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.

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.


As I’ve said before, recently, the tobacco money often targets early childhood education and services, i.e., training and curriculum providers, with a documented emphasis also on recruiting fathers and promoting the “fatherhood” theme”** and the amounts were and still are in the billions of dollars.  Where are those investments being held?


~~>IF the American Legacy Foundation,” (now called “Truth Initiative Foundation,” EIN #911956621) had been originally classified as a Form 990PF (private foundation, not public charity), it’d have to show exactly where its investments — by naming not just the types, but the actual funds, with a breakdown by name– were being held.  As a public charity (Form 990-filer) it doesn’t have to and, basically, isn’t.  ~~>If it were part of an actual government, or a government entity, I’m pretty sure it’d also be held accountable to report this.


As it is now, the trail is easily lost, not to be found again except (if even then in full) perhaps by those directly involved.

Alameda County Fathers’ Corp Strategic Report excerpts

Alameda County Fathers’ Corp Strategic Report excerpts

**Referencing California’s “First 5” Commissions and a related network of similarly-named nonprofits, revenues coming from a different– but still hitting tobacco manufacturers (smoking cessation/prevention) tax the state’s voters added through a specific “Prop. 10.”


I saw connections to County-based “Fathers Corps” with leadership involved in similar or nearby county’s Child Support Enforcement (i.e., as Countywide Commissioner).  These two images from taken last May 21, 2019 are probably posted around then also.

(Actually those two are from my upcoming post.  However, the first image on an existing (published) post shows the similar setup:  look for an annotated image (mostly print, not photos) referencing “MACSA” at: Women Judges still form (funky-filing) Nonprofits to Run Fatherhood Programs | Men Judges still form Countywide DVCC’s + Obfuscate the Funding. Santa Clara County, CA (Six Years Later)(short-link ends “-9YW” … updated May 26, 2019). This is also on the “2019 Table of Contents, so far” post (see sidebar, “Go To | Current Posts” widget).

OR see below: one more sneak preview three-image-gallery from my upcoming post explains what I was referencing above a bit better.

Enlarge the images to read the details for it to make sense.  One key (as in the title above) is in the word “funky-filing.”  Chameleon corporations, untraceable entities, use of fiscal agents instead of direct entity naming, and targeting the money to non-entities; websites whose organization names don’t match their legal business names (current) OR registered “dba” (trade names), failing to produce independently audited financial statements or (for government entities in the USA; I can’t speak for Canada) CAFRs timely (if at all).

 

A curriculum (“Father-Friendly Principles Implementation Tool,” middle image above) was being modeled after a program out of (as I recall) Philadelphia, with an emphasis in making sure all female — not just male — social services staff was properly trained in being father-friendly enough, with plans to measure and assess just how father-friendly they indeed were.  … in case any readers are still wondering why I include this tobacco-related data and points of reference on a blog titled “FAMILYCourtMatters.org

USA’s Health and Human Services Department came into existence after a 1980s Presidential reorganization, under the authority of (before it expired, about the same time) the Reorganization Act, split off the Department of Education.

While we have now a separate federal Department of Education and Department of Health (before 1980, consolidated with a third function under the title “Health, Education and Welfare,”  “HEW.“) the tendency and push (here, and I know in the UK also) is to use the education centers, targeting the disadvantaged, for health care centers, and combine purposes.** (Health, Education, and Welfare, essentially)…

Keywords in the UK, for just one example: Sure Start Centers (modeled after Early Head Start in the USA):  FoundationYears.org.uk  (<~~**view page for purposes and characteristics) ;Gov.UK “Find a Sure Start Children’s Centre” prompts users in England to enter their local authority’s postal code to find their website and from there, a Sure Start Centre, with different links for Scotland and Wales); April 5, 2018, The Guardian UK (1,000 Sure Start children’s centres may have shut since 2010), citing a Sutton Trust study, calls the centers (<~I’m in America) “the UK’s early childhood flagship programme.”

See also my (=@LetUsGetHonest) August 9, 2019 Twitter Thread (the key is in the writing on media attachments (Screenshots from existing websites), which are just a sample, naturally, of anything read in the context).  This interest began, as I recall, with my quick look at the AFCC Board of Directors, which revealed a current Cafcass and former Nuffield Foundation individual, Teresa Williams, MSc, was now on the AFCC Board.


Click here for clean copy of the whole (abstract?) but I also recommend a basic search of the title to see who else is quoting it, and related topics.

Not knowing the other members on it, I also saw how Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, directors listed including Carey Oppenheim; follow-up led to more UK input from the USA “early childhood” realm (Oppenheim, who is at the International Institute for Inequalities at the London School of Economics, co-publishing just one book (that I’m aware of) with Naomi Eisenstadt, who is (still?) at Oxford University, but citing a California Credential in “ECE” (Early Childhood Education) Credential and cited as advising, somehow, the government of Scotland. This definitely got my attention, especially when Eisenstadt showed up being published (with several others) commenting on how other countries are better at implementing USA ideas than (we) are — as found (sponsored, probably) by the (about $750M Gross Assets) Commonwealth Fund, based in New York City.  March, 2009, “An International Comparison of Early Childhood Initiatives:  From Services to Systems

(The downloaded pdf, which I just browsed (repeats all of the abstract, plus some more, and several pages of footnotes, total 37pp.  The footnote cites are irregular:  some show country of publication, others (especially if a journal) do not.

Footnote #1 is key — if you’ve heard of  “From Neurons to Neighborhoods..”) — and omits the author.  Footnote #10 references “The Future of Children” (Joint-publication or project of Brookings & Princeton, which if you follow this blog, you might know by now).  (See also “Ron Haskins”) and is key to welfare reform programming, including the concept of “Fatherhood.gov,” promoting marriage, abstinence education, and either stigmatizing, patronizing, or prescribing relationship classes and counseling for single mothers…).  Other than that, it takes til nearly Footnote #65 to get to US-based references (or evidently such).

The building blocks for the early childhood system of the future are already emerging in each of the comparison countries. New political entities such as Children’s Cabinets, Commissions and Trusts are being created to fill a policy, planning and accountability void…

That’s one interpretation of why such entities are being created.  Not sure I agree — at all….

Approaches that align strategies across multiple levels of government (local, state and national) and that integrate services from different sectors (health, education, family support) are proving most successful.

The point isn’t proved in the document, although a tool developed by (one of the four authors?) seems involved.  Incidentally two authors, both MDs, are at the same center in UCLA.  Another is Jane Bertrand M.Ed. (Toronto) and the last, Naomi Eisenstadt (UK, but with a California credential in ECE somehow…).

Adoption of a common outcomes framework is an effective tool to get stakeholders on the same page, and accountable to each other.

For who the “stakeholders” are, see previous sentences.  Somehow, doesn’t really include the parents.  Or the children….

Service delivery hubs such as Sure Start Children’s Centers in  England and EDUCARE in the U.S. are providing the foundation for place-based strategies that support children’s healthy development. As child care, pediatric care, home visiting and other essential services work to improve their quality, and respond to new knowledge about early childhood development, they are also developing new linkages and points of connectivity so that they become part of a functional network that meets children’s needs. New population-based measurement tools such as the EDI are helping communities to identify these needs and to work with families to address them …

It was this thread, in particular referencing Sure Start (UK) and EDUCARE (USA) (“Educare” is searchable on this blog), not to mention the use of cigarette taxes from California’s “Prop 10” which got me OFF Twitter (where I’d been chasing down and publicizing the Nuffield/AFCC/Cafcass connections after first making a note of them on my “Acknowledgements” Sticky post of July 31, 2019) back to the very posts I was, at that time and for the previous month or two, working on.  I also note that the tag at the top labels just three countries (“Canada, United Kingdom, Australia” (not even in alphabetical order) but in fact it covers four countries:  USA was also included and discussed.  When it comes to the “UK” component, the sub-heading reads not “UK” but only “England.”  Editor’s (or editors’) or webmaster oversight?   Under “Conclusions” (just a few listed), notice how the global economic crisis of 2008 (this was written in 2009) was viewed as an opportunity to restructure early childhood systems and tax policy towards them:

...The major re-evaluation of economic, labor, and tax policy that the national financial crisis has precipitated is an opportunity to evaluate how the early childhood service market can be restructured and enhanced.

(etc.  All emphases added are mine in the above quotes)


Remember, I tend to follow organizations — not just subject matter themes, and as a result am well aware of some key associations and societies laser-focused on pushing the “early childhood education” theme internationally, ranking countries (categories as developed, developing, etc.) globally by level of enrollment.  I am also a parent with a long history of involvement in a variety of school systems (public and private, urban, suburban) according to my subject area taught, and a survivor of domestic battering and attempt at shutdown of work (professional) life while married to that man.  Control of children’s education is a major point of contention in many divorces, particularly with abusers, and the default “bottom line” once that conflict starts is generally going to be public (state-sponsored) education.


The handling of domestic violence issues, likewise has been framed overall as a health and treatment, more than a criminal issue, in the USA:  “Coordinated Community Response” and major funding ℅ HHS (see “The Greenbook Initiative” on or off this blog, notice key players and leaders).

Although so many men are batterers, somehow under the “health” framework, the absence of enough men in children’s or women’s lives is called “fatherlessness” or the tragedy/pathology (term dates from the 1960s Moynihan report) of “female-headed households.”  This theme drove USA’s (1990s welfare reform, but buildup continued 1960s-1980s) and its continuing programs; it also at least as a public rationale for it, drives the anti-tobacco movement.  Both major causes also spurred much privatization of services as nonprofits continued to incorporate to line up for grants.

In both causes (welfare reform, smoking cessation|tobacco deterrence) uniformly, individuals are presumed not to know what’s good for themselves in public or private places, so the state (federal government prodding the states in a symbiotic relationship) must step in and correct course.  One cause features more “social science” than medical science, but the encompassing framework of “health” naturally covers both.  Rationales…

I gather that in the UK, this might be “the Crown” (with help from longstanding key foundations, such as Nuffield, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Leverhulme, and a variety of others formed later) working with “local authorities.”  I am less familiar with the organization (geopolitical system) of government, although I do read on it, and on transformations of public education over the decades, including higher education, in more detail than this blog would ever sustain.


So, let’s look closer at the existing operations.

SMOKING AS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE ~~> MAJOR EDUCATION CAMPAIGNS TO STOP IT.

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, 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..)

Once tactics to accomplish anything of the scale of the “Master Settlement Agreement” and the resulting “American Legacy Foundation” now dba “Truth Initiative®”…have proven successful, another field can be chosen (i.e., opioid abuse, health disparities, (fill in the blank____).

In the above image, “Public Health Law Center” is apparently the current business name (before then it’d been Tobacco Control Center” with the “Consortium” a trade name.  However, the structure, activities and revenue sources (etc.) of the PHLC would be better understood from its tax returns, from which some key names and relationships pop out; one with the underlying law school, another (through current President) with a much earlier D.C.-based corporation who makes it clear the aspirations are global control and definitions of what’s healthy vs. unhealthy, and getting governments to comply with the standards.

~ ~ ~[I MAY ADD MORE EXAMPLES AFTER THIS POST IS PUBLISHED] ~ ~ ~

This FY2014 from PHLC (formerly called ‘The Tobacco Control Center’) shows $10K “interested person’s” Doug Blanke Payment; Mr. Blanke being the PHLC President who also was paid $139K that year. Other board members were paid by a ‘Related Entity,’ i.e., the law school housing it from the start. This relationship even survived a school of law merger (see full return, or earlier ones…) Link to the whole FY2014 tax return:. The excerpt is from PHLC, Inc. EIN# 411896367  But this DETAIL shows a directors’ relationship to another “ACTION ON SMOKING AND HEALTH” entity (not fully identified in Column (a) above — not even a full business name or what state (or country) it existed in.  Probably anyone involved in this litigation would know about “ASH” but it could’ve easily also been better identified here.  Forms 990 are for public consumption, too.

(From the Law Schools’ FY2014 tax return, showing nearly $400K due the PHLC under its own “Other liabilities“). An earlier image, also annotated earlier, notes the relationship between the law school and the nonprofit made famous earlier through its involvement in supporting the tobacco litigation efforts, which didn’t stop with the MSA and obviously required someone to organize the documentation..(LGH, 2019Aug12, caption; image probably from 2017

This is from a tax return of the law school supporting (as a “related entity”) the PHLC which by then was no longer called the “Tobacco Law Center”). I commented on the law schools identification of its own Schedule-R tax-exempt entities.LGH 2019Aug12, re earlier annotated image)

When the former “Tobacco Control Legal Consortium,” a trade name of a single nonprofit “Public Health Law Center” (PHLC) (fka “Tobacco Law Center, Inc.”)  at a private nonprofit Minnesota College of Law (I quoted in last post) relinquished its own trade name in order to expand focus, having first compiled massive documentation on the tobacco litigation (and showed up on an Amicus Brief at least once, with others), it also communicates an intent to broaden and expand purposes, now that, established about the same time as the master settlement agreement, it’s here and has made a positive name in such a high-profile field.


(See images from my last post, or the progression of its own tax returns and alterations in name, not to mention its finances as an affiliate its sole member, a law school, which later merged with a nearby university.  In context, it’s an offshoot of a law school which became involved in this litigation, and when it was over, continued the relationship (even after that law school merged), losing both the trade name and the legal business name it had identified for the duration).

Also related (and identified in a detail of the law-school-controlled nonprofit), looking more at J. Douglas Blanke, J.D. (Yale) biography at “ASH” (Action on Smoking & Health|”Global Action for Everyone’s Health”) in D.C., which goes back to 1967; Mr. Blanke was former Assistant Attorney General of Minnesota and involved in the main tobacco litigation, apparently, before 1998. The next quote catches (from bottom of the same web page) what the nearby image didn’t.  Notice: use of law students and interns certainly helps!

Internationally, [Douglas Blanke] helped draft the global guidelines for smoking regulation adopted as part of the world’s first public health treaty, the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and he edited the World Health Organization’s handbook on tobacco control legislation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Michigan State University, where he graduated first in the winter class of 1974, and a law degree [What year?] from Yale Law School, where he was Chair of Yale Legislative Services. He received the American Lung Association’s 2004 C. Everett Koop “Unsung Hero” Award for his contributions to tobacco control.

Doug has been on the Board of Trustees for Action on Smoking and Health since 2011 with prior involvement as a member of the ASH International Board of Directors from 2007-11.


In other words, I am in part looking at what can and (per the tax returns shown and other sources) take place when a nation’s central / federal agency handles large amounts of revenues, hands them off to private operators, and both the government and the public seems to simply lose track of them because no way to track them ALL even seems to exist.

All I’m showing HERE is some of the size in just one area — one specific foundation as the conduit for distributions (back to) the states as a consequence of the “master settlement agreement” of the late 1990s.  I am not discussing its independent subcontractors, grantees or any professional fundraisers.

I just think people should look at a few tax returns, especially when they get this large and demonstrate the exercise of powers this far-reaching with pervasive influence on “the public square” the public resources, and employment policies.


I’ve listed next some observations on the situation I hope this post may address.  Disclaimer/Qualifications-Limitations for my summary: I’m not a CPA or lawyer; this is not tax or legal advice; I am deliberately speaking from the point of view of an “outsider” and bystander to others who stand in similar shoes, where they even have shoes.

Many have been bystanders, but affected by the reliability or unreliability of delegated corporations to handle billions of dollars of revenues obtained, allegedly in our own interests, by government we (for those to whom it applies) support, most of us, all of our lives, whenever we maintain employment, consume services, or purchase access to anything public for which access fees are charged.

Like the courts.

My limited purposes here, after repeating the summary (for context) are:

  • to post images from this entity’s FY2002 tax return, and possibly from the latest available (currently, FY2017) one.  (“FY” = Fiscal Year, not always same as calendar year).
  • to make those images large enough to show that they are basically reports of where the money came from/went to/for what/managed by whom, for how much.
  • To show for the significant conduit of major tobacco litigation settlement, essentially nationwide, the ALF this early in accounting for its funding, the majority of WHERE IT WENT is to categories “OTHER” and to un-named entities, primarily because the IRS form allows this. In other words, “where it went” is where “the sun doesn’t shine…”

This quickly raises the question — why was a method of handling this money set up which foreseeably would make such a situation possible?  Plenty of on-line discussion seems to be taking place about how the funds didn’t go for the primary cause of action underlying, it seems, the massive litigation (i.e., Smoking prevention or cessation programming, state by state).  Where’s any discussion about how setting up such a single, massive 501©3 which would be filing Form 990s, by definition (by virtue of the IRS reporting form itself) wouldn’t be disclosing ON those Form 990s, most of the subcontractors, or any easy way to identify the “OTHER EXPENSE” categories?

The re-named organization’s website doesn’t provide audited financial statements.  While this may be a webmaster oversight, I now see it hasn’t been caught for two years, while tax returns say those financials ARE made available on its website.  Why wasn’t this caught and corrected — was it really accidental?  (NB:  Audited Financials typically lack details Form 990s don’t — and vice versa.  Both sets of statements are necessary to get the fuller picture).

How does failure to foresee loopholes and provide for monitoring of this single organization reflect on protecting the public interest by those engaged (on the behalf of and in the name of governments) in this litigation?

  • to expose to at least some people who might otherwise never look up charitable organization or philanthropic organizations’ financials some very basic parts of the IRS Form 990 (pre-2008 version; some alterations occurred after and probably because of the 2008 global economic crisis surrounding the “housing bubble” burst, or whatever else you may wish to call it.  [FN1 IRS Forms 990 vs. 990PF, General info. for general audiences]
  • To also thereby demonstrate:
    • Most sections of a Form 990 are fairly self-explanatory — anyone who can read and tell larger numbers from smaller, a bit of basic math — can start by reading the instructions right on the forms.  Taking notes can help, but even reading is a start.
    • There’s no good reason excuse for U.S. taxpayers not to become familiar with the various tax return parts in seeking to profile any tax-exempt organization** or to follow up on at least identified government grants to an organization as basic fact-checking of public funding, where that applies.

(**at least for the year shown, plus “Schedule A of Support” after all parts (Parts I, II, III … XII.. also typically summarizes for the previous 5 years, which also has several lines of itemized details and can reveals more).

(continuing…)

    • How the filing “entity” fills out tax returns reveals practices, habits, tendencies and by association character.  An organization’s (and by association, leadership’s) character, will affect more than one area of reporting.
    • Who else is involved? What’s on the returns also often reveals some (but not all) key relationships — whether owned or run by the filing entity or doing business with it as subcontractor, or grantee (or fundraiser).
    • the trustee, director, officers, key employees and highest paid employees individual (and collective) salaries, some surprisingly high (others, for all the website’s promotion of who’s on the Board, could be 1. to 5.hours a week volunteers.  This lets the directors, properly, claim membership on boards of directors on their bio blurbs, for what amounts to minimal time, a win/win for the organization and board member)
    • Because the forms have many inter-related parts (i.e., summary to supporting detals; or supporting details which say, “if answer is ____, explain on Schedule ___”) it also can quickly show whether the basic filing instructions are understood and followed. (Certain common mistakes show up repeatedly; sometimes numbers don’t add up either).
    • What’s on the Form represents what allegedly the IRS — not the public, on websites designed more for sales and media campaigns — has already been told about the organization’s activities, for that year (and a few years previous).
    • When an entity has a website, but says on its tax return it doesn’t — or says on its tax return that it’s Forms 990 (or financial statements) ARE made available on their website when they aren’t — I’d call that a red flag until proven otherwise.
  • (and some more).
    • In parts of tax returns to notice, the differential, Form 990 Page 1 has a “Gross receipts” summary in the heading (I DNR yet whether pre-2008, post-2008, it does) and it has total revenues figure also on Page 1 summary.  Where those numbers are vastly different, that often comes from (seen on Part VIII Statement of Revenues — referring to post-2008 returns) securities sold, gross and net proceeds.  I.E., When billion-dollar organizations are selling billions of dollars of securities and not making much (or losing, substantially) on their investments, that would reflect on how well other areas might be managed.  It does not seem like good stewardship.  (ALF showed a $35M loss, early on (!)).

Because the major funding of the ALF to start with seems to have been government grants, while I don’t know, I’m guessing (in context) that this means settlement amounts, or some of those amounts, provided to the 46 states and 5 territories did not go direct to the ALF, but by way of the states (which amounts 1999-2019, I liked to in the last post, as characterized by state and by year, with as you may remember, California and New York, together, receiving about ¼ of the total).


If I were presenting for a conference workshop, webinar, or producing some downloadable curriculum, I’d go further.  I’m not: this is just a personal prompt, exhortation, alert.

It’s also a repeated appeal to anyone who either has thought about or been trained in such things, to help me understand whether there is (and if so, what),or is not a parallel situation in Commonwealth countries.

While paging through this particular tax return, again in 2019 as I had in 2017, I took snapshots (again) and felt it might be helpful to post them, full-size.

I often do this, but don’t want to turn this blog into an extended posting of one organization’s tax returns after another.  I want enough up there to make the point — this should be an ongoing, relentless topic of conversation wherever and whenever public policy, public institutions such as the family courts, and problems with the sames, come up.

It should be common knowledge for those who live here.  Just doing one’s own tax returns (especially if not that complicated and no major business interests to report) doesn’t give any basis for understanding how some of the powerhouses do business and minimize taxation.

I believe it’s impossible to understand the role of, or any individual, major community foundation,, named after a geographic or political unit (i.e., a metropolitan area, or an entire state!) without going through this process.

Those who don’t live or pay taxes in the USA and haven’t considered this could benefit from understanding more.  I know it’d make it much easier to communicate “Across the Pond” (and the Bigger Pond — the Pacific Ocean) about policies which may bear similar names, and even have similar propagators (who came up with the labeling and hold some trademark to it) and seek to apply the same concepts in very different countries.

If you are from such countries and do not understand such things then take a look here, because this information impacts and properly should affect assessments whether or not it’s a great idea to (continue) taking advice from US-based organizations (such as AFCC, NCJFCJ, and our currently networked DV prevention organizations (already hooked into fathers’ rights promotion from the same feeding sources, just under different “CFDA” #s) which know how to and have been previously caught playing the IRS and the public to avoid not just taxation, but also fiscal accountability to the public about what (the ____k) they are doing in their various conferences, trainings, curricula, and attempts to internationally align practices and unify control of the courts (i.e., the children) based on subject matter, in wider and wider geographic areas.  And doing this piecemeal, and strategically so often, “off the radar.”


Especially organizations characterized by current, retired, or now-contracting-with government entities.  If you do NOT understand that the IRS and Tax Returns exist for public viewing (by definition they should be made available for certain kinds of organizations to any member of the public who requests them), then I suggest you start somewhere to get that understanding.

I’m sorry to say that this knowledge has also been undervalued in the USA, as has the concept of “CAFRs” (government entity accountability reporting), which is another area of national differences.  The standards here are characterized by reference to the GFOA which refers to “Canada and the USA.”

**However, without any audited financial statements to look at, I can’t say for sure. I’m not trying to replace the collective work of a law school consortium which already exists (see previous post for link) originally for this purpose.  That’d be nuts.


I just think people should look at a few tax returns, especially when they get this large.    Like this one. Regarding this one (see also my posts from late 2017 on Tobacco litigation): What (the f^ck), really, have we done (set in motion) here, and why?  (For “we” — “if the shoe fits, wear it!”)


OVERLAPPING TEXT (INTRO) BEGINS HERE:


“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 two** 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. It remains near the bottom of the previous (“Health System Flush with Cash”) post, not copied here..//LGH)

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.


FY2002 “ALF” TAX RETURN IMAGES BEGIN HERE:


I’m making these all “large” with less caption than the occasional comments below each one.  My images do not capture ALL of a tax return (for that, see the links above), just some key parts.

There is not a 1:1 correspondence with tax return pages; typically an image will not capture a full tax return page and be large enough to read the contents.  I often take two images for Page 1 of Form 990s to show both the header and the Summary substances.

Also, where the window displays this blog url, that may because images must uploaded to the blog’s “Media library” here.  however, I did get them on-line as noted in the first image’s caption.  Page 1 appears to have been uploaded back in August, 2017, i.e., for the first time I was blogging this organization and/or topic.

Remember that tax return formats changed in 2008 (see above links to later returns for comparison; certain parts differ or are reported on different parts and pages.  The essence probably doesn’t so much…

Image 1, Line 1c.  Notice: “Government grants $307.89 million, but gross receipts (existing assets which were promptly sold at a $35M loss) $8 billion.  {{copyediting error corrected there.  I’d said “gross assets” where “gross receipts” (Header, part “L,” before Part I. Line 1) was meant.  I was probably thinking assets because it represented assets SOLD in order to get gross receipts.)

Note:  I haven’t been able to locate Year 1, or even FY2001, of this entity’s tax return; would like to see it.  A glimpse of prior contributions (but not details on them) may be seen on FY2002’s “Schedule A” (prior five years of support are listed).

WHAT’s YOUR VIEWING DEVICE?:  If you’re viewing on a cell-phone (or at least I noticed on my iPhone), it may not be obvious this is an image gallery.  It does show clearly on (my) laptop.

There are 13 large images to this gallery, each caption has at least an Image #; some have a bit more text description. By cellphone, I believe you can see them by swiping left (or right once started), or use any navigation arrows which may pop up.  Anyway, try to see all 13 screenshots!  Thanks.


BLOGGER’s NOTE:  I WOULD LIKE TO POST THE OTHER PREVIOUSLY (2017) ANNOTATED IMAGES FROM THIS SAME ENTITY.  IF THIS IS DONE, IT’S LIKELY BE AN EXTRA POST (WITH A LINK TO IT ADDED HERE), TO KEEP THE POST UNDER 10,000 WORDS.  I THINK THE INTERMEDIARY INFORMATION ABOVE IS APPROPRIATE ENOUGH (AND CONTEMPORARY ENOUGH) TO STAY IN PLACE.  MUCH DETAIL WENT INTO THEIR PREPARATION AND THEY MAY BE BETTER “SHOW AND TELL” EXHIBITS TO THIS PARTICULAR ORGANIZATION.

IF ANYONE HAS CONTACT WITH THE “ALF,”

PLEASE ASK THEIR WEBMASTER TO FIX THE LINK AND PROVIDE THE AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.  KEEP THE CARTOONS AND BIG PHOTOS — BUT DON’T OMIT THE DOLLAR DETAILS.  THANKS. ###

###(See below.  Actually, if you’re at this point in the post, you’ve already seen them at the top. I found ’em and posted a sample immediately. https://truthinitiative.org/annual-reports/financial-statement/2018-financial-statements). Note:  I didn’t find them from direct link clicking around on the entity website as before:  I did a Google Search which brought up a different (?) link which worked. //(LGH Aug. 2015 later in the day)

Trademarks owned would also be interesting:  http://uspto.gov (look for the “TESS” Search button, basic word search unless you know how to do more advanced ones…)

I’m not set up for any letter-writing campaign and still have some residual privacy concerns.  Maybe I should use some of the “chameleon corporation/cover-your-tracks” tactics I’ve learned from following the nonprofits to facilitate one…  Should that change, I have a prioritized list of communications…


[FN1 IRS Forms 990 vs. 990PF, General info. for general audiences]

Some organizations or family foundations instead file Forms 990PF; how and that these differ so much also reveals another fragmentation (sequestering) of information and comparison of where public resources (I.e., both 990 and 990PF filers contribute to and can receive from public funds).  Some of the largest ones file 990PFs, which are not required to show EIN#s of grantees, do not post on page 1 their founding date (or even legal domicile), are not asked the same types of basic questions, up front, for public snapshot of the organizations.  FOrm 990PFs also do not have to separate DOMESTIC (USA) from FOREIGN (not-USA) grants on different Schedules (Schedule I vs. Schedule F).  If the public interest is to track specific grants to specific programs which line up with or are targeted towards major public institutions — like K-12 schools, public universities, or Head Start providers, welfare recipients liable to be recruited for marriage/fatherhood programming, etc.) that makes multi-source tracking (and thus, accountability) more complicated.

 


To go back to the top of this post, click on the title again: What’s Happening to the Tobacco MSA Billions? From American Legacy Foundation (2002 Form 990) to ‘Truth Initiative Foundation’ (Same Entity, New Name), Audited Financial Statements Promised but Not Produced (shortlink ends “-aE7”)

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