Activist groups, nonprofits on left and right, cash in on taxpayer-funded forgivable stimulus loans

More left-leaning organizations around Washington, compared to conservative ones, received coronavirus stimulus loans.

Updated: July 9, 2020 - 2:07pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump might have pledged to “drain the swamp” during his first term in office, but the CARES Act stimulus bill he recently signed has sent millions in taxpayer funds to political activist groups and non-profits in Washington on the left and right.

According to the Small Business Administration, the Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, are forgivable if "at least 60 percent" is put toward payroll. The rest can apply to qualified expenses such as rent and utilities.

The Albright Stonebridge Group, led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a Democrat, and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a Republican, received $2 million to $5 million.

Oceana, an environmental nonprofit organization, the left-leaning New America Foundation, and the global health nonprofit Population Services International also received $2 million to $5 million, according to SBA data.

The $1 million to $2 million category includes Media Matters, a liberal advocacy organization; the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog organization; R Street Institute, a conservative and libertarian think tank; American Immigration Council, which publicly opposes Trump’s immigration policies; the Environmental Working Group; Friends of the Earth; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington D.C.

The lobbying group Jefferson Consulting Group and the Bipartisan Policy Center are also listed under that category.

The Alliance for Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy group; Middle Seat Consulting, which is linked to the Democratic campaigns of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and J Street, a non-profit liberal group that advocates for a two-state solution to the Israel and Palestinian conflict, received $350,000 to $1 million.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group; Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition; Asian Americans Advancing Justice; NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation; the National Abortion Federation; the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund; the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute were also awarded $350,000 to $1 million.

The Chertoff Group, run by former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Cheroff, a Republican; the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for stricter policies to combat illegal immigration; and the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning and pro-union organization were also listed in that category.

Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, the anti-tax group led by Grover Norquist, received $150,000 to $350,000.


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