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Archive for December 3rd, 2017

NRA (not) On the Record | Modeling Gun Control/Gun Violence Prevention Laws after Domestic Violence Prevention Laws [i.e., Moving It Under the Mental Health Umbrella], Strategized through Unregistered “Consortia” or Misleadingly-labeled Nonprofits East (D.C.) and West (S.F.)? No Thanks!! [Started Nov. 4, Publ. Dec. 3, 2017]

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This post is more about what’s not on the record regarding an organization behind the website “NRA On The Record” and ones with similar backing, networking, and interlocked purposes than about the NRA. It’s an outsider’s look into the network of the gun control lobby — and lobby it is; a recent Super PAC was discovered in the mix…  Labelled “Giffords PAC” (OpenSecrets.org, courtesy Center for Responsive Politics) as of the 2018 cycle but “Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC for 2016 and previous 2014 cycles. Statement of Organization with the FEC was only in 2013.  “NOTE: This committee is a so-called Carey committee, a hybrid PAC/super PAC.”

  • Carey Committee: A Carey committee is a hybrid political action committee that is not affiliated with a candidate and has the ability to operate both as a traditional PAC, contributing funds to a candidate’s committee, and as a super PAC, which makes independent expenditures. To do so, Carey committees must have a separate bank account for each purpose. The committee can collect unlimited contributions from almost any source for its independent expenditure account, but may not use those funds for its traditional PAC contributions. See also: Super PACIndependent Expenditures,  Political Action Committee

Giffords (or ARS) PAC in FY2016 registrant, Texas lawyer John Steven Mostyn, #16 of top 20 fund-raisers for Hillary Clintons SuperPAC in 2016. Click HERE access website or just the image to enlarge it..

This PAC was registered under John Steven Mostyn, whose name is on many of the tax return images shown below. I see that in 2016 he, with his wife, are listed at #16 of (Forbes’) Top 20 contributors to Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC.  I am shocked to learn that in November, 2017, while this post was still in “pending status,” and before I knew much about Mr. Mostyn, he was reported as having committed suicide, by gunshot wound to the head. ”

Steve Mostyn, Texas Democratic Fund-Raiser, Dies at 46″ 11/18/2017 by David Montgomery in NYT (Obituaries).


AUSTIN, Tex. — Steve Mostyn, a Texas trial lawyer and one of the nation’s leading Democratic donors, who spent a fortune in a long effort to turn his reliably red home state blue, died on Wednesday at his home in Houston. He was 46.

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences ruled the death a suicide resulting from a gunshot wound to the head. His wife and fellow lawyer, Amber Mostyn, said his death had come after a “sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.”

The death jolted Texas politicians in both parties and left Democrats grieving the loss of a friend and wealthy patron who had been at the center of the party’s struggle to wrest power from Republicans. Texas Democrats have not won a statewide political office since 1994.

This Post:

NRA (not) On the Record | Modeling Gun Control/Gun Violence Prevention Laws after Domestic Violence Prevention Laws [i.e., Moving It Under the Mental Health Umbrella], Strategized through Unregistered “Consortia” or Misleadingly-labeled Nonprofits East (D.C.) and West (S.F.)? No Thanks!! [Short-link ending “-7Um” started Nov. 4, 2017, published Dec. 3]

[[Dec. 1-2 pre-publication context: I have been working on several posts identified as “in the pipeline” over the past few weeks, some of which work entails exploring new ground, other, reviewing or reformatting/updating references to earlier posts which mentioned some of the same subjects. THIS post is not meant to be complete, but on what it says, it should be as authoritative as the entities’ own tax returns and filing history, subject to IRS and state registrations/filings, and the reliability of any database claiming to get their data from the IRS. It is also a stark reminder NOT to just rely on an organization’s website, or high-profile spokespersons, or a recent dramatic event demanding a swift response, in judging whether to support, ignore, or oppose their various agenda.]]

How are we to identify and recognize, other than when they show up in press releases and mutual self-promotions, the many organizations who manage to get laws passed, including organizations of nearly 100% lawyers, and among these any groups who are engaged in deceptive “naming and framing” practices over time? (Naming themselves and framing the issues, that is).

I have a problem with ANY organizations involved in deceptive naming practices in ANY field effectively getting laws passed, but especially when the topic is gun control.  In addition when modeled after domestic violence laws (something I have direct experience with, as a protected person with minor children, also protected persons initially) and then when, as has happened within the “violence prevention” and “abuse prevention” fields, a push to expand under the mental health umbrella.  [[*This 2nd opening paragraph was re-written after I spent more time on the web pages — and multiple tax returns — of some of the nonprofits referenced for this post, and picking up the topic nearly a month later.]]

Brief summary of organizations and issues in this post and what inspired it:

NRA on the Record website (about) with callouts, and calling attent’n to the footer reference to CSGV. Language references the GOP and Republicans, and the Conservative Movement party as (involved with) this “odious” and “rogues gallery” organization throughout just a few paragraphs, but avoids mentioning the word “Democrat” or “progressive” anywhere. Instead, it’s them Republican Conservatives and haters against… (see last sentence) …

First, I’d noticed the “NRA ON THE RECORD” website when looking up an individual it had commented on, as regards another nonprofit.  This led to my look at “CSGV” (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence — which is a 501©4) which took credit for the website of NRA quotes and public stands of various people on the issues.  The related entity (not acknowledged or even identified on the NRA on the Record website) was started, say its returns, back in 1978) and is a 501©3 EFSGV — Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence.  Both are based in DC. They are backed, it turns out, by the Joyce Foundation among others which doesn’t seem to be acknowledged on either entity’s website but is on the Joyce Foundation’s.

Also originally I had looked mostly at a California-based nonprofit, “LCAV” (Legal Community Against Violence) which acquired a dba later, “Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence” and now self-described (and per what looks like its website) the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.)

http://lawcenter.giffords.org/about/history/

(Footer to Giffords Law Center and Giffords PAC website)

Although information is released, in narrative form from this center and how it connects to the LCAV does show on the website, the description of that connection, in combination with references also to an “Americans for Responsible Solutions” (“ARS” for short, and it is focused on gun control and reducing gun violence) which was backed by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot and seriously injured while speaking in public (starting back in 2013), the truth (regarding “ARS”) is more complex if not perplexing, than as narrated, in that there have been, so far, at least FOUR identified “ARS” nonprofits, including the first one which only lasted just over a year before closing down and pouring its assets into another — plus a fourth one identified on some of (their) tax returns only by a name and EIN#, but no return found yet. I go over some of this on the bottom of this post (it takes a while!).  Further complicating this, on the California Charitable Registry website, the California group’s documents haven’t been uploaded before 2008 (leaving at least a decade of “mystery”) and, although I write in December 2017 now, no FY2016 tax returns (by the Calif. group) are showing, nor are its founding documents or any audited financial statements.

BalletoPedia on Americans for Responsible Solutions_PAC explains that the 4th “ARS” group I just referenced is the “Super PAC.” However, the ARS groups are listed in D.C., while when one clicks on a link labeled “ARS” in this (July 2017 version) Balletopedia web page, it clicks through to the “Giffords Images” above, which website shows the Annual reports, not of ANYthing “ARS” but instead of the California “LCAV” and its annual reports (but not one IRS return).

Looking for some website which actually reads “AmericansForResponsibleSolutions” (whether PAC, SuperPAC, or the 501©3 foundation).  I found none.  I did find a 2016 article in an Arizona Newspaper describing how the Giffords organization (sic) with its notoriety would be merging with the LCAV (California group) with its legal expertise.  I get it.  I just think they should (ALL) file tax returns on time so the public can keep up with the pace of reorganization while pushing for particular agenda:

Gabrielle Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions merges with California group

Bill Theobald, Republic Washington Bureau Publ. 3:01 a.m. MT March 16, 2016 | Updated 2:26 p.m…  [in “AZCentral.com, part of the USA Today Group]


…The merger, announced Wednesday, brings together the notoriety of Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions in Washington with the legal acumen of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.

For now, the two groups will retain separate names and separate offices.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with our longtime partners at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,” Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, said in a statement. “By coming together we can do more to take on the gun lobby, deliver even more victories for common sense, and save lives.”

The Law Center will now operate as part of the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation. No change in leadership or staffing is planned at either group.

(By “longtime,” is before the 2011 shooting and 2013 “ARS” formations meant, or not?)

This is a “BalletoPedia summary of ARS_PAC and what occasioned it.” For active links, click here; to just enlarge and read, click the image. Please also read the description of “Super_PACs” and the different rules (from regular) PACs which govern them. 

[Paragraph written earlier than this intro:] I just found through its negative personification of a man who had served Cincinnati, OH as Mayor, and been an Ohio Treasurer AND Secretary of State, who is now associated with a dramatically known conservative organization — the Family Research Council.

The website was “NRA on the Record” and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence took credit for it, stating, falsely, “we are unaffiliated with the NRA or any other organization” on the footer, and leaving no connection to their own website while “shining the light on the NRA.”

The nonprofit with Ken Blackwell, the man profiled on the “NRA on the Record Website” was related to governance — “Center for State and Local Government Excellence” in D.C., which only formed in 2008, and is closely associated with a related entity of ICMA.org, one of the “Big Seven” associations.  ICMA’s related tax-exempt entity ICMA-RC (for “Retirement Corporation”) (as opposed to its several “disregarded entities”) was formed in the 1970s to manage public sector retirement plans, i.e., pensions,  of — what else? — as the name implies,  city and county managers.  And is said to have around $50 billion assets under management.

I have been blogging this, and it (NRA on the Record and their profile of that individual in the CSLGE context, as I recall), will show up as a major section on my post “Before WHO’s HiAP …Agenda 21…ICLEI – Local governments for Sustainability, USA.” (“Inc.). That title in full (with link):

Before WHO’s HiAP there was UN’s Agenda 21; As Usual, Internationally-Networked Nonprofits such as  ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, Inc.** ~ (1991ff, MA legal domicile; first HQ in Boston, then Berkeley, then Oakland, and lately Denver) ~ Help Spread the Latest Version of the Global Gospel. (with case-sensitive short-link ending “-7N2,” post started 10/14/2017 as one of two spin-off posts from my “HiAP” one; being published   Nov. 5)

(See also Footnotes post related to this page — link found within it or on the most recent posts (for a while, after which see November archives)). The next images is from the above post, and referencing the “Mental Health Consortium” referenced in the title, convened (?)2013 and called the basis for a new California GVRO (Gun Violence Restraining Order). After that, three more on-line mentions found, including a Dec. 2013 whitepaper.  I’m not saying much more about the mysterious “Consortium” on this post.  (Detangling the various versions of other organizations took up most space below). But you can see classic “Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze” tactics in operation, and as published on-line just since 2013, 2014 ,and 2015, about when the Americans For Responsible Solutions organizations started incorporating in D.C.

The other oddity about this is how small the various nonprofits are.  None are even over $5M/year, and the largest backer I saw so far (Chicago’s “Joyce Foundation”) is still just a bit south of $1B (one billion U.S. dollars) which makes it smaller than several others with big, shared, globalist dreams and plans to implement them, too via the nonprofit sector driving government, driving the people, too…

ScreenShot from LGH (i.e., my) “Before WHO’s HIAP…” post, referencing Consortium for Risk-based FireArm Policy. Excerpt is from near the bottom of that post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to back up statements and look up missing information when quoting some source on something or someone else I’ve been posting on — and in this case the website referencing CSGV.org led to some disturbing truths about the “Gun Control lobby,” such as complaining about unregistered firearms, or laws that don’t take enough registered ones away from people that some believe shouldn’t have them, while getting laws passed (apparently) without their own registrations being visible, documented, and truthfully self-described on their ownwebsites.

Another issue is appearing through impressive-sounding, or emotionally laden names, sounding more grass-roots and pervasive than they may actually be.  The CSGV’s characterization of conservatives as degenerates (basically) and groups supporting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as subversive to government is a sad statement on the mentality behind the organization as a whole.

SOME of this information then is on my prior post, a part of it on a footnote to that post cited in it, and what I just found out in the last 24 hours, is here.

Incidentally, I do not have an administrative team, or research budget.  Anyone who would like to work with me in compiling some of this information (sorry, unpaid!) for the public interest, and blogging it, please speak up, or tell me of others already working on it and posting.** (I am reluctant to engage in private dialogue off-post.  There are comments fields.  If you wish any comment to NOT be posted (generally speaking, there aren’t many in the first place…) please say so up front with the message.

*I do NOT include in this mix posting which segregates itself by political party and the standard menu of issues.

That’s a great way to get “played” by both or either sides, as I witnessed over many years in the “domestic violence prevention and services field” and “family court reform” groups –which pointed and flagged the least influential organizations when talking about “fathers’ rights” and omitted, by and large, the largest elephants in the room, who were standing grouped together and identifiable in the HHS and USDOJ grantmaking while the on-line dialogues ignored them. While they were distracting the distressed, the infrastructure expanded, continued to obtain millions of dollars of free grants from the taxpayers (i.e., Congressional appropriations to HHS and DOJ) AND private tax-exempt foundations progressive (example:  Open Society Institute in Baltimore) or conservative (example, Heritage Foundation) who thought the situation was “just great for PR”.

Until then (until some more committed “colleagues” surface in this effort), I will keep repeating the mantra — LOOK IT UP and START DEMANDING HONESTY FROM NONPROFITS, and when it comes up, from journalists reporting on them.  Embarrass the writers by submitting the information as appropriate on comments fields, and referencing the blog where you’ve posted more info!  Or write short, effective letters cc-ing legislators and/or involved groups, or those maintaining the state-level databases (I’m working on some!).

Debates in the realm of the dissociative are fruitless.  Start with something YOU can identify, and cite the basis for it.

Speaking of which:


The “Giffords Law Center” footnote 1 lists which part of California Code (“Giffords” being the organization [[actually, make that just the WEBSITE, details later revealed) renamed after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords; but the organization apparently started after a 1993 rampage in a SF law firm:

In 1999, we began extending our services to include nationwide assistance to advocates, lawmakers, and community leaders. The tremendous need for our expertise led to our organization’s expansion over the years,*** and in 2012, we rebranded to better reflect the national breadth of our work.

*** More  screenprints providing the self-described timeline, towards the bottom of this post (and in part to preserve its first, draft format, which was making other, though related, points). I’ll mark them clearly with a title…

*** searching one of the few non-lawyer names on this group’s nonprofits (“Leutwyler”) I found a single website who claims the Joyce Foundation was sponsoring much of the group’s work.

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martinplaut

Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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