.  They will donate — but with their name attached, and when the day is done, it’s those managing their personal fortunes often found managing their own created or at least majorly funded nonprofits.

What’s with all this moving of money around, and spreading goodwill (and one’s name) around?

At the end of the day, it’s always about CONTROL of ASSETS to be invested UNDER NONPROFIT ENTITIES, not just about doing good deeds.

Just as it was on the plantations, with some significant differences in quality of treatment of the “employees” then and now. (Pardon the comparison, but there are structural and relationship similarities between yesterday’s plantations and today’s corporations). What’s changed over the last few centuries is tactics for controlling the population by demographic sector (definitions can also change over time).  TAXATION / TAX-EXEMPTION is one such major means, as it also automatically collects from wages nationwide and (for US citizens with income produced abroad, I heard) world-wide.

It’s about control of income-producing assets, and holding them at minimal taxation rates (if this means multiple tax-exempt foundations, and more nonprofits, that seems to work), brings independence of action, and influence over others, attracting business through subcontractors (sometimes in the millions), employees (and some board of directors CEOs or Chairpersons DO get paid a million-dollar-salary, but others “only” $500K, $300K, or in the range of $100-299K, which is STILL plenty to live on anywhere in America — unless one’s definition of “live” is exaggerated depending on with whom one must “schmooze” to feel important, or make more business deals).

This also requires maintaining control of a workforce who will opt NOT to live like their masters and build empires (corporations, conglomerates — at least not too many) of them, but be satisfied with wages and hope of retirement and where needed, a government (social services) safety net under duress.  These will be lectured endlessly about equity and diversity and equality– but (also, “at the end of the day”) their children will NOT be living like those of the “master planner” family lines, nor will they be attending the same school systems, starting in kindergarten, for the most part.

The ability to hire and subcontract with others from the platform of a major tax-exempt foundation, and to by distributing, say, anywhere from 2% to 10% per year in “Contributions” (Forms 990PF) or “Grants to Others” (domestic or foreign, Form 990) has some automatic benefits, such as making “friends” (entities that receive the gifts, and/or maintaining current friends who run entities which receive the gifts) and simultaneously reducing the corporate tax on “non-charitable use assets

This is a win/win deal for those who operate in this realm.  And for some of the receiving nonprofits, although they have to stay friendly and abreast of their revenue sources, obviously.

What it seems we fail to take into account, conceptually, is that the public itself is considered by both government, and major philanthropists (who — let’s face it — aren’t dumb businesswise OR, usually, as how governments are funded — they’re often contributing, too!) as an income-producing asset — because of tax receipts.  Just like in beehives, and other human societies involving slavery, the accomplishments (whether monuments, impressive civic structures, often sponsorship of fantastic arts and architecture), depends on a ruling caste dominating a servant/working class, even if that servant/working class comes in different layers.  The concept is similar.

Since 1913, the income tax, and 1933/34 in particular, changes in the USA have helped to moderate the top sector’s release of the bottom’s from outright slavery, by color of skin or perceived ethnicity, to designations “low-income” “middle class” or, for the top, flattering terms, referring to generosity of spirit and the motivation of love of one’s fellow man, i.e., philanthropy. The professional class (including brilliant inventors, scientists, engineers, and/or research academics) are NOT the top class, but surviving (better, socially and economically) from its grants, thus discouraging really siding with the poor, at least within the country. Look (especially in the research fields) at the C.V.’s and who funded the research, up through and after the PhD levels.  Typically, tax-exempt foundations named after their corporate owners.  The public (also, through tax receipts) funds the infrastructure and a series of public universities (sometimes two entire systems of them) in every state. 

ALMOST everything hinges upon where any corporation, person, or entity stands on the continuum of being taxed — or not — or more or less.

The class of private associations I’m talking about in THIS post, however, goes one more step beyond just common-place nonprofits competing with all others in their area of subject matter (such as, helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, counseling the crazy or those with “family issues” (like domestic violence or child abuse, or other traumatic life events, including but not limited to child-stealing or threats to do so) and so forth.  Basically any private foundation seeking classification as a public charity is going to name its purpose for organizing as a 501©3, and it can do so in the vaguest of terms (educational, scientific, or charitable work) and still qualify.  Or, it can be specific, should it choose to.

But the class I’m talking about are by design set up to restrict membership to people already in power politically — meaning, as current decisionmakers within government.  They then can sell associate memberships or partnerships (in exchange for a sliding menu of rights to participate in private conferences run by the associations, or advertise in their journals) with the very corporations MOST likely to need government validation and possibly legislation, favoring their causes, and possibly to “get ‘er done” without “to-the-contrary” debates by commoners, however valid they might be. It’s a form of streamlined, networked AND privatized, literally, government — only it’s not in the realm of government.  It’s WELL organized within each sphere and sometimes as I’ll show, across spheres when an umbrella style entity is in place.

Now that I’ve described it, and will show examples, below, I’m going to make my point again — it seems that a certain $10M or $10.5M project, named above, may never have been done — and the mediating (“get ‘er done!”) entity was of this type of organization.  If this is so with just a miniature (in the larger scope) $10,500,000 a dozen years ago (the year of donation listed was 2005) — what does that say about the possibility that other donations, also, may have gone awry?

And that those involved were “in on it”?

I question whether this project was ever done — at all, or if done, it was a $10M project (i.e., cost that much), and remind us that, similarly, there is another funded website quoted with confidence by many others which took government funding (over $200K), but is now nowhere to be found, or a trace that it ever WAS somewhere to be found

That other instance, which I already posted (“adoptionlawsite.org” as produced by NCALP at Capital University in Ohio, which tradename NCALP was obtained in 2004, and abandoned in 2010, although the NCALP was claimed to have started in 1998.  I posted on this; searchable on the blog.  the website ended “*.org” as I recall; see exact post for more information and uploaded images on that topic).  (click any image to enlarge and see commentary):

See nearby link. The links on this image should be active, but if not, the ones shown in the search results there, are.

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This “Under Construction” page is an automatically generated placeholder Web page for a domain that is not yet attached to an active Web site. This page replaces the “Not Found” error pages and notifies visitors that a Web site is coming soon.
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If you do not have an existing Web site hosting package or web forwarding, further information to get your Web site online can be found by clicking the following links.”

In other words, this $10M “where’s the project” situation was not an isolated instance.

Hopefully by viewing several examples from the class, the common characteristics (including naming conventions and tendency to have networks of affiliated associations — registered or not — within them, will show themselves.  (They did for me!)  Note: I’m identifying the type and class deductively from examples.  The IRS doesn’t seem to distinguish this as a class,  or “subspecies” of the common 501©3-style organizations of which there are hundreds of thousands nationwide.

Also NOTE: Even if this type of entity never gets an official class name, or any name I come up with (I don’t have a short-enough one yet) doesn’t become common usage, readers must admit these organizations still exist, have characteristics in common, typically have members or member associations, and run conferences for their members, often outside the region over which their members hold public office, and these associations ALSO clearly seek to guide government in a way that, through overall mutually-beneficial “below-the-radar” existences, minimizes public participation.  Some of them operate in regions.

There is no political “region” with representative, elected governments, laws, legislatures (etc.) overlapping the States referenced in the U.S. Constitution.  Powers not named for Federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the States — not private, nonprofit, nonstock restricted-membership corporations (or unincorporated associations) who have a problem with representative government as outlined in the U.S. Constitutions and corresponding State/Territory constitutions.  Gradually and through stealth transferring functional power outside government, with complicity of those IN government, undermines the legitimacy of such government itself.

A list of names (possibly with a “kick ass and take names” attitude) should be compiled by people concerned with accountability, government, taxation, and in general, our country who were not previously aware of them.

After that, it ends with more commentary (more text than “show and tell”).

As a whole, I believe this is virtually a “shadow government” as its parts mimic or echo legitimate elements of government beyond the federal level (i.e., state, county, local) and seeks, by professionalizing individual elements of government, also set state, county, and local policy and practices, and at times drafting legislation according to plans and purposes concocted /developed / promoted in private membership organizations.

These organizations provide “pay to play” (sometimes pay a LOT) opportunities for businesses who stand to profit from the proposed policies, to be welcomed on as “partners” or sponsors — obtaining an audience with state decisionmakers — again, across many elements of elected offices, and some appointed — which average citizens as individuals (a) could not get and (b) may not be aware of, as well as (c ) when they, belatedly, become aware of, would have to overcome the existing network, power bloc and organizations should there be significant problems or disagreement with those policies.

One step towards accountability is changing the conversation and talking about this.

I referenced  this specific (“Schoolmatters.com”) at the bottom of one of my recent posts in part, and as a generic situation, it’s been an ongoing theme.

I expect this post to be on the short size compared to my other posts, but no less important.

Do not leave here without becoming aware of about a dozen private associations who are coordinated, at points (per their own websites) with each other to set policy and practices WITHOUT seeking direct feedback from those most likely to be affected by those practices (including legislative changes, not just administrative practices), who will be paying for it (as the public supports government financially, whether or not it, taken as a whole, controls enough assets (pooled investments producing ongoing income, and business enterprises which charge fees for usage) to continue funding itself, should it have ever chosen to do so).

Here are two pdfs from the list to support my statement.

One is from the entity “National Center for State Courts” and the other from “American Public Health State Administrators” (APHSA).  APHSA has existed since the Great Depression (1930) and talks about its influence in some of the legislative acts I’ve had to blog herein: suggest read the history page for also a summary of some of those key acts, and reference to the creation of HEW (1953), Family Support Act (1988) welfare reform mid-1990s, and re-authorization (2003).  They are currently organizing with some of their affiliates (2015-2016) for more reform, it says.

Just one of 3 collaboratives referenced by APSHA, to “integrate” HHS — whatever that means…

For APHSA here are both the (Industry) “Partners” pages and the “Affiliates” pages.  Industry partners pay either $7,500/year (Silver) or $15,000 (Platinum) for membership (for either 2 or 4 designees), State Agency Membership application link not shown (so their fees also unknown) and Local Agencies Memberships– well, that depends on what is the population.  (More population = higher costs, presumably), and the costs are not posted.  Individual members can pay only $150 — but for obviously fewer perks.

APHSA (Industry) PARTNERS list (4pp printed Jun 11 2017), note the red dots in banner representing other associations) ~|~NCSC‘s Associations & Partners [16, and doesn’t distinguish which is which) | National Center for State Courts (2pp@ Jun 11, 2017) ~|~APHSA AFFILIATES (+ Industry partners footer) say 9 UNincorporate entities (2pp@June 12, 2017, has active links) (<==These are three “pdf” files.  Click, which may display a blank “pdf” image on FamilyCourtMatters page.  Click that blank pdf (page) image again to view the information.  Know that in this format, existing links, if still valid on the website, are “clickable” (active) so you could look at the listed entities or associations on each one for more information).

My exhortation — “puh-leeze!” (“please!”) consider the role of these associations from a perspective other than only from that provided on their “About us” pages (for those who ever get around to discovering the associations even exist as 501©3s, 501©6s, or otherwise as Form 990 (or 990PF, or 990O) tax-filers and having legal domiciles in one of the 50 states, D.C., or a territory.

“Puh-leeze!” put together at some point, if only as a thought, a concept, that collective total assets and sources of revenue (and expenses) of these organized (by government office or function at the state, and similar ones at the county or local level) networks exist and as such exist to influence government, and they exist as commercial undertakings with budgets, revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities — whether or not (and I found it’s often “not”) the websites describing each organization post such things.  IF their revenues are above certain levels, they MUST (as I best understand this) file audited financial statements.

My list of a several such entities below should help.

I have made lists like this before, and am making it again after the situation above — regarding another entity, Council of Chief State School Officers, as recipient of a $10,000,000 (and later, a $500,000) grant to do a good deed under the name of “National Education Data Partnership” and on a specific website name.  And I looked at that website, and don’t see anything approaching a $10.5M investment having ever taken place.

And also recognize that, regardless of how many government-sounding names are in the titles, and throughout the webpages, and even if the boards of directors of a membership entity are by their own by-laws restricted to certain civil servants (government employees) in certain positions (governor, lieutenant governors, mayors, city/county managers, chief justices at the state level, heads of major departments likely to be funded in LARGE part by the largest US grant-making agency, currently the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and so forth) these organizations seem to be operating mostly in the NON-government sphere, that is the PRIVATE sphere.  As such, the average citizen has no direct real direct access as membership and conference participant to the private associations’ leaders, although it’s obvious that leadership of corporations and other institutions often do — in fact, the welcome mat is rolled out for such.

To the extent they are organized as “nonprofits” they are also “nonstock,” do not issue shares, so there could be no direct accountability or control of what the entity does as might occur when there are shareholders, and the shares are issued as public offerings.

In short, everything about their setup seems geared to evade direct accountability to the public, while named after government entities or officials, claim to just be helping (technical assistance, resources, forum for discussions) and so forth, to share and compare ideas. This gets down to accessibility to the public, and loyalty also to the public (constituents)…

Consider whether there is anywhere one could even find a list of how many such private nonprofit associations named after government functions even exist, and their identities, when the list looks (as have come up in my blogging and reading over the years), something like this [see next bulleted list].  [Names approximate by recall only where I have not provided a link. Anyone could look them up and correct if I called a “Center” or “Conference” a “Council” by mistake.*].

From what I can tell, most of these associations are NOT clearly identified on the corresponding government websites [i.e., does your local state governor’s website reference the National Governors’ Association? Do ALL 50 states and territories have such a reference?  But that’s the organization’s membership!] as bearing any significant influence on decision-making, policies or practices — although that’s typically each of those organizations’ stated purpose!

*Regarding the use of the word “conference” — I don’t believe it has an exact meaning under 42 U.S.C. (dealing with commerce and business), however, it is a common term in some religious denominations in reference to their head council or government. Like “constitution” and “commission,” the word “conference” has Latin roots (see Etymology Online Dictionary), and there are differences in the meaning of root words.  But, my focus here is the business and legal, governmental definitions; and naming a nonprofit, privately controlled association operating in the business (not “government”) sector, as these next ones do, any of those words, or including nouns borrowed from and meaningful in the government sector does NOT change their quality into a government entity (!!).

Some of these may have been even formed by act of Congress originally; but they still exist and operate (check details), most of them, private.  There is the category “instrumentality” (for the NGA), but I’m not going into that detail now.  I have more to say at the bottom, below the links images, captions, and colorful section.  You’ll see a section which is mostly text.. “What Difference Does It Make?”

In reviewing several of these websites, I notice they are willing to show “annual reports,” (the glossy, advertising kind) and have “a lot to say” but provide no obvious links on, say, their audited financial statements AND/OR Forms 990.  Apparently the Forms 990 are too revealing to advertise, or just not of major interest for the viewing public, including the professionals who might be members and viewing the websites too.

I’ve also noticed that some of the entities got a new facelift (radically different website appearance).  That’s to be expected periodically, but for their newer web version, ICMA gets my “You Ought To Be Ashamed!” award in, while “promoting excellence in local government” for not only failing to cough up tax returns (or audited financials), but also for having provided a link to “Our History” (which I read long ago — and had a timeline, was detailed etc.) but now loops back to a single paragraph of general organization description. And says nothing about its history.

So, I went off-site to look up the EIN#; here they are.  The Form 990 also says entity was formed in 1914….



Total results: 3Search Again.

International City/County Management Association DC 2015 990 65 $15,057,789.00 36-2167755
International City/County Management Association DC 2014 990 63 $15,570,124.00 36-2167755
International City/County Management Association DC 2013 990 58 $16,443,151.00 36-2167755

Here’s a recent “Schedule A of Support” for prior years — showing (fine print) a radical increase in “contributions” from 2010 – 2011 (as opposed to “program service revenues”), and that once the multi-year total revenues (column f) of about $150M is compared to contributions of $32M by people (or businesses) contributing more than $5,000 or 1%, that total public support (including revenues from program-related services) is much lower. (Annotated. I also enclosed an earlier, FY2008, report showing the five years before this.  The entity is not showing its “membership dues” under Revenues, Pt VIII Line 1, but as program service revenues (also in Sched A).

ICCMA Sched A FY2014 from Form 990. I’m commenting on the switch in revenues coming (FY2010) $29M Line 2 to $1M Line 1 to, in following years, a more equal balance between the two. I also comment under line 7b (Excess amounts not from “disqualified” persons) that if this does NOT mean “gifts, grants, contributions” (i.e., Line1 stuff) then the amount has to be wrong on either Line1 or Line 7a for at least two of those years. Earlier SchedA (Next image, but not annotated like this one) shows a similar pattern in prior years. I’ve seen this before, and don’t know WHY an org. would want to conceal the amount of revenues actually coming from membership dues — except that if the members are government employees, that’d reflect on the expenditures from that public office. Or might be better traceable from the local (City or County Manager) website. I just DNK at this point.

ICMA (Int’l City County Mgrs’ Assoc’n) earlier (FY2009?) Sched A of Support, showing prior 5 yrs spread. See nearby annotated image, compare notes.

Other “types” of naming conventions for these private associations intended to organization government operations cross-jurisdiction, by function:

Not only at the top, State, County, and Municipal levels of government are there national nonprofit trade associations, but also there are for specific state-level department heads, their own professional specialty organizations, too — each association with a founding date, an incorporation somewhere (most likely), a state of legal domicile, qualifications for who can be members (whether or not limited to public civil servants), and they will also have, as does any organization:  revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities (gross and net) and statements regarding the same.  Here are some more examples I remember encountering over time:

Founded in 1959 and based in Alexandria, VA, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) represents the $41 billion public mental health service delivery system serving 7.5 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia. NASMHPD (pronounced “NASH-bid”) is the only national association to represent state mental health commissioners/directors and their agencies.


NASMHPD will work with states, federal partners, and stakeholders to promote wellness, recovery, and resiliency for individuals with mental health conditions or co-occurring mental health and substance related disorders across all ages and cultural groups, including: youth, older persons, veterans and their families, and people under the jurisdiction of the courtNASMHPD informs its members on current and emerging public policy issues, educates on research findings and best practices, provides consultation and technical assistance, collaborates with key stakeholders, and facilitates state to state sharing.  NASMHPD’s vision is that mental health is universally perceived as essential to overall health and well-being with services that are available, accessible, and of high quality. Wellness, resiliency and recovery are the overall goals and certain fundamental values guide NASMHPD in its mission

Other functions at the State Level which have “Directors” – several may be found by clicking on the “Red dots” under AHSPA. (I also provided a pdf printout, next to “NCSC Partners” Page also, above).

  • American Public Health Services Administration
  • National Child Support Enforcement Association (<= membership page.  State, Local, Tribal, Nonprofit, Corporate — and Individual memberships (but for CS professionals only).  It seems that the only type of individual who CANNOT join is a custodial or noncustodial parent NOT working in the field, or working in a government agency perhaps related to the field.  Everyone else — especially “Paying Guests” (sliding scale no doubt) are welcome.

Let’s Look at the APHSA’s Organization, and One of its Affiliates dealing specifically with TANF Administration.

Click to read comments. From their home pages, click on the red dots, 1 by 1, to see the related organizations (or, I have a pdf).

An example from one of APHSA’s “Affiliates” called “NASTA” — National Association of State TANF Administrators” (“TANF” = Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the post-1996, or the “post- PRWORA” (acronym for that year’s version of welfare, law, a.k.a., the Social Security Act of 1934)  which is of course administered by HHS and the federal grants distributed under HHS.

NASTA is organized according to the 10 HHS regions, with 7 others (obviously).  ALL 10 representing the regions (check their email addresses) are public civil servants. I’m also enclosing a screenprint of part of this page:

NASTA Executive Committee (as of June 2016)

NASTA is governed by a 17-member executive committee. Ten members are elected to represent the regions designated by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Also elected are the chair, vice chair, secretary, two at-large members, and one local representative. One at-large seat is reserved for the outgoing chair. (Denotes when service began.)

APHSA.org….”NASTA” description page (link from “Affiliates” listing)


Under “NASTA” there’s also an Oklahoma website not ending in “*.gov” but in “*.org” — but it still leads to the state Dept. of Human Services (see logo):

I’m including a few more images from OKDHS.org, including its “Advisory Panel” description and Organizational Chart — and I have this question:  As representing the government website, and the advisory panels appointed by (Governor, House & Senate Majority & Minority leaders — for each committee) — is ANY mention made of the NASTA, and its relationship with APHSA — or of APHSA?

Yet wouldn’t most people go to their government websites — not, speculate, and find their speculation true or false, or accidentally run across after wide-ranging searches for WHY government might be acting as it does — that a whole system of professional associations organized around each prominent government function, or department (and for OK — probably true for other states too — it says, the DHS is the largest state agency) exists and must be taken into account IF people wish to defend due process, their legal rights, or have some feedback about the privatized programming the public departments are pushing (for example, fatherhood.gov, healthymarriage.org, the HMRF (Acronym represents the preceding causes, see HMRF.ACF.HHS.Gov for more info — or on this blog) as they are, and to protest some of the programming?

1 = http://www.okdhs.org, part of an email address for Paulette Bushers on NASTA At-Large (1 of 2) representative, NASTA being an APHSA “affiliate.”

2 “The largest state agency.” Reminds me of the 1999ff TANF Contingency Fund (of about $1M at the time?) grab to start up statewide “Oklahoma Marriage Initiative,” still HHS funded to this day last I checked.

3, about Advisory Panels for OKDHS (see bottom left of that page for link to Image 4 Org. Chart)


What, really, is the scope and measure of influence (and assessment of that influence from a citizen’s perspective on preservation of government accountability, individual rights under the state laws, and so forth? How can this ever be known while such organizations exist and operate, unadvertised on their respective government sites — consistently, that is, without exception?

So the issue, really, is not just occasional accidental-on-purpose screw-ups or “MIA” project money — the example here, “only” $10,500,000 — that’s from one identified sponsor of a single project and doesn’t mean there might not be other sponsors than TBF (The Broad Foundation) — but the entire system as facilitating this accidental or accidental-on-purpose type of screwup, “per se” (arising out of itself, and not just through mess-ups in application of an otherwise good idea…)

ALL THESE ENTITIES (and their affiliated entities or, if this proves to the case for APSA’s nine “unincorporated affiliates” as it claims on the “Affiliates” page (pdf several inches above on this post), as having another organization as fiscal agent)will have SOURCES of revenues, and if the membership is limited to civil servants and involves membership fees — those fees probably are paid, in the long run, by the public, in addition to the civil servant salaries, and supplemental funding (beyond what they may contribute) for their pension funds, which are likely state (or county, etc.) liabilities.

Same, probably with continuing trainings, conference expenses etc.  Indirectly, the public pays.

While on OKDHS, I looked up (basic name search) the NASTA at-large rep (1 of 2) Paulette Bushers, and found a 2001 photo-op under department newsletter (featuring Fathers’ Day awards — one tall black man (in context, it seems all photographed are employees) surrounded by mostly white women, with Ms. Bushers in front-row, right), AND a September 2015 Peerta “Open Gateways” meeting (under the federal HHS/ACF banner) which I would like to comment on.

My comments (and other PEERTA images on the conference summary — not just participants) precede the images of Ms. Busher with colleagues (in a 2001 Newsletter) and from a 31-page list of conference participants, but the next pdf is that list,  The participants list apparently predates the conference by a day or two..


Found here:  https://peerta.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/public/uploaded_files/State_TANF_Participants_8-29-2015_sp_JPG.pdf (<==tells nothing about the meeting; it’s a participants list.  May need to click twice to see (if first click shows a blank gray icon for a page in context of on my blog, click the icon).

Page 1 names eight “State TANF Representatives”; the other 31 pages are labeled “Participants.”  Paulette Bushers (as TANF Program Manager) is on p. 2 (no screenprint taken).  My last two screenprints emphasize that both National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse and Healthy Marriage associations are among the participants and (last image) that ICF (there are PAGES of “ICF International” participant listings) also shows an ICF International/Responsible Fatherhood designation.

This isn’t news to me — I’ve read the National Fatherhood Initiative tax returns and seen ICF international as a contractor; looked at TAGGS.HHS.Gov and seen the multimillion-dollar global for-profit corporation based (Virginia, I believe — at least, near Washington, D.C.) getting large grants to maintain a database, and I’ve read and probably also posted, the corporate history of ICF as a BIG “why?” should a federal agency be DONATING to such well-to-do agencies (In addition to, no doubt, contracting with them, too).

A few excerpts (from that conference) regarding CFUF — and a look at its latest tax return, where the largest program service accomplishment is put (not according to IRS instructions) onto an blank”Additional Data” page (as opposed to the designated spillover place, Sched. O, “Supplementary Information), is this:

Form 990,Part III – Line 4c: Program Service Accomplishments (See the Instructions) (Code )(Expenses $ 1,302,210 including grants of$ )(Revenue $

Family Services Through a six-week, 12-session period, the Couples Advancing Together (CAT) program educates and provides clients with the essential tools needed for their success at home, in the workplace and society With the help of program staff and workshop facilitators, participants develop a written family-focused career plan, learn what is needed to compete in the job market, and learn skills that are essential to healthy relationships, employment, financial literacy, and co-parenting, thereby aiding couples in achieving greater economic stability and building healthier relationships The CAT curriculum has two major goals 1 Help romantically involved parents gain knowledge and skills to strengthen their relationships in order to achieve family stability, and, 2 Teach parents how to work together to develop their career and financial skills in order to achieve economic success CAT program components include development of family- focused self-sufficiency plans (FSSP), group-based workshops, facilitation of connection to other C FU F programming and supportive services, and, life coaching facilitated by Supportive Services Economic Success CFUF’s Economic Success track provides services that function as an anchoring to CFUF’s FSES integrated service delivery program model and as conduit for other center-based program offerings to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve family stability and economic success The portfolio equips participants with the skills, knowledge, and tools needed to achieve success in the workplace Services include STRIVE Baltimore pre-employment trainings, job placements and re-placements, job retention and advancement assistance, career mapping support, job coaching, and, occupational skills trainings and education

[Next image is shrunk enough to show bottom of next page, i.e., validate the above quote was found on as Pt. III, Line 4c, Program Service Accomplishments separate page of the FY2014 tax return of this organization, and of course annotated that this largest accomplishment (which it was that year) should’ve been under 4a, and that the description has NO references to anything accomplished that year — but what looks like boilerplate text on program purpose, with a $ figure plugged in on the top line.  Using “Additional Sheet” like this also avoids putting it on the proper palce for “Other Programs” if CAT were “other programs” (i.e., not among the 3 largest by cost) which per the Form 990 instructions, in basic, GED-level English, “Describe on Schedule O”]:


Just raising the point again here, the context is APSHA/NASTA and private conferencing on what to do with low-income mothers, fathers, and children (without exactly seeking their input on the same).

A link on CFUF page says Governor O’Malley of Maryland signed “Couples Advancing Together” into law in 2013 as a pilot program (I recognize the name from a program originating from a relationship couple based in the Pacific Northwest, as I recall) but fails to provide any link to the law, or to the announcement on a government website.  At the bottom, it notes that additional incentives to participating (transportation, dinner and child care) ar eprovided to participating couples, as Partnering with Annie E Casey Foundation (“told you so!” on one of these images), Maryland DHR (i.e., state government) and BCT Partners, not to mention the legislature(??).

(web search produced this result; the URL is CFUF.org/Overview).

Couples Advancing Together (CAT) is a pilot program signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley in May 2013. CAT provides healthy relationship skill building, employment assistance, and case management services, to couples with children who currently receive public benefits through the Department of Social Services. The primary objectives of CAT are to help couples move toward healthy relationships and family-friendly employ-ment that improves their economic circumstances and provides support for lasting family units for both parents and children.

The CAT model consists of a six-week (twelve sessions), cohort-based curriculum that is combined with home visits and long-term follow-up post completion. These twelve group sessions are run by caring and skilled facilitators who create a learner-centered, positive, respectful and comfortable environment that allows the couples to share their experiences and knowledge with peers from similar backgrounds. With the assistance of Family Services Coordinators and group facilitators, participants develop a family self-sufficiency plan, a tool designed to assist couples with developing family and career goals needed to strengthen relationships, compete in the job market, and develop family budgets. Participation is enhanced by the provision of transportation assistance, child care, and dinner for parents and their children. Our partners include the Maryland Department of Human Resources, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, BCT Partners and the Maryland General Assembly

Here is an image from the FY2014 tax return of “CFUF” showing the above portion; enough to show that the quote reflects that return, that the information was put on a blank page (not an IRS Schedule as prompted to in the form; see its annotations).

CFUF FY2014 Form 990 showing dodging IRS instructions to put largest programs (this, by expense, was) on Lines 4a,b,c and use line 4d for “Other Programs” — described on Sched O (Supplemental). I’ve seen this trick before Line4c put to a blank page (with no year, or IRS Schedule form). The lengthy description also dodges the responsibility to tell what was accomplished THAT YEAR in specific terms (people served, for example) and reveals that the heart of this organization is running couples’ education classes. The CAT class is known in the marriage/responsible fatherhood field. CFUF is functioning to facilitate the entire concept of diversionary TANF funding into HMRF purposes.

Another one (below, images has red, blue and yellow annotations) shows two grants from a larger foundation totaling over $1M to CFUF (its tax return does show more private than government grants).

In other words, it has specific backers, and seems to have had, all along.

See annotations re over $1M (through 2 grants) to CFUF. Click to enlarge if needed.


NEXT: These images are from either the Sept. 2015 “PEERTA”Gateway To Opportunity” conference (note:  Welfare Reform act of 1996 had the word “Opportunity” in its title also — Personal Right to Work and Opportunity Reconciliation Act, “PRWORA”) [6 images labeled “PEERTA-1,2,3….6” and in matching caption background-colors, and annotated]

or, (three more colorful ones, two with icon of man in suit+tie + CFUF logo) from the BMAFunders website (which is ℅ Open Society Foundations) uploaded under at least on the url “2014” – “CFUF” on the BRFP (Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Program.”  A date on the url doesn’t date the document uploaded — it could be earlier or possibly (if was switched with another) even later.

PEERTA-1 (shows HHS sponsorship & mgmt by ICF + Contract #)

PEERTA-2 Overview

PEERTA-3 TOC (showing prominence of Plenary vs other Sessions

PEERTA-4, showing Plenary Session Spkrs (prominence given Baltimore-based CFUF’s Joe Jones). i.e., a fatherhood-focused org. (despite its legal name “Urban Families,” look at the content).

RE: Paulette Bushers (as TANF Program Manager in OK, and participant in the PEERTA conference prominently promoting fatherhood programming)

PEERTA-5, showing CFUF Presentation summary (annotated), incl. obviously running HMRF-style programming, with focus on reducing CS arrearages (“Compromise of Arrears” COA” programs not referenced, but it’s known this happens)

PEERTA-6 Remainder of CFUF presentation summary, [“Child Support Pilot”] annotated, and the start of the next person’s, Sheknita Davis. Click image to read annotations if needed.

I’m sure Ms. Bushers is a woman doing her job, and my happening to pick on her now had more to do with the web domain ending “*.org” than any personal or even prior blogging awareness of the person (I have no prior blogging awareness of the person). Who I’m really “Picking on” is APHSA, NASTA, and things like PEERTA networks for federal designer family programming in particular.  These programs hurt innocent single mothers and seek to sway entire agencies against even the status of single mother, regardless of how well it might be working in individual circumstances.  It’s also slammed shut doors which were looking to be at least partly open, for many women in the 1990s and early 2000s (i.e., after 1996 welfare reform) to leave dangerous, violent relationships — and take their children out, too.

Web search for “Paulette Bushers” resulting in a mention in “INSIDE DHS” July 2001 newsletter. Notice left side shows CEUs available for another training conference in “Support Enforcement.”

Notice the theme of this workshop (click image to enlarge or see nearby pdf link provided), conference, or whatever it was in 2015 (Image 1 of 3)

PEERTA 2015 conf, Image #⅔. Notice top left [Kenneth Braswell] and right labels [Robin Cenizal], and bottom right affiliations + addresses (ICF International matches bottom right, too)

PEERTA 2015 conf, Image #3/3

COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS (images from previous section overlap, a lot):

Here’s another of this class of private associations. The last one shown was APHSA and its affiliates, then a samplng of NASTA, on which a short “drill-down” one of its two At-Large Member’s (as part of Executive Leadership) other affiliations, resulting in the OKDHS and PEERTA info) was done, although I didn’t look to see if it was incorporated or had a Form 990 filed).

Council of State Governments (based in Kentucky, current executive director David Adkins hails from Kansas (including as form state Senator and House member, a founding executive director of the Community Foundation of Johnson County which is an affiliate of “Greater Kansas City Community Foundation” (see link on the website), and has been on a statewide advisory group on JJDP (Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention) as well as Higher Education. In 1996, he was the Kansas Bar Association’s “Outstanding Young Lawyer” awardee.

From Council on State Gov’ts website, ltr from Exec Director/CEO boasts about its regionalism, unique status, and states that it’s a community, and a family — while using the word “states” or “state leaders” as often as possible within such a short message. Notice it also emphasizes serving ALL THREE BRANCHES (Exec, Legislative, Judicial).  So much for “separation of powers”….

I find that interesting as conservative Kansas played a significant role, over the years, in promoting responsible fatherhood initiative (legislation), whether or not it always passed.

The enthusiasm also for more community foundations (tax-exempt) is also telling of preserving philanthropic status quo, and specialty organizations to help run the country, as well as regionalizing a metropolitan area, and a major community foundation (no doubt) having a spinoff County-based one, or vice versa.  “All Power to the Nonprofit Communities…” might be the motto.  Remember, nonprofits are privately controlled by their boards, and attract donations because of they are (typically) tax-deductible for the donors, including big donors who may really benefit from reduced corporate taxes.


CSG also has “Affiliate” organizations, which leads to an awareness of more of this type, and how they communicate/conference/set priorities with and among each other:

CSG Affiliates

Through affiliation with CSG, national organizations of state officials can share ideas and combine efforts to accomplish mutual goals. Affiliates contribute specialized expertise, information, resources and issues to the overall mission of CSG. In turn, CSG offers a mechanism by which affiliates may tap into CSG’s products and services, and a forum for bringing issues to a broader, collective state audience.

American Probation and Parole Association

Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies

Emergency Management Accreditation Program

Interstate Commission on Educational Opportunities for Military Children

National Association of State Facilities Administrators <==

National Association of State Personnel Executives

National Association of State Technology Directors

National Emergency Management Association

National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators <==a legislative caucus??



At least, become aware of this type of privately controlled, functionally-based nonprofit associations organizing across political jurisdictions from which their memberships are legislatively subject, or at least implied by their names:  State, or County, or City.

When new ones (such as the “National Council for School Facilities”) are set up to add to the existing ones for a specific functional category, wake up, and take notice.  Overall, (taken as a whole) what does that reality say about how the U.S.A. actually operates, in its basic structures?Not what you learned in grade school, I don’t care WHAT income-level of public secondary or elementary school/s you were in, or which generation, speaking of the 20th century and as a parent, I can speak to about one decade’s worth in the 21st.

In other words, are state and territorial governments (legislatures, laws, rules) just there for show, or to throw locals off the scent of the controlling networks i.e., powers, bypassing the obtaining of informed consent on important matters, even life-and-death matters, not to mention other matters affecting the degree of liberty, freedom, choice, and enforceable individual rights under at least state constitutions which might otherwise exist?

And are the private, tax-exempt, 501©3 or 501©6 associations representing so many individual facets of those state and territorial governments* working with a view towards (inter)nationalization of each and every function, and consolidating partnerships and sponsorships with “Business and Industry” as major constituencies, in place mostly to get around taking direct bribes to government from industry (i.e., reduce the chances of being caught), in addition to the registered lobbyists that already exist?

I know I bring this topic up periodically, but when it comes to the realm of public schools, I remembered, as one of those “back-burner,” nagging unanswered questions — what happened to the project that $10,000,000 was allegedly paid for, as it relates to SCHOOLMATTERS.COM, which I seem to recall the From/To as being a tax-exempt foundation already heavy into training local (urban) school superintendents — make that urban school SYSTEMS, and TO an organization I hadn’t yet looked up, the Council of Chief State School Officers.

So I’m taking the time to do so right now.  If $10,000,000 is just “chump change” when it comes to some of the billion dollars of school infrastructure bonds that people will be paying off — when that payment comes due with a “SlamDunk” for those who set it up, and a Slap in the Face to those subjected to it — many years later as to the Capital Appreciation Bonds (“zero-coupon bonds”) I’ve been posting on — and others have researched and written up before.

I just remembered that $10,000,000 was donated (By the Broad Foundation? DNR exactly) to the development of a website called “Schoolmatters.com.”  Go look it up, and it’s clear that’s not a $10M project.  The $10M was reported (on a Form 990PF) as donated to the Council of State School Chief Officers.

First, I’m going to look at that entity.  Then (also found at the bottom of just-published “Yet Another….”) post as a reminder why it’s important to be aware of these type of public + private collaborations taking place decade after decade in the US and how much it actually defines government operations, but from the tax-exempt sidelines…


The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public

Somehow “the public” is always last on the list.  How many people, especially parents of young children, even know this organization exists?

Partnerships — Corporate contributions welcomed at their membership meetings:

Business & Industry Partnerships

One of the Council’s most important responsibilities is to serve its members through building the capacity of states and their leaders. This requires creative problem solving to address complex issues, and access to technical assistance and resources that may not be readily available. The Council’s Business and Industry partners are a select group of institutions and organizations that engage in the work of the Council and participate in CCSSO’s membership meetings. Through this interaction and exchange of ideas our partners gain a greater understanding of key issues facing state education leaders and our members benefit from exposure to new ideas, different perspectives, and innovative solutions.

Justifying Pay-to-play tiered sponsorships (the CSSO financial statements, below, admit that it relies on grants and sponsorships to exist), and naming partners by their Tier (I or II), without divulging on the website (“contact so and so”) how much is paid to play.  Partners include Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM, ETS, American Institutes for Research (has come up under the Annenberg blogging as the means to implement certain plans for transforming the schools) and others, including “KnowledgeWorks,” with link and brief summary paragraph cautiously avoiding direct identification of itself as a Foundation based in Cinncinatti, OHIO (I’ve seen the tax returns) or in any way involved (as it has been) in the BEST Collaborative with 21st Century School Fund, National Council for School Facilities, and the Center for Green Schools (run by U.S. Green Building Council) i.e., two co-located nonprofits in D.C. and one in Colorado) + the UCBerkeley Center for Cities and School (and another on the West coast, northern California, obviously)…

The Council’s mission is to assist chief state school officers and their organizations in achieving the vision of an American education system that enables all children to succeed in school, work, and life. This mission cannot be met without forging new collaborations. In today’s environment, success derives from working with and learning from diverse constituencies.

One such constituency is the business community. The Council has engaged this community by developing a corporate sponsorship program for interested partners, who have provided support for Council meetings throughout the year. To ensure appropriate representation, the Council offers tiered levels of partnerships. The tiered partnership approach provides businesses with a menu of options from which to choose and enables the Council to receive sponsorship support to operate its meetings, conferences, and forums.

These companies do not reflect actual CCSSO endorsements nor do their views necessarily reflect the official position of CCSSO.

Screenprint showing KnowledgeWorks’ self description:

KnowledgeWorks as Level I Corporate Partner to (see CSSO.org), self-described as a “social enterprise” and not a tax-exempt foundation with trademarked products and a Form 990 that can be looked up.[Click to enlarge or visit CSSO.org, Corporate Partners list.

CSSSO Audited Financial Statements YE June 2016 (I just looked through them, briefly). From the size, it’s clear that any grant of $10M would be a major chunk of revenue.  At least the organization (which has existed, says its website, since 1927 — before the Social Security Act of 1934 (“Between the wars”).I looked at “990finder” for the tax returns.  Only one year’s came up (2013) because, again, the database spat out the wrong organization name (I left it unchanged).  That’s why EIN# searches are better:

Total results: 3Search Again.

Arts Education Partnership DC 2015 990 40 $27,186,533.00 53-0198090
Arts Education Partnership DC 2014 990 37 $26,119,491.00 53-0198090
Council of Chief State School Officers DC 2013 990 35 $20,233,727.00 53-0198090


re: SchoolMatters.com:

I just remembered that $10,000,000 was donated (By the Broad Foundation? DNR exactly) for the development of a website called “Schoolmatters.com,” in 2005.  Go to page 3 on the next link:

TheBroadFndtn (successor EIN#954686318) 5pp listing 40’99M School Transfrm Grants~but After its Statemt17 (re BdCtr for URBAN SUPTS 1M grant and its SUCCESSOR=BdCtr for MGMT of SCHOOL SYSTEMS.

Although that pdf file (6pp) doesn’t say “SchoolMatters.com” in its header, that is what contains the list of grants showing the $10M one.  Its first page looks like this, which I included because the grant pages themselves didn’t all contain proper header/footer identification.  So, scroll down AFTER you see this image talking about one grant, only — a list of many grants follows:

Page 3 herein (pdf, not this image) will show the $10M grant to Council of Chief State School Officders (from TheBroadFoundation, Year 2005) for the development specifically of “SchoolMatters.com.”….

$10M to CSSO.org entity shown for ‘SchoolMatters.com” (more links on image, Click to enlarge) See this uploaded pdf for to connect grantee, year, and the other grants that year. My filename title, TheBroadFndtn (successor EIN#954686318) 5pp listing 40’99M School Transfrm Grants~but After its Statemt17 (re BdCtr for URBAN SUPTS 1M grant and its SUCCESSOR=BdCtr for MGMT of SCHOOL SYSTMs) See10M to CouncilStateSchoolChiefs for SchoolMatters’com.pdf


This annotated return shows a $500,000 grant from Broad for purpose “National Education Data Partnership” which specifically references Schoolmatters.com” and annotations reference the $10M grant. I’ve provided that screenprint and pdf, too.

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 1 of 3 viewed 5-1-2017

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 2 of 3

SchoolMatters.com (home page) Image 3 of 3


Go look  up “SchoolMatters.com” now a dozen years later (also see the three images I posted below), and it’s clear that’s not a $10M project.

The $10M was reported (on a Form 990PF) as donated to The Council of State School Chief Officers.

When $10M is donated by an entity already having expressed interest in training urban school superintendents, or for the management of urban school systems, as Broad obviously has (“Broadcenter.org”) then when $10M is claimed to have gone to a project which is MIA — if it ever was completed — then we must ask more questions, and learn WHAT conditions facilitated $10M here, $6M there (remember, I also identified money not yet found as donated from one Annenberg-sponsored source to another (see Challenging the Annenberg Challenge Circuitry post, near the top, colorful image).


The Council of Chief State School Officers is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public


Use the WayBack Machine (internet archive) to see if it ever existed as an active domain name, or redirects to a more functional one.  Remember that in blogging the “three nonprofits in Ohio” and the Ohio IPV Collaborative I continued to follow the money trail and for the latter, discovered that the website “Adoptionlawsite.com” was not functional, and apparently never had been, and showed how many reputable sources quoted it as legitimate (still).  I also posted an article showing that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives had obtained $230,000 from HHS for this project, which was endorsed or managed by another NON-entity posing as an entity, “NCALP” (National Center for Adoption Law Project [or similar title]  at Capital University; Capital University in Columbus, Ohio).

Just like “Annenberg Center for School Reform at Brown University” — which has apparently a facilities (I showed the street sign) and a corporate form, but is not posting its financials.

There is far too much of this going on, and it will take more than one person to “call” those engaged on changing the course of government from the sidelines without documenting WHO PAID (and no money gone missing into fake projects, fake or untrackable “Centers” and so forth).

While attempting to demand some accountability, or economic footprints that don’t lead to dead ends, or end in a fizzle of frayed distributions to suspiciously many sources, you might take some heat for opposing such a noble cause as transforming schools, helping vulnerable children, making life more equitable for low-income families, and so forth.  In response (other than ignoring this and continuing to post, asking, what’s fair, equitable or helpful” about cheating across the board, or lying to the public), I’d ask — SUPPOSE there was a criminal element, would it hide under operations labeled “criminal”? or under causes too great to even question — on “sacred social ground.”

What’s the difference whether helpful advice and guidance operates in public or private sphere (sector)?

The difference is HUGE between government (which can tax, but is not taxed, and which is to be by consent of the governed) and business sector (which can be taxed, but over which the people have no innate control other than as pertains to its violations of some activities where they DO have standing).

Also, through tax-exemption, the privately-controlled, nonstock corporations — the nonprofit business sector —  can reduce or eliminate taxes for their owners, attract donations from individuals with similar interests, as well as who may endorse or support the cause in question or which can cover for other businesses to be run as “related” entities.

In addition, when the tax-exempt sector gets big, fat, and bossy (as it seems to be– in my opinion), they also attract subcontractors, including investment managers, consulting, public relations, and more.

That could be phrased as terrific – after all, that’s creating jobs, right?

Yeah, but who is contracting with whom is obscured.  When this type of organization is targeted at government, as I have at least one image showing on its own “About Us” home page — and this one (APHSA.org) is an association of associations — that is an attempt to over-ride and over-come direct accountability and representation to the people.

ALSO, (less so in the list on this page, but seen often in tax-exempt corporations who want to run, say, school transformation projects or other projects), directly donating to government to sponsor certain, personally favored projects, sounds like undue influence to me.  Look through some of the tax returns and grant pages of some of the larger foundations I’ve been reporting on in recent months (including but not limited to The Broad Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and others) and you will see direct grants to public schools or units of government.

For each unit of government, is there a separate fund for “gifts from the well-to-do and well-wishers?”  How are these accounted for?  And when such entities can pool funds (through operating tax-exempt) while people who simply work and hope to pay their basic living expenses and for their children, do NOT have the means to directly sponsor government activities — that doesn’t seem “equitable,” no matter how much the word “equity” and “equitable” may be promoted on the association’s website.

Taken together, ALL of this activity obscures the real assets to liabilities balance and accounting trails from almost all people.**  And those are the basis for ongoing taxation, especially the income tax, but also sales taxes, property taxes and so forth.

**UNLESS, as a sector (organized within their geopolitical units where they pay, AND as to the federal government, nationwide) those people really can monitor the key relationships, continue monitoring them (for free, or find the “discretionary” funds to pay others to monitor), AND that’s only IF the entities are telling the truth on the tax returns they do file…

…which, to believe, would at this point, show major gullibility. So many tax returns I’ve viewed — and the number, given my frequency and consistency (daily) in looking, has to be by now in the thousands over time — show inconsistent, strangely categorized (i.e., grants TO other organizations listed at the bottom as “other expenses”– instead of the top, where prompted by the pre-printed word “Grants to others” (!!)  — of “functional expenses” page.   Or (this I need to check with someone at the IRS, or a local CPA to understand) when an organization lists its “membership dues” as program service revenues — when in fact, the IRS seems to believe they should be considered under “contributions.”

This scenario (the “public/private” way of running a country, where the “private” automatically excludes the largest population sector, people NOT organized as their own industries focused on serving all levels of government, but people working any variety of employment, without the write-offs, and with lesser opportunity to acquire capital o rincome-producing assets) entails — it’s part of the built-in design — a lack of accountability, and a dumbed-down populace on some of the most important facets of the nation.  We become “dissociative” on significant sectors of the economy while having news about the economy daily broadcast (and printed) “in our face” making little reference to its connecting sections — ligaments, tendons, nervous systems (communications between the parts) — whatever analogy to a large, living organism works, it is functioning like one.

And it seems to be feeding on itself. It digests people as a lifestyle, but not all people — as some are needed to keep it working, and others are needed as a breeding population for more foodstuffs.

It’s time to change the conversation, and engage in some association archaeology (and reporting).  Feel free to join in…..and share your findings, too.

Written by Let's Get Honest

June 16, 2017 at 4:09 pm

One Response

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  1. daveyone1

    June 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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