After seeing the League of Conservation Voters at many of the events we were at as well as front and center in obstructing and intimidating voters at the Nader Convention, I thought I'd do a little research. You see I thought it strange from the begining that this group would be so active in partisan efforts. They were well organized and well supplied with expensive materials, t-shirts etc and were recruiting volunteers for the Kerry campaign. Not exactly what you see in a run of the mill "Grassroots" organization. I called the local office (the OREGON League of Conservation Voters) and was told by a worker there that they are not the ones that are organizing the partisan efforts. There is supposedly a seperate group run by the national NPO that is running them. I will continue my investigation and post here as I find more. At the very least, working under the name of a repected local NPO is misleading, and the worst it may threaten the 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
Here's one thing I turned up. A little dated but it answered some of my questions.....
Read on True Believer.
League of Conservation Voters Endorses Husband of Teresa Heinz Kerry
Key Environmental Groups Funded by the Heinz Endowments
By John K. Carlisle
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Q: What Ties Philanthropy to Politics?
A: Marriage and Money
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is an environmental activist group which seeks to influence legislation and support political candidates who favor its positions on the environment. On January 24 LCV endorsed John Kerry for the presidency. While it's hardly a surprise that the liberal LCV would endorse Senator Kerry, the early timing of the endorsement raises certain questions.
In 2000, the LCV waited until April to endorse Vice President Gore, a candidate whose advocacy for LCV's positions on environmental issues is much stronger than Kerry's. Why did LCV jump so early on the Kerry bandwagon?
A clue may be found in grants the Heinz Endowments of Pittsburgh made to environmental groups whose leaders sit on the LCV board of directors. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Senator Kerry, is chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment (HHE) and a board member of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment (VHE) as well as chairman of the Heinz Family Foundation. The LCV Education Fund received $10,000 from the Heinz Family Foundation in 2001. More importantly, at least four members of the LCV board of directors lead environmental groups that received more than $1,000,000 from the Heinz philanthropies in the past three years.
What follows are the organizations receiving Heinz Endowments grants whose leaders sit on the LCV board.
Natural Resources Defense Council - John Adams, president of NRDC
2003 -- $50,000 to address environmental hazards in Greene County, PA (VHE)
Wilderness Society - William Meadows III, president of WS
2003 -- $50,000 to promote certified wood products in Pennsylvania (VHE)
Environmental Defense - Fred Krupp, president of ED
2003 -- $200,000 for Conestoga Watershed Project (HHE)
2002 -- $200,000 for water pollutant trading (HHE)
2001 -- $200,000 Pennsylvania [Watershed] Project (VHE)
2001 -- $1,000 from Heinz Family Foundation
West Harlem Environmental Action - Peggy M. Shepard, Exec. Dir. of WHEA
2003 -- $250,000 recipient of the 10th Annual Heinz Award
League of Conservation Voters
2001 -- $10,000 - Heinz Family Foundation (General Operating Support)