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The Money Maze: Following Multi-State, Multi-Candidate PACs + Super-PACs through Rapid Formation and NameChanges. (Giffords, ARS PAC + Lawyer Steve ‘Hurricane’ Mostyn (1971-Nov. 2017)).

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Post title and case-sensitive shortlink (this time, ending “-87w”):

The best way to explain this post straddling two different ones (“NRA (not) on the Record” and the original “RHF”/ Robin Hood Foundation ones) might be as unfinished business unearthed right AFTER I posted (admitting that the information was not pretending to be complete on the topic) on several inter-locking gun control organizations in DC, and in SF, being funded (some of them) from Chicago, and with connections at some level to Arizona because of the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords…

(I’ll say that again below…)

The post title with shortlink and start/publication dates usually shown here, at the top of a post, but this time comes after long “foreword” on a recent headline involving the Law Center, among the (now they’re called) “Giffords” organizations I was researching at the time.

That post title with shortlink, shown about halfway down the page (of course and in the title space above, just without the link) represents the main and original post topic, which follows up on this information only discovered just before I published the last NRA (not on the record) post also covering some of the gun control organizations, including this and related ones…

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

The “foreword” identifies the GIFFORDS PAC organization, or at least a Giffords organization, I was researching as making current headline news (in addition to that mentioned in the title about Mr. Mostyn).  Not to lose the opportunity, I talked about the presentation, front-page USA Today, with some exhibits.

To be honest, despite only a brief reference in passing to the Giffords Law Center, the USA Today major spread reads like an ARS/Giffords press release presented as news.

This foreword section also posts tax returns of one foundation mentioned in the article, and the much larger (“elephant in the room” if “gun control lobby” is the topic, which topic did come up in the article) foundation not mentioned, the NRA both of which filed Forms 990O, and are trade associations.

Before I get there  a “preface” I’d added refers to the constant political left/right fights occupying media space, when in fact, some of the biggest influences on the operations and policies of governments (federal, state, and local) are a different type of organization — the ones (such as ICMA and ITS retirement organization, ICMARC) I’ve been posting on that control, collectively, and cross-borders (including sometimes national borders) major government investments (including pensions and retirement funds), again, at the federal, state and local level. With some show-and-tell and centered around a recent (Dec. 6) quote by Rep. Paul Ryan and “Welfare Reform” plans for the GOP in 2018. I bring up, again, what he, again, didn’t…

All sections are so labeled by major headings:  “Preface” “Foreword” and “Post.”**

**Except I have no name for this “pre-Preface, pre-Foreword” section you’re currently in. I eagerly anticipate, having now written and described these additions, to adding the final FEC data to the “Post” section, and posting it!   🙂

The “pre-preface” section made some analogies I felt I’d better justify with examples regarding rigged, high-stakes fight involving dog-fighting, cock-fighting or using prisoners as gladiators, which part I moved to a new post.  Still in the “pre-preface” section, however, there remain:

  • four images relating to “CSLGE” (two website, two tax-returns) which explain how I got from Point A to Point B, Gun Control Group
  • four images (2X2= clean and annotated images of one page) from a large packet I’d run across back in 2014 showing some of the private and news media deliberations just before /just after 1996 Welfare reform a.k.a. PRWORA (“Single Custody is Disastrous for Children” and “What about Fathers?” and
  • two more from the same packet (someone else had assembled):
    • a single page containing two apparent 1994 Washington Post “Letters to the Editor.”  On the bottom, March 29, 1994 (p.A18) a letter from Sen. Paul Wellstone called “Breaking the Cycle of Violence” (it may’ve been an “OpEd,” but looks more like a letter), and on the top, April 6, 1994,  a short reply from “AFC” (American Fathers’ Coalition) called “Parents Who Abuse Children” by which is obviously meant, women do it more than men…
    • The packet’s cover page, dated August 1993, featuring “services to Noncustodial Parents” by Barbara Cleveland, Annotated Ronald C. Mincy.

These images give individual and organization names, date, time, place and type of content to themes that have continued to this day implemented and funded primarily through welfare reform, right as it was taking place, and showing prominent (or at least loud) voices in it. As I recall, this 110-page packet was in White House Welfare Task Force hands at the time, whether or not the average American, or undivorced (or divorcing) family was aware of it or not.

To further support that last statement (although it’s not that debatable or controversial a statement) that several of these individuals are prominent voices in welfare reform, I’m adding here annotated images from the top of a (longish) Urban Institute 2002 “Fragile Families Initiative” statement before the U.S. House Ways & Means (under which Welfare appropriations would come) subcommittee statement under “Elaine Sorensen” and several other individuals (with their affiliations which I want you to notice, although they of course claim to be speaking individually and not for the organizations associated with their names), regarding their vision for revising and refining “TANF Reauthorization” just six years after it first passed.

My annotations comment that testimony to what was wanted in that (2002) round of TANF (legislation governing federal welfare appropriations), that what starts out “families” quickly becomes “meaning, mostly Fathers’; headings labeled “non-custodial parents” over contents which say instead “fathers.” and while TANF Purpose IV actually said “Families” (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), this crew wanted the phrase “responsible fatherhood” actually written in describing Purpose IV (they had no interest in referencing anything pertaining to adult women, such as “mothers”).  Essentially showing that the campaign pushing “families” and “family values” was in fact just a roadside stop on the way towards “male-dominant economic and social units, regardless of actual residence of fathers.”

“PRE-PREFACE” AND “PREFACE” sections, roughly translated as:

LEGACIES OF PRWORA, THE FORD FOUNDATION, AND “MOYNIHAN” (Divide and Conquer Tactics, Keeping (most) Women In Their (subdominant) Assigned Places while Placating, if possible, and continuing to exploit Men of Color, Prisoners, and the public (i.e., perpetuating high-stakes, rigged conflicts).




The moved sections post and compare billion-dollar with million-dollar ($100M, $331M, $462M etc.) nonprofits collaborating to solve the poverty problem through poverty labs, action organizations, ideas-generators, and streamlined, high-tech, social science R&D, complete with Randomized Controlled Trials “gone global.”

And with enthusiastic support by career professionals in social science, behavioral science, economics, behavioral economics, poverty research (and so forth) at — as usual:  Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford and so forth.  The university centers are accelerating their influence, and it seems that both the standard, well-known Social Science R&D “Think Tanks” (Urban Institute, Brookings, MDRC (formerly Manpower Development Research Corp.) as well as brand-new ones (if “2006” counts) such as “New Venture Fund” are revealing themselves as, in fact front organizations for the others, including the Ford Foundation, which funds ALL of the above, plus some.

2nd item on K Harknett’s CV (where’s C. Wimer’s? Not posted at Columbia U…) shows that McLanahan and Garvinkel (who are husband and wife at Princeton and Columbia, historically) seem to have adopted a young research scientist. Russell Sage Foundation (Underlying corporation known for social science publishing).

Funds to University Centers (esp. university-wide projects such as Harvard’s IQSS (started about 2005) or MIT’s J-PAL (started 2002) or Princeton’s “Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy” (started 2015) (that name’s incomplete only because I left out the standard famous-namesake dyad attached to it as often goes with:  centers, schools, and/or professorships. I left off the full representation of “J-PAL” also.  Go read that post!).  Columbia seems to have plenty of named centers over the years, but I found yet another while poking around some of the larger foundations collaborating to find social science behavioral interventions to stop poverty.  Columbia’s CPSP was inaugurated, I see, in 2015, is directed by two men — one, Irwin Garfinkel, the other maybe half his age (and probably a mentoring relationship would exist), Christopher Wimer, who’s C.V. is nowhere to be found, but apparently presented a doctoral thesis at Harvard in 2007-2008 (School of Sociology).  Re-working the Fragile Families Study seems to be a favorite theme and connections with Robin Hood and Russell Sage Foundations come up in association with young Wimer’s name.

Could the CPSP logo be any smaller on this page? (Top left). Maybe. Note the company kept (RHF, Poverty Solutions…)

Again, tiny logo top left. Click image to read the fine print, and notice that 2017 is its “3d annual New Frontiers in Poverty Research Conference

Columbia announces its new CPSP center, putting a date if not much of a description to it.

Columbia SSW (School of Social Work) announces it’s ABOUT to launch the new CPSP center, May 2015…

The https://www.povertycenter.columbia.edu website doesn’t have much on it yet. The two directors’ info is in nearly illegible fine print, obscuring (under Garfinkel) his connection to Robin Hood Foundation, which is a separate 501©3 (in NY since 1989). Unlike the staff at this same center, the label “research scientist” with “Christopher Wimer (right) dosn’t have the label “post-doctoral,” yet separately I managed to find a 2007-08 these (doctoral? masters?) at Harvard. (list is alpha by last name putting his description last). I also notice that Garfinkel’s description references “single mothers” but strategically avoids referencing what is literally, it seems, an obsession with: Garfinkel, Mincy (also at Columbia U for years), Garfinklel’s wife Sara McLanahan at Princeton’s (Center for Child Well-being) and that is, fathers, noncustodial fathers, fatherhood, and its relationship to welfare reform, which should continue to give low-income fathers a better break especially on child support. And of course, marriage..

Just the home page with purpose description and a few publications at CPSP.

Harvard School of Sociology listing tells me more about Wimer than Columbia, where he’s now working. No reference to Harvard is made at Columbia as no CV is posted…(Note address: “Wm. James Hall…” 🙂

Columbia’s CPSP (young) Staff are a littler more diverse than its leadership. I notice that they are either research analysts or post-doctoral research scientists. So what’s co-director Chris Wimer, by comparison?

(File image near Columbia University’s “CPSP” images….) RSF stands for Russell Sage Fndtn. Notice they are researching a previous longitudinal study from “Fragile Families” and writing it up; also the individuals involved.

Goes with the other image, and illustrates that “RSF” on that image stands for “Russell Sage Foundation.” Click image to read fine print.

I just discovered the CPSP today (Dec. 15, 2017) after days of looking more closely at Poverty Action Labs, Poverty Solution Conferences, Poverty Trackers, etc. among some of these organizations, again outlining (on the next, off-ramped post which has been published) some of the welfare reform connections between the individuals mentioned above, and the organizations I referenced above within this circle.

A harder look at their financials will produce some very interesting data on how the ongoing procession of tax-exempt organizations (spun off sometimes from these centers, or founded by professors concurrently working at these centers) also work with even more nonprofits specializing in the acceleration technology to further expand the reach of Social Science R&D and continue to promote the profession of poverty studies, prevention, and  so forth.  As the saying goes, “keep your eyes on the assets” “do the drill-downs” and “watch the subcontractors.”  (Those being my sayings from this blog…).  This may help wade through some of the propaganda and mutual self-approval.  Why would the universities and their associated (looks like) foundations be so prone to designing an circuitous funding maze, a real “hedge” surrounding operations, while (some of them) investing heavily, as it turns out, in hedge funds?  And failing to post their own financials, many times…

MEANWHILE….Link and current version of title to the two sections (PRE-PREFACE and PREFACE)

The ongoing racist and sexist legacy of PRWORA, ‘Moynihan’ and, for example, The Ford Foundation (Divide and Conquer Tactics, Keeping (most) Women In Their (subdominant) Assigned Places while Placating, if possible, while continuing to exploit men of color, prisoners, and the public in high-stakes, profitable, and rigged conflicts. (case-sensitive shortlink ends “-8aH” and this was moved here Dec. 13, 2017, but written a day or two earlier).  About 7,000 words as first split from the parent post. About 16,000 words as published Dec. 14 (includes more on the behavioral science aspects of poverty-stopping entities… at Princeton and Harvard).

Moving those sections gives them the proper importance, and allows this post both to be shorter, and to focus more specifically on (the money maze involving) certain “gun-control advocacy organizations” with a penchant for multiplying, declaring mergers, and rapidly changing names and websites before their posted financials catch up.  Having done that, these topics are still related when the macroeconomic sector and public/private sector dynamics are considered, which can be best seen by looking at some of the composite details over time.



Gun violence is regular news nationally and locally, frequently accompanied by pieces on federal policy relating to it.  After writing this post and publishing the previous one, I found USA Today referencing the “Giffords Law Center” with very little identification of who or what it was. However, the “former ATF official” quoted was (not on page 1, but inside) also described as “senior policy advisor” for the law center.  That information could’ve been added to a call-out caption, but wasn’t:

Click image to enlarge for caption as posted in USA Today on-line (Elaine Thompson/AP photo credit). Print version caption: “Last year, the ATF was asked to retrieve more guns sold to disqualified buyer than in any other year in the past decade. The sale of a rifle to one such buyer preceded its use in the Texas church shootings last month.”.

4,000-plus guns sold to disqualified buyers: Getting weapons back puts ATF agents’ lives at risk.”  USA Today “Exclusive,” Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 (print, Dec. 4 on-line I see)  by Kevin Johnson (displayed in print edition Page A-1 with large photo, top half, and continued on Pg. A-2, also top half).

Inside (Pg. A-2) it occupied three out of four columns, and the entire top half (as a newspaper is folded) under the simple title “Guns.”

Pg. A-2, 3d para.

“These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences, said David Chipman, a former ATF official who helped oversee the firearm retrieval program.  “You don’t want ATF to stand for “after the fact.”

Up through the word “who” that para. was also the Pg. A-1 call-out (large text, no photo, right side) under David Chipman’s name, again only partially identified as “Former ATF Official.”  Since when, until when, or in what capacity, he “helped oversee the firearm retrieval program” is unclear but after one more paragraph comes the reference to Giffords Law Center, which is my connecting interest to the post:

Chipman, a senior policy adviser for the Giffords Law Center (on paid staff there now? Not all nonprofit advisers are; ‘USA Today’ doesn’t say), which advocates for more gun restrictions, called the retrievals “Uniquely dangerous.”

The only other association (versus federal agencies) referenced in the article, under the final heading, is not the NRA but the “National Shooting Sports Foundation,” (Larry Keane general counsel). In that subsection, Chipman is again quoted….. (re: the 72-hour background-check rule):

“…But Chipman, the former ATF official, called the 72-hour (background check) provision “reckless” and a concession to “the powerful gun industry that nobody wants to irritate.”

Just for the record, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is showing current assets of $52M, and it’s based in Connecticut, and is nowhere near the size of the NRA which, for some reason, wasn’t quoted.

Total results: 3Search Again.

(Organization website:  NSSF.org) Interesting, it’s location (at least as far back as 2007) is in Newtown, CT, now known for the “Sandy Hook Elementary” mass shooting.  Entity started in 1969 per the IRS forms.  It is a trade industry (business) association, as you see, a “Form 990O” filer.  I may footnote (below) some tax return excerpts.

NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION INC CT 2016 990O 47 $52,325,872.00 06-0860132
NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION INC CT 2015 990O 68 $48,765,996.00 06-0860132
NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION INC CT 2014 990O 53 $44,835,173.00 06-0860132

This FY2007 tax return (before IRS form change in 2008) is interesting and shows that then, as now, their primary revenues were from a “shot show,” and that (then) there were two related entities, and that Mr. Larry Keane (now — or as of FY2015, latest year shown above) was making $500K (with benefits) but then was in the mid-$200Ks.  It also shows where the “other expenses” went (more on government relations then than recently). I may footnote screenprints.

The NRA is a far larger organization; funny how that one wasn’t quoted:

Total results: 6Search Again.

National Rifle Association of America VA 2015 990O 69 $214,839,625.00 53-0116130
National Rifle Association of America VA 2014 990O 62 $207,610,450.00 53-0116130
National Rifle Association of America VA 2013 990O 54 $229,468,040.00 53-0116130

News articles tend to seek experts to quote. The least they might do is completely identify those they do quote.  Here’s Mr. Chipman’s biography at “Giffords Law Center/people” page (image with thumbnail photo), which mentions an association he is currently (per the bio. shown at this Giffords website) associated with, ignored by the USA Today article in favor of his former ATF status and unspecified (i.e., employee or not employee of) Giffords Senior Policy Advisor (also omitted on the Pg.A-1 call-out quoting him).

Found by search for Mr. Chipman’s name in association with “Giffords.” Link to that web page or Click to enlarge….

The IACP Foundation (top three rows) helps dependent families of law officers killed in action (formed in 1990) while the larger nonprofit, which is funded by a combination of private contributions, government grants, and program service revenues, and has been around much longer. Its activities are certainly relevant to the article’s discussion of dangers of large amount of disqualified firearms not yet retrieved, or of retrieving them.








This Post’s Title, Start-Date & Shortlink:

The Money Maze: Following Multi-State, Multi-Candidate PACs + Super-PACs through Rapid Formation and NameChanges. (Giffords, ARS PAC + Lawyer Steve ‘Hurricane’ Mostyn (1971-Nov. 2017). (started Dec. 4, 2017 as a follow-up to my Dec. 3 “NRA (not) on the Record”** + preface to upcoming “Robin Hood Foundation” (or “RHF”) *** posts. Both those posts had been weeks “in the pipeline”.  The case-sensitive, WordPress-generated shortlink to this one ends “-87w”).

**NRA (not On the Record) post title and link, just published. I’m also quoting some of it below, as this post actually bridges the RHF- and NRA-post-related situations.

I’m still processing some recent sad news involving key leadership of one of the gun-control organizations, a man still in his forties, mega-successful (if money is the measure) lawyer, father, and husband (whose wife is also a lawyer) who just last month, says the news, committed suicide by gunshot. I found this only while processing recent (belated, from my perspective) understandings of the Super PAC described on the first post, with key findings from that Super PAC(?)’s FEC filings provided at “OpenSecrets.org” (The Center for Responsive Politics) added at the last minute, which, if scrutinized enough, answer some of the questions I’d raised on that post…

(viewed Dec. 2017 from FEC.gov website)

“The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, Senate, Presidency and the Vice Presidency.”

Blogging Relevance:  a combination of rapid-fire, name-changing, website-changing “gun control” (targeted at the sales level) organizations on both coasts were getting laws passed FAST at the state level, in part with support from this PAC, in between websites focused on discrediting not just the NRA (National Rifle Association), but also Republicans and Conservatives in general.  I’d just picked up on one or two of them and was following the trail of bread crumbs…. A bit hard when the most recent nonprofit filings weren’t available on-line yet, and the website “our story” pages didn’t match the official record of timelines…  Which raises my concern, if people can’t — or don’t — tell their own history in straightforward and accurate terms, connected to an independently verifiable timeline (as opposed to all the “spin”) then how much similar spin is occurring once they start talking about the cause itself?

***RHF post title and link, still in draft as of this writing, Dec. 4, 2017.

That title bears more explaining.  As I did, and documented some of the underlying details for readers who may have no familiarity with this group which without those details might not “get” the process of incubating and spinning off nonprofits, and the potential for ongoing accounting flaws, fissures, and premeditated “run-off” (missing-money) situations while claiming the moral upper ground, in looking more closely at the self-descriptions of a named fiscal sponsor of such a spinoff organization, itself taking multi-million-dollar ($35M range) government grants year after year, I looked closer a center at MIT, mis-characterized as an “organization,” (it doesn’t seem to be registered as nonprofit OR corporation) with a long name which (not made clear on either spinoff site or MIT site) is named after a Saudi-Arabian billionaire, whose grandson, also a billionaire, just so happens to be dating (or was reported as dating) Rihanna. Presumably this relates to a sponsor of the center, although it’s not immediately clear on MIT’s website.

And guess what the purpose of this MIT center in combination with the spin-off organization taking major public money was?  It was a “Poverty Action Lab.”  And this situation does indeed have a connection (through chief of program staff) running the spinoff organization.

Not to mention (and it wasn’t mentioned in that announcement)..

In addition to leads presented on the website under “chief program staff moving on,” about 2015, there is the puzzling non-mention, at least prominently, of RHF 2007 spinoff organization Single Stop USA, Inc. now chaired by the same person and with other (as I recall) board members in common to both organizations over time.  One visible in the next annotated image, an excerpt from the “not worth an honorable mention this time…” although its purpose is, using proprietary software it helped sponsor streamline benefit applications and sign up as many more people as possible, fast as an anti-poverty tactic and in response to unclaimed benefits nationwide totaling $80B. Who sponsors those benefits if not the poor and middle-class in the first place?? (990excerpt image below was taken Nov. 15, 2017, making the organization about ten years old before I even heard about it.  That’s the thing with networks.  You don’t always hear about all of them, including from their sponsoring foundations which are often, though not always, well-known).

The two posts dealing with the Robin Hood Foundation have more detail on this spinoff, poverty-fighting-through-getting-more-people-ON-welfare-of-all-sorts entity, soliciting in more places, such as middle schools and city storefronts.

SingleStop USA program service activities FY2008; RHF tax returns claimed an single-year $11M donation to this entity which donee’ tax returns did not acknowledge. This image is only 2nd year of operation. Notice “Geoffrey Canada” (of Harlem Children’s Zone fame, also commended as a program model for St. Paul (Twin Cities) MN) near image bottom (or on that year’s return).

Some things never change, they just re-arrange.   Seeing this, I re-arranged this post to accommodate, and moved the systematic explanation of even that long post title above, to another one (currently in draft, but “next up” after this post):

A short title would be “Preview of my upcoming “RHF” post.”  Just a bit more on that preview:

As I looked and looked some more at this situation (in part, as I said above, for purposes of summarizing it), yet another connection surfaced from RHF (the Robin Hood Foundation) and an invitation-only conference co-sponsored (?) only this past January 2017, with Russell Sage Foundation and called “Poverty Solutions.”

Between named keynote speaker involved with the above (fiscal agent of RHF spinoff entity working closely with the Saudi billionaire-honoring Poverty Action Lab (I guess they are close PALs), another featured organization started only in 2010 — inheriting some of its agenda from a center at Harvard of the social science sort — turns up, whose academically brilliant (per that CV) co-founder is based at Princeton, in (not that the Princeton or the other descriptive sites — like the one forgetting to mention who MIT PAL site was actually named after) a ….Center for Behavioral Science and Social Policy again, bearing famous names in the field of economy and psychology, but not (this time) the name of its anonymous donor.  That center only opened in 2015, and although it’s just not immediately clear, eventually it surfaced that the two people’s last names (one man, one woman) the Princeton center was named after were (or still alive, presumably) are married to each other.

If this sounds a bit crazy even as described, I believe it literally is. HOW did we get to the point of requiring an amateur (?) detective process to know where, how, and under what justification, tax receipts for the federal government are being funneled into the tax-exempt center, with elite university coaching (and involvement of some of their professors, too), with the expansion of the same, literally limitless — and we still buy that this is solving global poverty through more effective philanthropy.   (Continued and “coming soon,” probably under its longer title, but accessible here: “Preview of my upcoming RHF post.” (short-link ends “-88N”).

Now back to THIS post:

The best way to explain this post straddling two different ones (“NRA (not) on the Record” and the original “RHF” ones) might be as unfinished business unearthed right AFTER I posted (admitting that the information was not pretending to be complete on the topic) on several inter-locking gun control organizations in DC, and in SF, being funded (some of them) from Chicago, and with connections at some level to Arizona because of the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords might be to simply post the top part of the NRA post, after which you’ll see what I removed from the top of the Robin Hood Foundation post, which was started and documented (as you’ll see when it’s published) weeks earlier.


The following light-green background-color section quotes from the top of my “NRA…Modeling Gun Control Prevention Laws” post just published Dec. 3, 2017, included here because of its references to the overlapping subject:  the FEC registration under two different names for “Giffords PAC” (or, Americans For Responsible Government PAC) which can be further explored on-line, and for my sudden discovery that its registrant and treasurer, the Texas attorney John Steven Mostyn, had just died in November — it’s said, by suicide and involving a gunshot (!).  More than shocking in the context….

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: [<==”This” meaning in reference to its original, not the quoted section’s, location]

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]

Identified as one of “Six (at least) Posts In the Pipeline,” which I am gradually clearing by publishing (late November, early December).  They seem to be getting more and more complex — for example, the last one published, “NRA (not) on the Record” I had to go through the FEC (Federal Election Commission) details for the “aha!” moment on how a certain gun control “Super PAC” (I think) based in DC could be connected with a nonprofit in SF, and within one year, go by two different names (Giffords PAC — shown on the website) and before that Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, and there were already FOUR different ARS entities (not including the SuperPAC, apparently) since 2013 alone..


I’d already seen common leadership and on the FEC filings that John Steven Mostyn, Esq., known as  “Hurricane” Mostyn and (with his wife, also an attorney, Amber) mega-donors to Democrat causes, [Donor Profile: Steve and Amber Mostyn, 9/28/2012 by Reity O’Brien, posted on The Center for Public Integrity] a member of the Democracy Alliance, was that Giffords/ARS PAC’s largest contributor (including two installments of $500K each for a single election cycle, 2014).  Meanwhile — while the post was in draft, I learned that at age only 46, this Australian-born Texas father, lawyer, advocate for underpaid victims of hurricanes in Texas (i.e., suing the insurance companies, it sounds like), suddenly in mid-November 2018, is found dead by bullet to the head, ruled a suicide and characterised as sudden-onset mental illness.

Nov. 22, 2017 in Canadian Free Press (a somewhat obnoxious site — for the pop-ups) connects the timing to a California meeting of the Democracy Alliance, and, under a photo, comments:

“Steve “Hurricane” Mostyn (full name John Steven Mostyn), a Houston, Texas-based trial lawyer, contributor to left-wing causes, member of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance, and major Democratic Party benefactor, died suddenly November 15 at the age of 46” (no photo credit shown, posted in Canadian Free Press 11/22/2017 by Matthew Vadum).

…(some of this quote is from the linked source, which is (conservative) “Capital Research, Inc.”‘s “Foundation Watch, Nov. 2014 article by “Dr. _____ Hannen”):

Steve and Amber Mostyn: Two trial lawyers take from the little guy to give to the Left, deep in the heart of Texas (Nov. 3, 2014, by “CRC Staff” but quoting: “By Jonathan M. Hanen, Foundation Watch, November 2014 (PDF to come)”

By Jonathan M. Hanen, Foundation Watch, November 2014 (PDF to come)

Summary: A Texas power couple composed of two trial lawyers is pouring millions into politics to stop tort reform and turn Texas—and the rest of America—blue. The two give far less to their charitable foundation. In their most notorious case, they took almost half of the winnings in a huge lawsuit they filed on behalf of the “little guy.” As the losing insurance company began paying the fat legal fees, little guys all over Texas saw their premiums rise. Charity, in this case, begins and ends at home.

…When Hurricane Rita swept through Texas in 2005, Mostyn and his law firm aggressively snapped up the cases of homeowners who believed their insurance companies had underpaid them for damages. Mostyn quickly became the premier hurricane lawyer in the Lone Star State, filing 1,200 Rita claims. His strategy was to flood the zone, filing such a torrent of cases that insurance companies would be overwhelmed and decide to settle instead of litigate.Mostyn followed up on his victories when Hurricane Ike struck Texas on Sept. 13, 2008. At its most powerful, Ike was classified as a Category 4 hurricane while over the ocean. Ike was the costliest hurricane ever to strike Texas. The Insurance Council of Texas reported that “insured losses as a result of the storm totaled $12 billion—$10 billion caused by wind damage and $2 billion caused by flooding.” Ike hit Galveston with 110 mile an hour winds, sending “a 20 foot wall of water over the Bolivar Peninsula and created a rising tide that flooded most of Galveston and many nearby communities along Galveston Bay” (ClaimsJournal.com, Sept. 9, 2013).

Ike gave Mostyn a chance to repeat his shock-and-awe approach to litigation that worked so well with Rita. Mostyn’s law firm proposed a $189 million settlement with the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA)—the insurer of last resort in vulnerable coastal areas—in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 2,400 Galveston County homeowners. When the $189 million settlement was accepted, he earned the moniker “Hurricane Mostyn.” His law firm took a rather astounding $86 million in fees for its efforts.

According to the Statesman’s Embry, “TWIA General Manager Jim Oliver complained in a December letter to a legislative oversight panel that Mostyn had demanded more than $86 million in legal fees for 315 cases it filed against the association, not including economic and punitive damages.” The Houston Chronicle quotes Oliver as saying, “These demands came almost always at the very beginning of the lawsuits, with no explanation as to how attorneys’ fees could possibly be so high, so fast.”

MostynLaw.com (which also has an “In Memoriam”) briefly summarizes their focus:

Steve’s vision was to create a Texas law firm willing to fight aggressively to level the playing field against multi-national corporations and insurers who often were getting away unchallenged as they treated their own clients unfairly or in bad faith. Mr. Mostyn has handled tens of thousands of first party insurance claims in the past several years, all of which have settled or tried with most resulting in extra-contractual damages.

Steve and Amber Mostyn live in Houston, Texas, with their two children. They are the proud founders and supporters of The Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno Educational Foundation. The Mostyn Moreno Foundation supports and operates programs and collaborative efforts across Texas that serve to encourage the abilities of children with special needs

linked from Mostyn Law Firm In Memoriam page

The Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno Educational Foundation. (<==link to 990Finder added, not in orig.)

Center for Public Integrity on Steve & Amber Mostyn (Sep 2012 “Biography”)

Center for Public Integrity on Steve & Amber Mostyn (Sep 2012 “Biography”)

Ctr for Public Integrity’s footer shows connection to “ICIJ” (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) which has published series “Panama Papers” and “Paradise Papers” explaining how off-shore investments and shell corps connected to (public officials, often) work, with specific examples. Naturally, I also looked up the related nonprofits involved in the site. Fascinating!

FOOTNOTE:  Forms 990/990PF LGH Complaints.

  • One example — how hard can it be to require, and set up some software that will kick out, an entity name and EIN# as header on EVERY Form 990 page such that people looking at many returns (for example, if comparing organizations) will at a glance know which ones they are looking at?  It has the ability to show YEAR, it should be able to generate a header.
  • Another thing I’d like to see — the IRS (or state levels) should REJECT filings which have more a dozen grants of any size for Schedule I of the Form 990, and.or do not present them in legible font and at least 8-10 per page. The other day I found an uploaded form of over 1,200 pages because the grants were provided 1/page (if I recall, it was JustGive.org, too)..
  • Page 2, Part III of the 2008ff Forms 990 require descriptions of “program service accomplishments.” This section is frequently abused in a variety of manners (for example, copying boilerplate text obviously summarizing entity purpose).  The “including grants of” section is also often mis-used, or mis-understood — as my last post on a gun control organization run primarily by lawyers showed, spanning many years in the SF Bay Area.  This mistake (?) literally confuses Expenses (OUTgo) with Revenues (or organization “INcome” in the form of contributions) and signifies that whoever is responsible, wasn’t responsible enough to correlate one part of the return with the others.
    • Basic Skills Required:  (1) reading a single sentence in basic English and comprehending it, then (2) remembering this while plugging in miscellaneous numbers for that part of the form and (3) accepting that “supporting details” sections to the Summary Page should correspond with  what actually that Summary says.  Example: Page 1 will show NO grants to others, while Page 2 will show, grants to others.
    • In the case of a gun-control entity run primarily by lawyers, it seems the same will be quoting statistics on gun fatalities, use, homicides etc. Are we supposed to take those at face value, too?

However correcting some of those irritating issues still wouldn’t account for many more situations which defeat transparency across nonprofit sectors for the sake of the public who is supposed to benefit from extending the privileges to people (or corporations) whose operations tend to involve tax-exempt entities.

For example, private foundations filing Forms 990PF do not even have to provide EIN#s to match their grantees, while “public charities” (which in fact are privately controlled, non-stock corporations mostly!) are supposed to provide them.  All of this translates eventually to either money “MIA” or facilitating (whether or not that’s the underlying reality) the appearance of donations not even subject to outside verification without extraordinary effort, and time, and even then, the likelihood of producing a complete record for even individual organizations.

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Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

December 15, 2017 at 10:55 pm

One Response

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  1. daveyone1

    December 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

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