Mimicking Marx: Albemarle County pledges $4k to leftist Virginia Organizing

| April 10, 2013 | 11 Comments

In its 2013/2014 proposed budget, Albemarle County Government has recommended $4,000 in taxpayer funding to the Obama-affiliated, progressive, community-action “non-profit,” Virginia Organizing (VO).

As described in the advisory Agency Budget Review Team’s (ABRT) Funding Report:

Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. As a non- partisan organization, Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with diverse individuals and groups throughout Virginia, Virginia Organizing enhances their ability to work together at a statewide level, democratically and nonviolently, for change. [emphasis added]

Ostensibly, the public monies are being recommended for the operation of VO’s “Community Action on Obesity” program as noted in the ABRT report:

Community Action of [sic] Obesity application was rated as “solid” for the County and “exemplary” for the City (meeting the highest priority related to children). The application presented data about need, a solid evaluation plan, and strong collaboration. Future applications could be strengthened by a more diverse funding base.

So, who is Virginia Organizing?

According to the group’s 2011 IRS form 990, Virginia Organizing:

  • Had nearly $5.5 million in “gross receipts”
  • Listed total assets of nearly $3 million
  • Paid two “key” employees salaries in excess of $153,000 each
  • Had “investment income” of $56,291
  • Had “savings” and “cash investments” of nearly $2.3 million
  • Received $885,000 in “contributions” from the George Soros affiliated Kendeda Fund
  • Spent $50,681 in direct and indirect political lobbying efforts and activities

Virginia Organizing’s 2011 Annual Report lists a “statement of beliefs,” which includes recognized Socialist/Communist principles, to wit:

  • We believe that every person in the Commonwealth is entitled to a living wage and benefit package that is sufficient to provide the basic necessities of life, including adequate housing, a nutritious diet, proper child care, sound mental and physical health care, and a secure retirement.
  • We believe in the elimination of the extremes of wealth and poverty, in a progressive tax system based on the ability to pay, and in making the nation’s financial systems, including the Federal Reserve Bank, more responsive to the average citizen’s needs.

The Annual Report further lauds VO’s “Top Ten of 2011,” including pro-Obamacare and pro-union actions:

  • A slew of anti-immigrant bills made their way through the Virginia General Assembly and Virginia Organizing joined the Virginia United for Immigrants Rights coalition to eventually defeat most of the dangerous bills.
  • A Richmond-based Federal Court threw out Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s lawsuit against the new health care law and Virginia Organizing was there to speak out every step of the way.
  • In solidarity with Wisconsin workers, Virginia Organizing spoke out against anti-union laws and Governor Bob McDonnell’s support of Governor Scott Walker.

Press releases sent out by the group confirm Virginia Organizing’s penchant for class warfare and leftist political causes:

  • “Virginia Organizing has been championing progressive tax reform as a way to create revenue and ease the tax burden on the poor and middle class.” —March 4, 2010
  • Ken Cuccinelli is advancing his ideological agenda at the expense of the taxpayers by attempting to deny health insurance reform to the people of Virginia.” —March 24, 2010
  • “The health insurance reform legislation that President Obama signed into law yesterday will provide Virginia’s small businesses and families with access to affordable health insurance and will put an end to insurance company abuses.” —March 24, 2010
  • “Make tax increases and tax reform one and the same, including by repealing unworthy tax expenditures” and “Challenge anti-tax activists who promote unfair and unsound taxes in the name of lower taxes”—March 30, 2010
  • “Do we keep the Bush Tax Cuts for the richest 2 percent? Or do we end them for good, and invest in the other 98 percent of us instead?”—November 15, 2010
  • “Already we have seen a slew of bills filed that weaken the safety net, restrict voting rights and chip away at workers’ rights. Additionally, the Governor’s budget relies on further cuts to education and health care, instead of closing corporate tax loopholes,” —January 13, 2012
  • “Virginia Organizing has made Medicaid expansion in Virginia its top priority at this year’s General Assembly.”—February 6, 2013
  • Virginia Organizing has also called on Congress, especially U.S. Senator Mark Warner, to consider revenue increases…”—March 4, 2013
  • Virginia Organizing, a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization, issued a statement today condemning the U.S. House of Representatives budget commonly referred to as the “Ryan Budget.”—March 13, 2013
  • “We need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship that is fair for the millions of immigrants living and working among us today.”—April 8, 2013

While the ABRT—itself composed predominantly of social and fiscal progressives—has recommended funding, ultimately, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will decide if it is appropriate to subsidize Virginia Organizing with taxpayer dollars.

Before doing so, they should ask themselves:

  • Does an organization with a reported $2.3 million in liquid assets need public money?
  • Is it appropriate to give public funds to an overtly political organization?
  • What precedent will this funding set for future requests from other political organizations?
  • Is “obesity” prevention a core function of county government?
  • Will the receipt of these funds enable Virginia Organizing to devote existing resources to favored progressive causes?
  • If approved, will it be possible to extricate Virginia Organizing from the county budget in future years?

For these, and for many other obvious reasons, this unprecedented, politically motivated request for taxpayer funding of Virginia Organizing’s anti-liberty lobbying efforts should be denied—and the Agency Budget Review Team that recommended it should be fired.

Albemarle County Supervisors, are you listening? Are you even awake? (click here to email the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors)

[h/t Dr. Charles Battig]

About the Author:

Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.
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11 Comments on "Mimicking Marx: Albemarle County pledges $4k to leftist Virginia Organizing"

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  1. Rob Schilling says:

    $2 million in the bank and Virginia Organizing is seeking $4,000 from Albemarle County taxpayers? And, the Board of Supervisors is poised to approve it!

  2. Chadwick Hawk says:

    Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along.

  3. John Gress says:

    Does an organization with a reported $2.3 million in liquid assets need public money?

    Is it appropriate to give public funds to an overtly political organization?

    What precedent will this funding set for future requests from other political organizations?

    Is “obesity” prevention a core function of county government?

    Will the receipt of these funds enable Virginia Organizing to devote existing resources to favored progressive causes?

    If approved, will it be possible to extricate Virginia Organizing from the county budget in future years?

  4. With the County budget so tight, everyone crying for funds, is this REALLY something that needs our tax dollars? I would say NO.

  5. Marc Montoni says:

    Then call all of your Board of Supervisors phones and make their ears blister.

  6. Richard Bell says:

    non-partisan organization my foot!

  7. Joe Thomas says:

    4k? That’s chump change to the $17,500 Charlottesville City Council (w/ Kristen SZAKOS) wants to give VO (Joe SZAKOS)

  8. Becky Templeman says:

    We must remain vigilant on the local scene. Our elected officials don't see it coming…the Tea Party, that is!

  9. Homer Barnswallow says:

    WOW! That Form 941 sure is a tool for installing transparency, isn’t it?! I wonder how the members of V.O. would think if some of the area’s wealthier residents stood in a soup line to get a meal, simply because it was available. Would that be considered taking advantage of the system? Would they have any problem with that? Absolutely! For you see, hypocrites need hypocrisy to justify their existance.

  10. Ken says:

    The Virginia Organizing Project is a non-profit group, so it’s not as if the individuals who work for it profit from grants. Any group that believes it’s helping people is going to want all the money they can to do it with. Yes we can ask why they’re asking for a government grant when they have so much liquidity already. Do they really need it for what they say they want to do with it? I don’t know, but here’s the thing – Rob doesn’t either. He’s rushed to judgment. He loves to judge.

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