In a lecture [in 2004] before a group of journalism students at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communications, Sean Treglia, a former program officer for the liberal Pew Charitable Trusts, claimed credit for co-coordinating a multi-year effort to secure the passage of the political-speech-curtailing McCain-Feingold campaign-finance bill.
Make no mistake: Pew and other liberal foundations successfully avoided any transparency in their financial dealings with propaganda organizations like National Public Radio (NPR) and the American Prospect (a left-wing magazine). Their funding of campaign-finance “reform” groups like Democracy 21, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Center for Public Integrity and People for the American Way also managed to avoid exposure.
According to a recent report by the nonpartisan Political Money Line, Campaign Finance Lobby: 1994-2004, Pew spent an average of $4 million a year over 10 years promoting reform. Seven other foundations — including the Carnegie Corp. ($14 million), the Joyce Foundation ($13.5 million), George Soros’ Open Society Institute ($12.6 million) — cumulatively ponied up another $83 million over 10 years for the same purpose. In his March 2004 lecture at USC, curiously titled “Covering Philanthropy and Nonprofits Beyond 9/11,” a tape of which was recently uncovered by Ryan Sager of the New York Post, Mr. Treglia explained how he operated. “The strategy was designed not to hide Pew’s involvement,” he said, “but most of Pew’s funding.” To accomplish that goal, “I always encouraged the grantees never to mention Pew,” whose tactics were evidently copied by the others. Sure enough, the American Prospect neglected to mention a $132,000 payment from the Carnegie Corp., which financed the magazine’s special issue, “Checkbook Democracy,” which focused on campaign-finance reform.