Special Report

De-funder of the Left

When he wasn't defrauding charities and investors, Bernard Madoff was bankrolling liberal causes and candidates.

By 1.5.09

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By swindling clients out of up to $50 billion, hedge fund manager Bernard L. Madoff has hurt  -- and in some cases fatally wounded -- scores of nonprofit groups and charitable foundations.

Through his Social Security-like Ponzi scheme that paid older investors with incoming funds from newer investors, Madoff, a heavy donor to Democratic candidates, also did irreparable harm to the liberal and far-left causes he loves.

At least two major left-leaning charities are closing their doors as a direct consequence of the record-breaking fraud.

The giant Picower Foundation had the misfortune to choose Madoff to manage its more than $1 billion in assets.

The charity has given away more than $189 million since 1999.

A sizeable chunk of its funding has gone to abortion groups, including NARAL ($3.2 million), Center for Reproductive Rights ($2.5 million), Planned Parenthood ($2.4 million), and Center for Reproductive Law and Policy ($625,000).

Picower Foundation gave $2.9 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a public interest law firm that uses politically skewed definitions of racism to indoctrinate children while smearing conservatives who question racial preference programs. The foundation also gave $200,000 to Project Vote (a.k.a. Voting for America), an affiliate of the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Another affected charity is the JEHT Foundation, which said it expects to close down in January because its benefactors invested in Madoff’s hedge fund. JEHT, an acronym that stands for Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance, is a reliable funder of far left causes and has given away more than $72 million in grants since heiress and Democratic donor Jeanne Levy-Church founded it in 2000.

JEHT gave $1.7 million to the ACLU and its foundation, along with $839,500 to the ultra-leftist public interest law firm, the Center for Constitutional Rights. CCR helped to convince the Supreme Court in Boumediene v. Bush (2008) to confer habeas corpus rights for the first time in history on alien enemies detained abroad by the U.S. military in wartime. The decision gives terrorists a green light to manipulate our justice system and flout the well-established laws of civilized warfare.

JEHT gave $250,000 to the American Institute for Social Justice, an ACORN affiliate. The Saul Alinsky-inspired Institute trains community organizers and in recent years has served as a shadowy financial clearinghouse, directing $9 million to ACORN and two of its other affiliates.

JEHT gave $55,000 to Nan Aron’s Alliance for Justice, a group that systematically distorts conservative judges' records in an effort to block their elevation to higher courts. You may remember the Alliance helped to torpedo the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 and nearly succeeded in "borking" Clarence Thomas in 1991. More recently, the group fought President Bush's nominations of Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen to federal courts.

JEHT also gave more than $4.2 million to the Tides Foundation and its affiliates. Tides funds abortion rights advocacy, environmental extremism, anti-war activism, gun control, and opposes free trade.

The Madoff scandal has also ended Madoff’s personal philanthropic efforts.

Madoff Family Foundation, which reported assets of $19.1 million at the end of 2007, has given $110,000 to the anti-poverty Robin Hood Foundation since 2003.

Newsman Tom Brokaw and Children's Defense Fund president and Hillary Clinton pal Marian Wright Edelman sit on the Robin Hood board. The liberal foundation has given ACORN $821,000. George Soros's Soros Fund Charitable Foundation gave the Robin Hood Foundation a $9.8 million community development grant in 2000.

Other reported victims of Madoff include Yeshiva University ($110 million), Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America ($90 million), Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity ($15 million), and movie director Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation (an undisclosed amount).

Of course the left won’t be crippled by the loss of funding caused by Madoff’s hedge fund fraud.

Hedge fund manager George Soros is standing by.

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About the Author

Matthew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist at a conservative watchdog group in Washington, D.C. Vadum is also author of Subversion Inc: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.