Senator John Kerry and Heinz Ketchup
(Note from BT: It's interesting to see that The Nature Conspiracy sold properties to its trustees and other supporters the same way that Rockefellers sold part of their slaughterhouse holdings in NYC to the United Nations. Rockefellers donated the cost of the unsaleable land to the United Nations -- which turned around and gave the money back to Rockefellers -- who then had the donation to offset the income. At the same time it made all the remaining land saleable at high prices. It should be remembered that these figures for The Nature
Conspiracy's income are only from the US. TNC is a worldwide scheme operating under British Royal Charter, just as the old East India Company did a couple hundred years ago.)
February 8, 2004
By Barry R. Clausen
As we watch the huge amount of criticism of each other by Democratic contenders for the Democratic nomination, there is an issue that most are unaware of.
Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry has used the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Foundation (Heinz Ketchup) money to support several environmental think tanks, research centers and controversial
Her financial support of environmental organizations has directly helped with the destruction of many rural American Families, and yet this is an issue during a presidential campaign that is being ignored.
When I decide to write an article about this issue, the first and what I believed to be the initial step was a call to Kerry's Washington D.C. office. On January 28, 2004, I called Senator Kerry's office and Livia referred my questions to the Kerry Campaign Headquarters at 202-548-6800. I asked for the press representative, which brought forth the question, "Who do you write for?"
When I answered, several publications, I was asked what the call was about. When I explained that I wanted to know how Senator Kerry felt about his wife's contributions to environmental organizations -- primarily the Nature Conservancy -- I was told to "Call the Heinz Foundation"; at that point the call was terminated as a result of the campaign office hanging up.
On January 31, 2004, I once again called the Campaign office and talked with Adam.
He was very polite, apologetic for the previous call and helpful, but with no answer to my question and no return call.
It has always been my opinion that if politicians, CEOs and other corporate officials knew the true agenda of all the so-called environmental groups, (including the Nature Conservancy, currently accused of selling land to trustees and drilling for oil on nature preserve lands) they would never contribute anything to these organizations.
In many cases they are led to "out green the greens" in a futile attempt to win the public relations war.
One example: Timber interest, Georgia Pacific (GP), contributed $1 million to the Nature Conservancy early in January 2000, as have many other timber companies.
According to a story in the Washington Post on January 17, 2004, "A team of IRS examiners will move into the global headquarters of the Nature Conservancy in Arlington to begin auditing the charity, the world's largest environmental organization.
"A letter sent to the Conservancy by the Internal Revenue Service last month indicates that the audit will be of uncommon scope for a charity, tax specialists said. The memorandum proposes a preliminary meeting between four IRS examiners and the Conservancy's chief financial officer to discuss logistics,
communications, telephone access, equipment and accommodations."
The IRS will examine 2002 tax returns, the letter said. The developments follow articles in The Washington Post over the past year that examined financial irregularities and conflicts of interest at the Conservancy. One story described alleged IRS code violations at a Conservancy project in Virginia, and another disclosed a dozen loans that the Conservancy extended to its employees.
A $1.5 million home loan went to Conservancy board member and President Steven J. McCormick, who repaid the debt -- after he was questioned about it by a reporter. "The stories also reported that the Conservancy had repeatedly bought land, added some development restrictions, then resold the properties at reduced prices to its trustees and other supporters. The buyers made cash gifts to the Conservancy roughly equal to the difference in price, thereby qualifying for substantial tax deductions. In the wake of the stories, the Conservancy banned a range of practices, saying it would no longer lend money to insiders, sell land to trustees or drill for oil on nature preserve land. The charity is conducting a broad internal review of its management practices and says more changes are expected."
In his book, Undue Influence, Ron Arnold outlines the Conservancy's connection to other organization. They want to do nothing more than control land -- your land.
The most controversial environmental group that claims to be "non-
As detailed below, TNC was involved in a lobbying scam using front groups to stop a dam project; it threatened to have the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service take a landowner's property if he refused to sell to The Nature Conservancy; used undue influence to get property from an elderly victim and lost the court case brought by the proper heirs; and continues to sell private land to the government -- despite the wishes of those who sold it to the Nature Conservancy.
TNC receives millions in government funds and uses tax money to forward its own agenda of nationalizing private land at a profit.
Although The Nature Conservancy claims to be a land preservation group, it pays Michael J. Coda a salary of $154,082 (and benefits of $17,652) as Director of its Climate Change Program, getting into the highly contentious global warming controversy.
To keep its media spin on being "non-controversial", The Nature Conservancy paid $1,251,150 to Media Strategies and Research company for consulting services. 2000 Income: $784, 263,611 2000 Assets: 2,571,307,145
Their financial statement shows nothing in the "Government Grants" block, but that does not mean TNC receives no taxpayer funding.
In fact, TNC in fiscal year 2000 received $60,085,455 in contract fees from the federal government, plus $81,925,124 from the sale of private land to federal agencies.
Thus TNC received a total of at least $142,010,579, or a little more than 18% of its total revenue, from the federal government [your taxpayer dollars] in 2000.
The Nature Conservancy is by far the richest environmental group in terms of assets and income stream, with 2000 total revenues of $784,263,611 and assets of $2,805,512,687.
"TNC, as it likes to abbreviate itself, also has a squeaky clean reputation for being "science driven, non-confrontational and businesslike," in the words of Daniel R. Efroymson, former Chair of TNC's Board of Governors.
It calls itself "Nature's real estate agent."
TNC operates the world's largest private nature preserve system, 1,340 preserves under Conservancy management consisting of 1,177,000 acres the Conservancy owns or has under conservation easement.
TNC's membership stands at 900,000. It has protected 10.5 million acres in the U.S. since its incorporation in 1953.
Millions of people reading upscale magazines have seen TNC's wonderful print ad picturing an eagle soaring above a majestic landscape with the great cutline, "We have friends in high places." Certainly such a popular and non-controversial organization can't be grant driven, can it?
Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that in 1996 it received a whopping $203,886,056, or "60 percent of its annual revenue from grants awarded by foundations, businesses, and individuals."
No, in the sense that The Nature Conservancy itself gives so many grants "to partner organizations" and has so many foundation and corporate moguls on its Board of Governors that it constitutes a consolidated power center rivaling even the archetypal Environmental Grantmakers Association.
It is difficult for the ordinary person to grasp the power, wealth, and connections controlled by the Nature Conservancy elite.
The thirty-two members of TNC's Board of Governors, plus its president and chief executive officer, include at least seven foundation officers and at least nine corporate officers, current or former.
Retired or former corporate and foundation officials do not entirely lose their influence, and in fact may gain through board positions such as the popular Nature Conservancy.
The public policy influenced by this small group of people touches millions of lives every day, but few are aware.
The late John C. Sawhill was president and chief executive officer of The Nature Conservancy (1998 salary: $203,723 ) and was a walking influence center by himself.
He was president emeritus of New York University, chair of the H. John Heinz, III, Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment, and chair of the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council.
He was a member of the President's Council on Sustainable Development and the Commission on the Future of the Smithsonian Institution, a board member of Environment for the Americas, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
He was a former partner of McKinsey & Company, Inc. and a former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy.
Sawhill's unpaid position with the Heinz Center indicated that he was one of Teresa Heinz's favorite people. It was her $20 million grant that created the Center, recall. And she gives generously to TNC.
The Nature Conservancy
4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100
Arlington, Virginia 2203-1637
Copyright 2004 The Sierra Times