Despite the fact that the protest group behind the elevator confrontation of Senator Jeff Flake rakes in millions each year, they are still clamoring for more money.
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a left-wing organization which has grown in reputation recently for its roaring anti-Kavanaugh protests, claims to be an underdog type of grassroots organization — despite being funded by billionaires. One of the women, Ana Maria Archila, who yelled at Flake while blocking him in an elevator last week is the co-executive director of the group.
The CPD have been busy confronting several Republican lawmakers over the hearings, not just Sen. Flake.
According to Fox News, on Thursday, they helped organize even more protests against Kavanaugh, as the FBI report came back that there was no evidence for the allegations made by Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her over 36 years ago.
???? DEMOCRACY IN ACTION ????:#UWS #CancelKanavaugh delegation helping raise hell in the Hart Atrium. @housingworks @PPNYCAction @NOW_NYC @es_indivisible @CPDAction @womensmarch @32BJSEIU @CWADistrict1 @RWDSU pic.twitter.com/6jVb6OCvP0
— Linda B. Rosenthal (@LindaBRosenthal) October 4, 2018
However, the elevator feat was what made the group famous, and they’re milking it for all its worth, now soliciting money to “support the heroes,” referring to Archila and her fellow viral video star Maria Gallagher.
“Because of Ana Maria and Maria’s heroic actions, and the thousands of heroes across this nation, we have another week to stop this horrible Supreme Court nominee,” the organization’s donation page reads, updated last Friday after Flake’s call for an investigation into the assault claims.
“But these heroes need our support. We don’t have private jets or big money donors. Instead, we have a people-powered movement to save our democracy,” the group wrote.
They are currently more than three-quarters of the way to meeting their $50,000 goal, because hey, might as well make a profit off of activism, right? That’s why all the great political protesters did it.
But complaining that they have no “big money donors” is completely wrong considering that the CPD, and its sister organization Center for Popular Democracy Action, received over $13 million and nearly $3 million respectively in donations or grants in 2016, according to public records.
Left-wing billionaires and foundations have been funding the Center for Popular Democracy heavily over the years. Between 2015 and 2016 the Ford Foundation gave them nearly $2.5 million, while in 2017 the foundation upped this to nearly $9 million. This year so far, the foundation gave the CPD an additional $375,000.
Meanwhile, liberal billionaire George Soros’ organization Open Society Foundations has also been donating its fair share, bestowing the CPD with $1.5 million in 2016 and 2017, and giving the CPD Action another $1.2 million in the past couple of years, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Trump called out the protesters on Twitter on Friday, writing “The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it!”
“Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!” He added the hashtag “#Troublemakers” to the tweet.
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
And the CPD’s troublemaking also casts doubts on whether it qualifies for the tax-exempt status it has always claimed.
Cleta Mitchell, a campaign finance lawyer, told Fox News that organizations that commit actions like encouraging breaking the law aren’t eligible to claim tax-exemption.
“It’s one thing to be an exempt organization where you have demonstrations, rallies, or meetings. But if you cross the line into violating statutes, rules of procedure, which cause you to get arrested, that’s sort of crossing the line,” the lawyer said.
IRS rules state that organizations that plan or sponsor demonstrations where group members are “urged to commit acts of civil disobedience, don’t qualify for” a tax-exemption as a nonprofit.
This sounds like the CPD, which recently distributed an online form encouraging people to “participate in civil disobedience” and risk getting arrested. A post from last year on the organization’s website also boasted that “nearly 300 protesters trained by CPD, were arrested for civil disobedience after standing up to members of Congress who voted yes on the GOP tax package.”
Mitchell says that this qualifies as encouraging people to commit illegal actions.
“You don’t have to be touched. The definition of assault does not require physical contact. You can be assaulted by somebody screaming at you or interfering with your ability to walk down the corridor,” she said, pointing to the aggression we saw in the video of Archila and Gallagher as they prevented Sen. Flake from continuing on to the committee hearing.
To sum up the type of organization the CPD is, not only is it collecting money via its multimillion-dollar donations from big name liberals and questionable tax-exemption, it still has the audacity to whine about not having “private jets” and calling for more funding for its disorderly protesting. Unbelievable.