Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

'A Different Kind of Attention Develops Sound Judgment' | 'Suppose I'm Right Here?' (See March 23 & 5, 2014). More Than 745 posts and 45 pages of Public-Interest Investigative Blogging On These Matters Since 2009.

A Health System Flush With Cash — because ‘Smoking Causes Cancer’ (1998 Tobacco Class Action Litigation MSA Payments, and Tobacco-Related Taxes Impact ‘in perpetuity’ on Systems Affecting Family Courts) (Begun Early June; Publ. Aug. 7, 2019)

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A Health System Flush With Cash — because ‘Smoking Causes Cancer’ (1998 Tobacco Class Action Litigation MSA Payments, and Tobacco-Related Taxes Impact ‘in perpetuity’ on Systems Affecting Family Courts) ((Begun Early June; Publ. Aug. 7, 2019) post short-link ends “-a6m.”  Currently 5,200 words, having just been shortened (split), but this one is still a bit complex. Following the funds has been made complex. Last update, Sunday, August 11, 2019.

This post represents a preview to the preview of a draft which when published may be found, with a short-link ending “-9PC,” HERE:

Post: Reform, Solutions, Enhancements, Adjudication Improvements Built on WHAT? (Unproven Because Unspoken Assumptions about the Deliberate Design = the Deliberate Purposes of the Family Courts in the USA)., (“-9PC” started May 2,  revisited and expanded June 6-8, “sure hope to publish soon” status, Aug. 6-7, [all dates listed~>] 2019…)

I was working towards getting that one published, while (as usual) stating my concerns and explaining the basis for them.  Neither this post nor that one are  “PC” / politically correct no matter which political party you may favor.

To understand this post (and when published, that one) it may help to realize how much time I spend “underground,”  looking at organizations and their interactions with government using both their own descriptions (however mis-leading) and the ones available to me as a common person with normal internet access (i.e., not most specialty-journals, i.e., JSTOR, Wiley, many other publishers catering to the social science or legal sectors).

Not being in academia, or a member of some ‘consortium’ on specific problem-solving topics, I mostly look at public-access databases, whether on state or federal agency websites, at IRS.gov listings, and, where possible, tax-return databases (for USA), where tax returns may be posted.  Or, at times, financial statements of an organization of interest.  Because my lookups feature things that do NOT require special membership or journal subscriptions, I can say that those with basic internet access and willing (or able) to put in some personal time, can, and could have, found out the things I am reporting.  Why so many haven’t may vary by personality, motivation, or opportunity.

I may seem “alarmist” but be properly alarmed about things which have missed observation while people are busy reading mainstream media on their favorite subject matter and following the thought-leaders often featured in them, for a good, general-interest story line.


In this post, I will be talking about some very large numbers.  They are still just numbers…**

**CONSIDER WHY “NUMBERS” ARE STILL IMPORTANT, NOT TO BE IGNORED: ADDITIONAL COMMENTS (8/11/2019):

As measurements, numbers serve as a point of comparison other numbers:  bigger or larger.  They can be compared across the same named categories, or different ones.  They can (ideally) be compared within one organization’s reports for a single years, across the years (one organizations), or cross-organization.

NUMBERS on tax returns (or federal grants databases) should provide a general sense of size, of the various categories (public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit (a technical term which ends up meaning almost the exact opposite:  functioning NONprofit actually increases, preserves profits (through tax-exemption), depending on management).  So is a general sense of growth (what direction business — or government — has been moving over time.  Individually we (I hope!) do this for our own households and lives, maybe of our children’s — but what about of our own governments’ (plural), or the organizations dealing with them?

By “NUMBERS” I’m not just talking about dollars (revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities) but, for example, how many subcontractors (few or many?), grantees (the same), how many collaboratively networked organizations focused on getting a single — or a selected SET of — transformations in (A) practices, then (B) legislation to further regulate (endorse or prohibit) practices.  They shouldn’t be ignored in the reporting of family court fiascoes, complaints about individual judges or associated professionals, and numbers that bear no resemblance to reality when quoted consistently by advocates should be taken as the red flags they are.

That’s my mini-spiel to counter a common protest at my continuing to look at the numbers on tax returns while others are posting head-shots and dramatic accounts of “judicial decision-making” gone horribly wrong….

…Their sheer size (see post title) is itself a message.  Then, there’s a message in who, if anyone, is  reporting anything credible about them, and in where the force of those numbers ($$) is applied, through whom, and how.


But, like welfare reform of 1996 and subsequent varieties, it is a United-States-specific situation (while impacting other countries and I imagine echoed by campaigns in other countries also; in fact WHO is known to be involved in the quit-smoking field, and as recently as 2009 the United States apparently became subject to a treaty related to this, which I posted in 2017 the first time I worked through much of this tobacco litigation situation).


Below in this post, I remind us of the American Legacy Foundation (now called “Truth Initiative Foundation,” dba “Truth Initiative,” which seems an even more grandiose title than “American Legacy” (and minus even any geographic or political/country reference).  I had posted a link to a pdf which I’d in (it turns out) in late July, 2017, of its FY 2002 Form 990 IRS tax return (not the first one).  I’d posted on this almost exactly two years ago (as I write on this update).  Among several posts at the time, the level of detail on this next one will reward anyone who goes through it with better understanding of current, ongoing situations in the U.S. government.

By that I don’t mean just this Presidential Administration but the major, and often invasive, role the state (in the form of the DHHS) takes in dominating most of us, and between US DHHS and the USDOE (which, you may recall (or, see ALLgov.com or any other history) from 1953 -1980 used to be both under one federal department called “HEW — Health, Education, and Welfare.”

Another way to look at this — it was built up substantially after World War II.


More recent changes nationally and internationally (Brexit, mass shootings & the prospective of major changes in gun control legislation**, executive-branch USA initiated trade war with China affecting US farmers who sell much food to it (today’s local headlines…) continue fast, and furious, and altering fundamental relationships between (and within) countries I realize — but it really does help comprehension to take an overview (timeline) of key players in key federal agencies, and see mass movements in action from a structural/operational viewpoint.

**Searching just “gun safety” on this blog (for the posts I remembered writing, but not exactly when), one from December, 2017, comes up (I plan to off-ramp this next section to its own post, soon, however for which post is likely up (to be published) next, see the very bottom of this post…).

[SECTION REMOVED; PENDING POLISHING OF ITS DESTINATION POST, IT IS NOW OFF-LINE, THOUGH I HAVE BEEN DISCUSSING IT ON TWITTER, TO A DEGREE.  August 10, 2019.]

Here, doing the “drill-down” (looking at actual nonprofit filings and how organizations refer to themselves and any related entities (or don’t when ought to) quickly leads to information which speaks loudly about their character (founders & funders’ intents as seen by design and, again, their reporting).

**[NOTE: THIS NEXT SECTION LIKELY TO BE  NOW HAS BEEN SPUN OFF SOON, DUE TO NEW DISCOVERY DURING ROUTINE POST-PUBLICATION COPYEDITING.  MY POST IS ABOUT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE, DESPITE MASS SHOOTINGS/GUN CONTROL ISSUES AND DRAMATIC DISTURBING CURRENT EVENTS.  MANY HIGH-PROFILE EVENTS AND SCENARIOS ARE CAPABLE OF BEING SET UP TO PROVOKE BASIC POLITICAL RESPONSES WHILE A POPULATION IS IN TRAUMA. REGARDLESS OF WHO PERPETRATED WHAT, EXISTING ORGANIZATIONS AND POWER STRUCTURES ARE PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF EXPLOITING THINGS THEY MAY HAVE HAD NO HAND IN CAUSING (OR, MAY HAVE HAD SOME HAND IN SETTING THE SCENE FOR; EITHER WAY.  SOMETHING, AS INVESTIGATIVE BLOGGER ON DV TOPICS, I SEE DAILY, AND HAVE ALSO PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED FOR YEARS.]

** The next three paragraphs: (inside this box) paragraph from the removed section still apply.  I’m still hoping to discover if there is — or definitely is NOT — any parallel capability in other, case in point of interest (for “FamilyCourtMatters.org”), Commonwealth countries as we have — though certainly not in full force, comprehensive, timely or accurate — in the USA).

MY MAIN POINT WAS THE ABILITY TO LOOK AT TAX RETURNS in the US.  THE RECENT DISCOVERY of a CERTAIN Cafcass/Nuffield-Foundation connected, City University of London-educated on AFCC’s Board of Directors generated extra posting here…  It caught me off-guard, although the friendly relations between the two organizations are not news.

In the US, we have an Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and individually, corporately (including nonprofits) file tax returns.  That’s one reason some people understand, for example, how AFCC’s incorporation and state-level nonprofit registration behavior has been, er, ah — not up to standard (and at times non-existant when it should’ve been).  Yet it wants to set international standards for divorce, custody, mediation, how to handle domestic violence, and has a news letter (or had) called “Kids Count on Us.”

These are posted — not fully, not always timely, not always filled out right — but they ARE posted and the IRS (federal) can and does automatically revoke organizations which simply don’t file three years in a row.  They can then re-instate (and may already have by the time the IRS data is updated to show they were revoked — which can take a few months, a half year, or it seems sometimes longer)..

My August 5, 2017 post (“An Alternate Viewpoint on the Anti-Smoking / Smoking Causes Cancer! Campaign and its Syndicated (?) Backers…”) (full title  — yes it’s longer and explains the first part — shown just below) is a good preview for the post you see now, which exists to previews another (pending) one asking some very hard questionshard because they are in fact common sense questions with heavy consequences if actually answered — about the Family Law System.

I expect to re-post or at least Tweet a link to that well-developed one written almost exactly two years ago, knowing I may not be able to keep up that level of research much longer “pro bono.”

So much of our basic health infrastructure is, when you look closely, heavily about publicity, advertising and media campaigns.  Similar things could be said about the educationalestablishment (which this post goes into towards the bottom — the “RELs” (Regional Education Laboratories) — and in general, how scarce actual fiscal accountability can be and has been through-out.

“TruthInitiative.org” home page (top) viewed Aug. 7, 2019.

If you can understand some of the reported realities on such large-scope activities driven by so very few people, I hope that understanding just might transfer (and it must — soon!) how the same vast discrepancies in the number of family court “reformists” and the population of this country whose voice is NOT being heard about the family courts, in part because the history of those courts hasn’t been considered or understood, especially how heavily tied it is into the existing health apparatus.

It seems we want diversity in almost anything else, but when it comes to something this important, it’s basically one of only two sides, Pro/Con (for the courts).

That alone should signal something might be radically “off.”

And there are ways to look at some influential things which have NOT changed in decades — simply grown in size, scope, influence and (as this post says) the amount of assets privately controlled…with the public footing the bill, eventually…and/or up front.

PREVIEW on a REVIEW:
An Alternate Viewpoint on the Anti-Smoking / Smoking Causes Cancer! Campaign and its Syndicated (?) Backers incl. the Whiteheads, the Laskers, the NIH and the U.S. Congress (from SmokersHistory.com and Other Sources. See also Tobacco Lawsuits and 1998 MSA Settlement Funds ~~} American Legacy Foundation, now the so-called Truth Initiative®) (post started 7/31, published 8/5/2017) with case-sensitive short-link ending “-7na” (15,400 words, “Fasten Your Seatbelts –this one’s details are SO still relevant to FAMILY COURT issues!! <~That comment, Aug. 7, 2019.  I’m re-posting this (or Tweeting, etc.) in preparation for a follow up post//LGH)

I’ve been working diligently for some weeks on related but larger, in fact, macro-financed systems affecting the collective state (and county-level) health departments and agency systems which in turn influence the family courts.

Tobacco Settlement Payments to Counties and Cities, 1999-2019 (shows California only…). NOTE: One full page = one year’s worth; there are 20pp., so the total $$ showing at the top of page 1 first seen is for 1999 only. Some years have more columns (categories of payments) than others.While CA and NY got the largest settlements (of those that signed on for the MSA), all other states and territories were also being paid..A separate quote below (from PHLC) says that by July 2018, these two states had received (combined) 25% of the total.  Thus, what you see about would be about 12.75% or one-eighth.  “Do the math….

The Mary Lasker Papers (from profiles.NLM.nih.gov). I have posted this in context of big tobacco litigation, as I recall in 2017). See also her bio section there (wealthy ad agency owner Albert Lasker was nearly 60–nearly 20 yrs older– when they met after her prior divorce from an art gallery owner).


I’ve been revisiting the connections between tobacco litigation and tobacco-tax-revenue money and the expanding (yet consolidating) administrative levels of early-childhood  (starting at age “0” at the latest) development seeking to swaddle entire communities/ counties/ states with early childhood development theory, practice, resources (curricula) and of course interventions —

— the same fields which dovetail naturally with divorce and custody proceedings and social science R&D on poverty (and abuse, and juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, etc.) theory as this blog has been reporting for years now.  In these fields, psychology seems to reign supreme.


I’ve been trying to summarize, succinctly enough but still showing first, the billions of dollars per state per year, and “in perpetuity,” of extra financing which has been funneled through additional infrastructure (both public and private) set up specifically to handle it, and second, evidences of the impact.

CLASS ACTION MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN MOST STATES AND FIVE TERRITORIES AND USA’s LARGEST CIGARETTE MANUFACTURERS…

This doesn’t include, additionally, revenues from extra taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products some states (like California) enacted as well, then and/or later, all of which created revenue streams received SOMEWHERE within government and distributed FROM there, as authorized legislatively when those streams were created..

Master Settlement Agreement (<~From the Truth Initiative website): between 46 states and 5 territories (on one one hand) and the largest U.S. tobacco manfacturers and trade associations (on the other), after which, per this, 40 more tobacco companies joined.  State attorneys-general sought and apparently got, billions of dollars of payments every year going to the states based on costs of treating “smoking-related illnesses” (quotation from above link):

  • The MSA resolved litigation brought by 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories in the mid-1990s against major U.S. cigarette manufacturers Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard, plus the tobacco industry’s trade associations.
  • It settled the state lawsuits that sought billions of dollars in costs associated with treating smoking-related illnesses.
  • The Attorneys General of the 46 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories signed the MSA with the four largest U.S. tobacco companies in 1998. (The remaining states had settled separately with the tobacco industry on their own.)
  • As outlined in the MSA, each of the signing states and territories gave up any future legal claims they might have based on the companies’ actions at issue in these cases. This did not include individual claims their citizens may have

The Truth Initiative Foundation (more below) was funded in part as authorized under this MSA.  Another descriptive source:

Public Health Law Center, Inc.  (“PHLC”) (<~That’s a Foundation Center database search by nonprofit EIN#411896367 for last three tax returns, read ’em for more information!) (It was formed in 1998, underwent a few name changes meanwhile, current name dates only to 2009, per a search of their Minnesota business filing history) located at and controlled by (it’s their “sole corporate member,”) a law school in Minnesota posts resources and history/summaries of this and related actions and causes (including the Opioid Crisis).  Their summaries show that the amounts paid as a result of the MSA are classified according to several types and they are ongoing.  (Initial, Annual, and Strategic contributions.  See page 3 of next link.  In the following paragraphs I quote and show some images from and links to the PHLC.

See nearby image of summary and my partial quote (with statements admitting that the billions received aren’t necessarily being spent on continued smoking prevention efforts, nor were they legislatively (by that MSA) required to — which raises the natural question, well then where were they spent?

How, into what holding accounts or funds at the state levels, were they disbursed also — straight into the state treasuries? to health departments?  There should be a visible trail of revenues and expenditures at the state, and from the state to the local, levels.  Advertising and promotions, and periodic news reports on this situation are not lacking, but what about the financials?

Master Settlement Agreement (PHLC, accessed June, 2019; the page contains several links):

Over the [past 20…] years, the states have collected tremendous amounts of commercial tobacco revenue, but are spending little of it on tobacco prevention and cessation programs. According to A State-by-State Look at the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later, {{<~~from “TobaccoFreeKids”}} states will collect $27.5 billion from the MSA and taxes in Fiscal Year 2018, but will spend less than 3 percent of it on programs to prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit. No state currently funds tobacco prevention at the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 29 states and the District of Columbia spend less than 20 percent of the CDC recommendation.

 

Public Health Law Center MSA web page (cover sheet w| many links) ~~SShot 2019-06-08

This quote is an excerpt, the last paragraph, from page shown on nearby annotated image:

re TCLC (Tobacco Control Legal Consortium) on 2006 Lorillard Amicus Curiae filing (cf Tobacco Control Center, soon after renamed Public Health Law Center @ MN’s (now called, after a merger)  Mitchell Hamline LawSchl (my previously-posted comments and image questioning who or what was the TCLC. //LGH)

From that website, there’s a Nov., 2018, MSA overview pdf, 15 pages long (pp. 11-15 are 69 fine-print Endnotes).  Helpful details: gives a some of the scope and history.

(See image of header page with sub-title “Tobacco Control Legal Consortium,” I added red borders).

Public Health Law Center MSA Overview (15pp pdf with 69 Endnotes, sponsored with help from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dated Nov. 2018 (a few months later, in 2019, the PHLC abandoned use of the name “Tobacco Control Legal Consortium,” which I’d called attention to a few yrs ago (2017) on this blog when it participated in an amicus brief as, I believed at the time, a non-entity. (I’m no lawyer, but that seemed off..)

Then in 2019, the PHLC decided to abandon the use of the term “Tobacco Control Legal Consortium…”  (“TCLC”) (see other image, further below).  So far, I have not been able to find any filing (at least in MN) acknowledging TCLC as a business name…

Not too surprising: who helped fund preparation of that (Nov. 2018, MSA Overview, 15-page) document:

This publication was prepared by the Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, made possible with funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The Public Health Law Center provides information and legal technical assistance on issues related to public health. The Center does not provide legal representation or advice. This document should not be considered legal advice.


Footnote 13 of this Nov. 2018 document says:

Since the MSA became effective, mergers and acquisitions have left R.J. Reynolds as the successor in interest to Brown & Williamson and Lorillard, leaving two Original Participating Manufacturers remaining.

Four “Previously settled states” (possibly starting with Minnesota — see FN 10) provoked the manufacturers’ attempts to get Congress to provide a global resolution, without success, in 1997.  The next paragraph, containing several footnote references, names which states:

In 1997, four states (Mississippi,9 Minnesota,10 Florida, and Texas), reached settlements to recover for Medicaid and other health expenses resulting from smoking-caused illnesses. (These states are referred to collectively in the MSA as the “Previously Settled States.”) After these settlements, the major manufacturers, facing a growing number of suits by other states,11 joined with those states and petitioned Congress for a global resolution in June 1997. Congress failed to pass the global settlement agreement, but the manufacturers and the Settling States were still able to reach a settlement in November of the following year: the Master Settlement Agreement.12

Among other things, the overview answers:

Q: How much money have the Settling States received as a result of the MSA?

A: As of July 2018, Participating Manufacturers have paid the Settling States over $126 billion in settlement funds,67 and will pay billions more in perpetuity.68 The Participating Manufacturers’ aggregate annual payment is distributed among the Settling States according to a percentage, or allocable share, that is assigned to each state in the MSA. California and New York are the largest recipients, each receiving 12.76 percent of all MSA payments. As of July 2018, each of these two states has received close to $16 billion in MSA payments.69

Public Health Law Center (‘org) @ MitchellHamline SOL | Tobacco MSA overview + (May2019) ‘We’re retiring that Tobacco Control Legal Consortium’ name -5 SShots 2019May28 Tue


The MSA also set up the creation of a foundation, initially called “American Legacy Foundation,” later changed to simply “Truth Initiative Foundation.”

From its tax returns (i.e., “government grants” itemized) this seems to have been initially funded by government, more than private entities and its main revenues are from buying and selling securities (i.e. investments, not donations, after the first several years).

There is a related entity called an “affiliate,” and (mentioned on the tax returns but I don’t see it featured on the website) a “disregarded entity” (M. Street Holdings, LLC) holds and rents property on M Street in Washington D.C.

Most Truth Initiative Foundation fka American Legacy Foundation expenses are also untraceable from the tax returns alone, being listed under “Other Expenses” on both Part I Summary, and Statements of Functional Expenses.  Totals are given, but line-item accountability for recipients, not so much.

Clearly much of this is going into advertising and marketing, huge sums ($51M, $31M to single independent contractors were seen), with all payees not identified as the IRS section (Part VIIB I’m referring to) only has lines for listing five.  Also, the organization’s returns promises but (I just checked again) does not deliver, financial statements on its website (today’s visit shows there are links to a few years’ worth but at this time, clicking on the titles loops back to the original page; i.e., the circular links).  See next inset box.

HOWEVER that doesn’t explain to whom, exactly, in each state, those cigarette manufacturers who agreed to abide by the MSA, have been paying those billions, and what any authorizing legislation (at the state level or MSA level) has to say about how the funds must be used.

It’s surprising how often talk of what was paid in amounts lacks identification of anything more specific than “to the state.”  A few years ago I tracked this in California (for a friend), but have not as I recall posted that level of detail.  In context I was explaining the importance of locating and comprehending CAFRs and various governmental funds and entities.  The individual was smart, managed his own retirement fund (substantial enough), had construction/building/planning experience and understood scheduling, budgets, overhead and such.  But thinking in terms of how governments (versus businesses) report this apparently had not come up.

CLUES FROM IOWA:  A fairly recent (April 19, 2019) article (press release) from the State of Iowa, DOJ, Attorney General’s Office gives  a clue — some went straight to the state treasury, some to the state’s “Tobacco Settlement Authority.” Some states set up an authority or account to receive the money, then sell shares in it (‘securitize’ it(?)); raise revenue by selling bonds, on behalf of the state, which means they then also have to pay interest on them.  Iowa receives $49.5 million tobacco payment

This “CLUES FROM IOWA” section is a case in point.


What is now called “The Truth Initiative” but was then “American Legacy Foundation.” I was looking at their tax returns some years ago:

(THIS IS JUST MY Personal, and impromptu, commentary on two tax returns of the same ‘Truth Initiative Foundation” as it’s now called, entity.  What I’m actually looking for is the record of WHO receives distributions resulting from the MSA at the state level, and whether this entity is disbursing them.  From what I can tell, I think NOT…


American Legacy Fndtn (Tobacco MSA grants est 1998) FY2002 Sold 8’5B investmts at a 53M Loss (!!) 911956621_200306_990 (all pp, ptd 7-30-2017) (There seems to be my typo in filename; the accompanying FY2002 tax return shows a $35M, not a $53M loss). It also shows $307M of gov’t grants, disregarded entity (which apparently owns a building on M. Street in Washington, D.C., DNK if it was their new (that year) street address.  Other tidbits include a $30M line of credit from “Suntrust” (an institution which US tax payer bailed out a few years later, around 2008?), and providing a nearly $1M loan, to purchase a house, to its President and CEO (then being paid $289K salary + $125K benefits) — and actual grants distributed in barely-visible format, page after page of it (as opposed to on IRS forms provided for this purpose), as well as sorted by purpose, not grantee, making it hard to digest. ).


Latest shown tax return here. (FY2017) showing it’s spending $73M of $119M total expenses under (Part IX, Statement of Functional Expenses, Line 11g), i.e., not really specified.  It has several contractors (Part VIIB shows only 5 of 34 claimed; of these, the highest paid one, (TargetCast LLC, dba “Assembly” in NY) got $51M.  Even so, it’s running $46M more expenditures than revenues this year, as last year, its main revenues now aren’t gov’t grants but from sales of securities (profit about $50M, see Part VIII).  Its Part VIIA Trustees, directors, officers, etc. were paid $5.7M total. …  and its greatest “Other Liability” is a $60M line of credit (!!). …   It shows control of bank accounts in 5 other countries …. The “Other Assets” (Schedule D) shows what types of investments (Common Trust Funds, Hedge Funds, Funds of Funds, etc.) and in general the foundation here seeking to “build a new world in which youth and adults reject tobacco” is indeed BUILDING A NEW WORLD apparently through its investing platform, and particularly good connections with advertising and marketing firms.  Certainly for its directors and subcontractors….  GRANTS for the poor?  (Not really) of $4.1M grants $1.0 M went to “Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids” in Washington, D.C., and $2.0M to UCSF Endowment, for understandable reasons (UCSF and Prof. Stan Glantz’s key role in the tobacco litigation.

Although obviously more than one category of fund will be involved administering anything of that size.  The websites regarding this are sometimes more interested in showing large cartoons, and large headshots of its state-level leadership, than fine-print audited financial statements with the more relevant details.

California First 5 Commission members (viewed June, 2019). George Halvorson used to run one of the largest state healthcare organizations in California (Kaiser Permanente), before which he was in Minnesota, high up in their health infrastructure also. Molly Munger (“The Advancement Project”) has also been mentioned on my blog, in the context of education reform (WestEd, Connect:Ed, James Irvine Foundation, etc.)

Eventually, I figured out in part (possibly) why, speaking in reference to the “California Children and Families Act (First 5) funds — which refer only to tobacco products taxes, not even those master settlement agreement amounts I mentioned above — there aren’t even ANY audited financial statements posted for the last several years, .  Take a look! (CCFC.CA.Gov shows distributions through 2018-19, but audits only through 2014).

 

Then there’s the matter of “an organizational impairment with respect to independence”

That this is an audit of part of the state government by another part the state government, both part of the executive branch, creates something of a quandary (as to independence) according to GAS (Government Auditing Standards), but the California Dept. of Finance says it’s mitigated this some (from the latest year’s audit: Year ending June 30, 2014!):

The Department of Finance (Finance) and the audited entity are both part of the State of California’s Executive Branch. As required by various statutes within the California Government Code, Finance performs certain management and accounting functions.  Under Government Auditing Standards, performance of these activities creates an organizational impairment with respect to independence. However, Finance has developed and implemented safeguards to mitigate the organizational impairment so reliance can be placed on the work performed.

I.e., an Executive Branch (state level) department auditing an Executive Branch (state level) Commission’s trust fund and its related accounts.  Too bad an outside auditor wasn’t called upon…

This audit also said, while there was no material weakness, there was a “deficiency in internal control” on the part of the Commission’s reconciling of accounts.

(Per that audited financial statement, YE June 2014), there is a primary Children and Families Trust Fund account, which passes money into seven different other funds, the largest of which (Account 0585) then distributes to the 58 county commissions based on their percentages of live births.

To then follow what happened from there, you’d have to go to (all 58) county commissions and THEIR financials.  It’s helpful to see the fund account numbers and get a general idea of the amounts — that year, about $460M collected in tax revenues, $444M into and out of the main fund account, and anything above expenses remains in a state pooled investment account.

Reminder:  These are not the big numbers — they are the smaller numbers, than those of “the largest civil class action litigation in U.S. history” represented by the tobacco master settlement agreement.

The four states not in on the class action also still receive payments, just not by way of that agreement.

 

“AMERICAN LEGACY FOUNDATION, INC. ” — Just a Few Years into it (FY2002):

I had enclosed a link to a pdf printout of that tax return on first draft of this post,  as  you  see  here:

American Legacy Fndtn (Tobacco MSA grants est 1998) FY2002 Sold 8’5B investmts at a 53M Loss (!!) 911956621_200306_990 (all pp, ptd 7-30-2017) (There seems to be my typo in filename; the accompanying FY2002 tax return shows a $35M, not a $53M loss). It also shows $307M of gov’t grants, disregarded entity (which apparently owns a building on M. Street in Washington, D.C., DNK if it was their new (that year) street address.  Other tidbits include a $30M line of credit from “Suntrust” (an institution which US tax payer bailed out a few years later, around 2008?), and providing a nearly $1M loan, to purchase a house, to its President and CEO (then being paid $289K salary + $125K benefits) — and actual grants distributed in barely-visible format, page after page of it (as opposed to on IRS forms provided for this purpose), as well as sorted by purpose, not grantee, making it hard to digest. ).

Seeing it was dated 2017, I went looking for the related post to see what might’ve already been shown about the contents, what points made that a Form 990 (an early one) might reveal.  On finding my August 5, 2017 post (“An Alternate Viewpoint on the Anti-Smoking / Smoking Causes Cancer! Campaign and its Syndicated (?) Backers…” with this information near its bottom, I decided to link, and just post the images taken again (in 2019), un-annotated, after this next updated table *** of most recent Form 990s (note: the foundation’s name will be different but the EIN# the same.)

**I’ll post this next (not just below); it should be a simple display; but as its own post, the Form 990 images can be much larger.


…..The three above images were just a “snapshot in time” from prior lookups.  The most colorful one, above (heavily annotated) was in the original, black and white only.  I spent a lot of time looking up references from this website, but as I recall from the post above, this came from a different angle; the search results at an MIT / “Whitehead” connection to biomedical research.

As happens in other fields, the higher to the top you go, the same foundation ownership (and at times, contractors, i.e., consultants, investment managers, etc.) continue to come up.  Over time (and with persistence) the details in the (ever-changing) landscape come into better focus.

Here’s a more recent run of the ALF (Truth Initiative) EIN#911956621 as shown above: Both as an image and direct tables (which provides active links to the underlying Forms 990):

Total results: 3Search Again.

ORGANIZATION NAME ST YR FORM PP TOTAL ASSETS EIN
Truth Initiative Foundation DC 2018 990 81 $992,475,517.00 91-1956621
American Legacy Foundation DC 2017 990 98 $1,019,042,166.00 91-1956621
American Legacy Foundation DC 2016 990 65 $957,381,718.00 91-1956621

Truth Initiative Forms 990 (Last 3 @ August 7, 2019. NB Fiscal Year ends in June, so the “2018” shown is actually FY2017’s return (etc.)

(Details from older & latest tax return here would make a good separate post.  I’ve taken screenshots but expect to post separately — just so they will be seen).

The bottom of “TruthInitiative.org” website, unusual, has little info (as does the top) where one might normally expect to find some links leading towards financial statements, Forms 990, or any such thing.  They could of course be searched for in the search function on the website…).


Where to find “Financial Statements”? Under a drop-down menu of “Who We Are,” obviously…

This link: https://truthinitiative.org/who-we-are/annual-reports  After I then choose from the options “Financial Statement 2018” with a bit of text showing, “we have audited the financial statements of the Truth Initiative” (or similar phrase), this then cycles back to the beginning point, just without producing them (and a different url which now displays:)

https://truthinitiative.org/who-we-are/annual-reports?type_report=129

As I said above (a few months ago) it’s still true now.


To go back to the top of this post, click on the title again: A Health System Flush With Cash — because ‘Smoking Causes Cancer’ (1998 Tobacco Class Action Litigation MSA Payments, and Tobacco-Related Taxes Impact ‘in perpetuity’ on Systems Affecting Family Courts) ((Begun Early June; Publ. Aug. 7, 2019) post short-link ends “-a6m.”  

Written by Let's Get Honest

August 7, 2019 at 5:53 pm

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