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

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Archive for August 14th, 2019

What’s happening to the Tobacco MSA Billions? From American Legacy Foundation (2002 Form 990 for EIN #911956621) to ‘Truth Initiative Foundation’ (Same Entity, New Name), Audited Financial Statements Promised but Not Produced (Publ. Aug. 14, 2019).

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“MSA” stands in this context for “Master Settlement Agreement,” and the field is “big tobacco” to be countered with big health and public education/communications infrastructure to persuade everyone, especially young people in the United States, to quit smoking tobacco, among other things.  See recent posts (and I also blogged this extensively in 2017; see Table of Contents).

There is an update. Perhaps this phrase should be part of the header to every post as I added to the recent top (Sticky) posts:

ANY post may be further edited (as in, condensed, or expanded, or both) after publishing.  Blogger’s privilege!


Update on What?: See end of post title.. “What’s happening to the Tobacco MSA Billions? . . . Audited Financial Statements Promised but Not Produced (Publ. Aug. 14, 2019).(shortlink ends “-aE7”, about 8,855 words, including the following insert explaining that I just found what the title says, couldn’t be found.  

NOTE: This is an update, not a retraction.  I keep records via screenprints, and will double-check my own various screenprints — because it was so odd that a link promising financial statements didn’t (at the time) produce them.  I also noticed (via “statcounter”) two government entities (US Dept. of the Treasury and State of Minnesota, which comes up in one of the nonprofits discussed below) on the website August 15 (after publishing Aug. 14, late).  However, meanwhile, I feel obligated to post the functional link to at least the:

Truth Initiative Foundation & Affiliate Consolidated Audited Financial Report | Title page (with url displayed at the top)

You can read the rest here: https://truthinitiative.org/annual-reports/financial-statement/2018-financial-statements

TO SEE THE REST OF THIS UPDATE (about 2,500 words only) and how it happened, go here:

As this says:

ANY post may be further edited (as in, condensed, or expanded, or both) after publishing.  Blogger’s privilege!

I first typed the Updates here (complete with annotated images and some drill-downs, as well as explaining how I found the MIA financial statements), then moved the text to its own post, above, with a quick introduction.

Now that this was just published, I’m going to remove the material from here.


BEFORE all that update, the post started here:

I grabbed the closing text and screenshots for this QUICK post,  What’s happening to the Tobacco MSA Billions? From American Legacy Foundation (2002 Form 990 for EIN #911956621) to ‘Truth Initiative Foundation’ (Same Entity, New Name), Audited Financial Statements Promised but Not Produced. (Publ. Aug. 14, 2019) (shortlink ends “-aE7”, about 7,800 8,855 (with update above) words)

from the bottom ofA 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)… post short-link ends “-a6m,” published August 7, 
both posts pointing towards another long-delayed one, which is up next.

The “next up” post urges readers to answer a few tough questions I deduce are not being addressed in public reporting on the problems with “custody courts” (family courts).  Nor are these questions addressed or even being raised in the coordinated, multi-state and at some points, international efforts to correct course within the family law courts (Canada, USA and the UK) by a variety of means.  That “next up” post  is currently called:

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…)  (FINALLY PUBLISHED IN LATE AUGUST)

What I have here is just paving the way, featuring some details which don’t really belong at the bottom of the previous post.  The cause, the situation, and the organization (referenced in my post title) and the tobacco-sales-based resources coming its way — and coming from similar sources but through other conduits — is just too big. As I discovered taking another closer look this time, networked with certain other name-changing, trade-name using entities.  As usual, at least one of these operates out of a university law school, helping to promote the law school’s and the individual running the nonprofit’s reputation as “one of the good guys” too.

An AFCC law professor also has for years worked in another part of the same school; seeing this setup reminded me again of the pattern of utilizing college connections to promote interests of private 501©s, utilize any available interns (graduate or undergrad students, giving them extra clinical experience) and portray it as in the public good.  This leverages an obvious advantage to the general public in “priming the perspective” of future lawyers before they’re out the gate…

Non-professors and people who can’t afford to fund centers at law firms are at a disadvantage when conflicts of interest may indeed exist, but leverage to show (publicize) it does not.

As to the anti-tobacco (stop-smoking) public-interest nonprofits — why do the good guys have to employ chameleon tactics, wear in effect masks, and direct public resources to places unknown?  For “ALF,” now “Truth Initiative,” that’s measured in billions, not millions. And we are twenty years into it as of 2019.


More on the sequence of posts here: Before the about seven recent posts cleaning up the blog’s sticky posts, sidebar widgets and producing a table of contents for 2019 (so far), on June 22, 2019,  I was on the topic of things about which we should know by now.  “By Now We Should Know“*** post indicates where I’m going; I just had to show why “A Health System Flush With Cash” is not something to be safely ignored, and give some indicators of size and scope.

***By Now We Should Know!” (Impromptu Re-cap of Key Players addressing [how to handle] Domestic Violence especially as it impacts Family Courts) (Apr 28 ~> June 22, 2019).  (short-link ending “-9NU”.. as insert to “More Perspectives” late April: 6,000 words; latest revs for clarity and extra links, 6/23/2019).


This post prepares people for another post, already written [[next up, not published yet, as shown above//LGH Aug. 2019]], which asks a hard, “what-if” rhetorical question.  I hope readers on considering that (coming post’s) rhetorical question have the integrity to consider where they may have been radically mis-led about the real purposes of family court reform/fix/correct movements.  Even though it may be embarrassing, confronting, or disturbing.

After ten years of blogging, I’m confident to say, I wouldn’t trust ANY group which has been around ten or more years — or drawing policy off any other which has been — who has failed to point this out. We are dealing with massive resources of the state’s health agencies, which are somewhat inexhaustible to the extent they continue taxation to replenish them…


EIN — Employee Identification Number.  (Sometimes called “FEIN”).

NAMECHANGE: The “American Legacy Foundation” changed its legal business name to “Truth Initiative Foundation” (both presumably “Inc.”), its “dba” (to “Truth Initiative” without the word “Foundation” and of course with that, its website.  This however, doesn’t change its EIN# and from what I can see from the available financials and level of transparency, may not have changed its original character or practices as an organization.

ENOUGH INTRODUCTION.  I have some things to say, to show also, and towards the bottom (clearly marked) a series of “clean-copy” tax return images (huge) from the organization on post title.

I may add some VERY much annotated ones I see made in 2017 on first discovering this, below them.  Again, they’ll be easy to find.  (May be 2002 annotated, or even some 2003).  Or, more likely, a link adding to where they might be found.  Those annotated tax returns should raise some serious questions about why we aren’t asking more serious questions about what kind infrastructure has been created here, and how FEW people, really, were behind its creation.

My reading shows that this was built up and primed intergenerationally.  I believe it should be seen in that context because that’s how the largest foundations, and people drawn to powerful positions within government tend to operate.**  Once in power, they don’t like to reliquish it easily.  Embedding their programs within it and creating a public/private co-dependency “in the public interest” seems a great way to ensure continuity – – not matter what it costs the taxpayers.

**When it comes to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes (now plural) of Health, that’s been documented.  I have, on this blog; the HHS has, others have.  One of the most powerful lobbyists was the widow (twenty? years his junior and outlived him by about 40 years) of an advertising giant: the heiress (because of that) Mary Lasker.

Now a large chunk of the ALF (as seen 2002) is going to advertising campaigns seeking to effect behavioral changes in youth, kids, and adults, massively so.  Coincidence?

Is this all really science, or just the science of public relations, advertising, persuasion, and coordinated special interests in the public sphere?  Take a look…

CONSIDER: PUBLIC (the State or Crown prosecutes) vs. PRIVATE (FAMILY/CIVIL) PROCEEDINGS:

Both types co-exist, parallel to each other, with major differences in ramifications.

Examples:  Child abuse protections/dependency proceedings, or criminal prosecution of  some forms of violence upon the person, i.e., domestic violence, stalking, kidnapping, etc. versus settling other issues and private debates about divorce, custody, visitation, etc. NOT involving criminal actions or allegations of them — just arguments about the best arrangements

While the USA and Commonwealth countries characterize, name, and it seems run these differently, similarities exist in that some involve the state in taking action to protect children or at times adults.  In other words, a PUBLIC (dependency) aspect and the PRIVATE (“family courts”) one.

NOW CONSIDER:  All family (private/civil) courts (USA or Commonwealth countries) will be at some point intersecting with national health systems (US: The Federal Dept. of HHS) and resources, especially where there are child protection proceedings.  So will some of the dependency proceedings (criminal prosecution of child abuse & neglect) resulting in children needing new homes — i.e., foster care and adoption.

 

NOW CONSIDER: The size of the USA and its habit of taxing income of citizens, even income earned outside the country, and of (especially at home/domestically) promoting the proliferation of tax-exempt entities to assist it in delivering services is a major issue.

 

NOW [THIS POST] CONSIDER[s] ONE, SPECIFIC, BIG, TAX-EXEMPT, USA (“D.C.”) ENTITY…

which <> has already changed its legal name once from the already-broad reference ‘American Legacy’ to an even broader one ‘Truth Initiative’ — neither of which had the word “health” “tobacco” or “smoking.” which <> characterizes most of its expenses at “OTHER” (unidentified) on the tax returns, and <> which, while promising audited financial statements are available on-line on both its tax return and even on the (newer) website fails to deliver them (as in 2017, so still in 2019), despite initial billion-dollar assets held, and plenty of ongoing revenues.  

Also, <> granting out, the year 2002, $27M, which grants are shown on the tax returns in close to invisible font-size, shrunk more than any other portion of the same tax return, and adding needless extra columns the IRS didn’t ask for.  Many of these (visible, sort of, if you squint or utilize a magnifying glass (or, on-line, zoom function) while switching views back and forth because “grantee” name is so far away from the $$ amount) are to local health departments, which residents in any recipient state have a right to know its outside (private) revenue sources.  These practices obscure that information and erect barriers to finding it.

(html error? loops back to requesting page, or a look-alike).

In that context, for this post, two other tax-exempts with, at least now, common leadership also came up.  One of them has so far had several name changes since its startup (about the same time as American Legacy) and the other, which a closer look just brought to my attention through a detail on the first one, was a DC-based 1967-founded nonprofit, with leadership (at least in the last decade or so) in common, and definite global ‘health” goals.

I’m not doing a timeline on either of these two, but post here a few choice screenprints from website and/or excerpts from a tax return or two.  Below that I’m going to post many from American Legacy Foundation, FY2002.

All this further illustrates what happens once such an issue-specific infrastructure is created, a few, privately controlled and funded, much smaller surrounding ones whose leadership was directly involved in the same issue, as both media and legal “technical assistance and training,” before, during and after.  

The connections between those who helped set up the infrastructure and those who are still administering it remain strong.  The connection to telling “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing BUT the truth,” remains weak, it seems, by design.

This post continues to look at how some of the health-related revenues here, not directly from income taxes, but dealing with the aftermath of United States attorneys general going after “big tobacco” for reimbursement of health costs, are being reported on the recipient entity (“American Legacy Foundation,” now called “Truth Initiative Foundation,” EIN #911956621) tax returns.
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