Bill Donohue is busy raising the fecal coliform count of the internet again. It seems this guy is the ultimate human resources critic for every organization except his own.
This time he's running a smear on Frances Kissling, the retiring president of Catholics For A Free Choice. His complaint? Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is going to speak at Kissling's farewell party.
In 1993, and again in 2000, U.S. Catholic bishops, represented by the bishops’ conference, denounced CFFC as a fraud. And well they should have. Funded almost exclusively by fat-cat bigots like those at the Ford Foundation (they gave CFFC $2 million in 2005, which was more than it gave to all but five of 141 organizations it allotted grants to in its ‘Human Rights’ program that year), Kissling has deceitfully represented herself as running a Catholic group. It would be more accurate to say that she has been running the most notoriously anti-Catholic front group in the nation.Nice try!
What Donohue doesn't spell out is that the Ford Foundation awards grants under several different headings and many organizations receive funding in many different areas which would put the CFFC a long way down the list of top recipients. And as for the Ford Foundation being bigots, here is the Human Rights program requirements of that organization:
Supports groups working on human rights in the United States and around the world. Grants focus on the rights of women, migrants, refugees, marginalized racial and ethnic groups and international human rights efforts. The unit also funds work on reproductive rights and the reduction of stigma and discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS.Yeah, that sounds like a bunch of fat-cat bigots alright. The question is, did Donohue apply for a grant from the Ford Foundation, and was it rejected?
So let's have a good look at Donohue's organization.
In the same year Donohue complains that CFFC received $2 million from the Ford Foundation, his Catholic League, registered as a 501(C) tax-exempt non-profit in the United States showed on an Internal Revenue Service form 990 that it raised $2,533,055 from donations. 2005 assets were in excess of $8 million, mostly in securities and investments. The Catholic League spent $1,178,058 in program services. The largest single expenditure? Why, Donohue's compensation, to the tune of $303,766.
The dollar amount of grant and allocations made by the Catholic League in 2005? ZERO.
The Catholic League claims to have chapters throughout the country. The exact number is six.
By comparison the Catholics For A Free Choice has offices and partnerships in ten countries plus a European advisory group. CFFC has also won awards from two independent charity evaluators: The Charity Navigator and Independent Charities of America.
The Catholic League doesn't show up on either of those lists.
The Catholic League reported on its 2005 IRS form 990 that it was not engaged in lobbying. Specifically, the question asked in section VI-B of the form says:
During the year, did the organization attempt to influence national, state or or local legislation, including any attempt to influence public opinion on a legislative matter or referendum through use of: (list) h. Rallies, demonstrations, seminars, conventions, speeches, lectures, or any other meansReally. Here is the closing line of Donohue's latest press release:
There are good Catholic Democrats out there. It’s time they took corrective action. If they don’t, Catholics will be forgiven if they conclude that the Democratic party has an animus against their religion.Aside from accusing the victims of child-molesting Catholic priests of allowing themselves to be sexually assaulted, it looks an awful lot like Donohue is trying to influence Catholics not to support the Democratic party. That's a grass-roots lobby.
Compared to the Catholics For A Free Choice, the Catholic League looks like a racket and Donohue looks like the Don.