Reminder: Pew Charitable Trust = Liberal Policy   


How The Left Hijacked Charity: Pew Charitable Trusts

From Anti-Big Government Education to Funding Planned Parenthood, The Pew Family Would Not Recognize The Liberal Oil Slick Bearing Their Name.

2nd in a Series

By John Corrigan


(PHILADELPHIA, PA.) The City of Brotherly Love benefits from the largesse of one of the late 19th Century American economic success stories.  The foundation of Sun Oil Company (SUNOCO) helped harness the natural resources of the emerging nation and Sun’s dominance in oil field production, gasification, refining of oil, into its main byproduct of gasoline, helped America win two world wars and become the economic engine of the world that we know today.

Joseph N. Pew and his family, harnessed the relatively new resource of oil and natural gas energy.  Starting in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, Pew benefited from a strong work ethic and the research of other oil pioneers like Cleveland’s John D. Rockefeller who was able to turn oil and its byproduct, gasoline, into the fuel that transformed the 20th Century into the American Century.

On March 27, 1886, Pew’s venture, People’s Gas, a natural gas well firm, expanded into an enterprise that became a full-service oil and gas industry giant. From pipelines to oil field leases, storage tanks, and crude oil, the concern was renamed the Sun Oil Company of Ohio on March 17, 1887, with a business that included oil production, transportation, storage and refinement.  The related industries of shipping and marketing petroleum related products like gasoline swiftly followed.

Before Pew died in 1948, Sun Oil was a publicly traded, full-service energy sector industry mega-company.  His contributions to society helped the U.S. war effort during WWII, as oil and gasoline were vital to the war effort.  The USA was the world’s greatest exporter of oil in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

As related in the first of this series, the Pew Family wanted to give back to the community that made them their fortune. The simple Philadelphia Foundation has now become a complex and evolving charitable structure, known as the Pew Charitable Trusts. Over the years, seven separate entities provide some charity, but also a radical left wing ideology. The original foundation that focused on education and understanding the virtues of capitalism, has become a multi-billion dollar slush fund of radical left wing advocacy.  The Pews were active Republicans. Today’s Pew Trusts would no longer embrace that ideology, now living on the Far Left of the political spectrum.

From its founding documents, Pew set these charitable goals: “acquaint the American people" with "the evils of bureaucracy," "the values of the free market," and "the paralyzing effects of government controls on lives and activities of people," to "inform our people of the struggle, persecution, hardship, sacrifice and death by which freedom of the individual was won."

After years of carrying out these missions, the original Pew Family and the following Pew generation have all died. In 2002, The Pew Trusts converted from a family charitable foundation to a 501 (C)3 Organization, with the conscious decision to shift Left, raising money outside of its original endowment and to advocate on behalf of its contributors.  A far cry from the original intent of the Pew Family for sure.

Pew actively hires lobbyists (of all political stripes), provides resources to numerous left-wing organizations, and has adopted a more radical leftward bent under the leadership of Rebecca W. Rimel. Rimel’s 2015 $4.5 million compensation package made news in an industry that is supposed to be “non-profit.’

Pew’s mission creep is notorious and calls into question whether or not it has the integrity to even use the family name or dollars for all or portions of its current missions.  The Pew Family were conservative Pennsylvania Presbyterians and active Republicans who distrusted Big Government. Rimel’s Pew Trusts uses the money of the Pennsylvania oilmen to fund a decidedly liberal agenda:

Planned Parenthood: $2.5 million combined in 2012 and 2014.  Last year, the abortion industry giant reported performing 328,000 abortions. The Pew Family did not mention abortion advocacy as part of its founding mission.  

New Taxes On Fast Food and Soda Pop: Famously, opposed to the New Deal’s taxing and regulating standards, the Pew Family hated taxes and the Nanny State. Now, the Trusts that bear their name is part of the campaign to increase taxes on sugar products like soda pop and candy, as well as fast food. That may be a definition of a New Deal style infringement upon the rights of people to eat and drink what they like, the know it all Nanny State telling us what to put in our mouths. It should be noted that Sunoco’s own gas stations (who generated all the Trust money) have made a fortune selling these types of products to hungry and thirsty motorists.  In 2017, Sunoco sold its mini-marts to the largest convenience store chain in the United States, 7-Eleven.

Land Use Restrictions: As a funder of the so-called “America’s Western Lands Initiative,” Pew is working directly against its founder’s original business model.  The Lands Initiative advocates for no pipelines or use whatsoever of over 245 million acres of land owned and administered by the Federal government. Ironically, PEW is now advocating against oil and gas exploration, pipelines and transportation…which happens to be the very things that provided the funds for the Trusts in the first place.

In just these examples, and more will be provided in our next installment, all of these donations to groups like Planned Parenthood, should be viewed through the prism of the founding document of the Trusts.  Do they advance educating Americans on the ills of bureaucracy? Do they foster education on individual freedom?  It would seem that Pew’s Trusts have gone down a different path, and a path that would seriously question the intent of the Trust to begin with.

But that is not all.  Pew Charitable Trust is also used as an organization that allows for paid research, trading the good name of the Pew Family for compensation based research.

In Part III of our Series, we will continue with Pew, the Trusts built on oil and natural gas industry profits and how they are actively working against the very industry that gave the Trusts their start. The Pew Foundation was meant to benefit the people of Philadelphia and the United States, educating them on the evils of government intrusion into the marketplace. Today, the Pew Trusts fund the largest provider of abortion on demand, and a host of pro-regulation liberal advocacy across the fruited plain, as we will prove out in Part III.

How The Left Hijacked Charity: Pew Charitable Trusts II

Common Core, Wild Environmental Extremism, and Research with Intent to Lobby – P.U.! Oil Money Run Amok

3rd in a Series

By John Corrigan


(TUSCAN, AZ.) When you think of Big Government, does Common Core come to mind? Perhaps the most reviled of all the education related reforms of the past decades, Common Core’s agenda is one of elites who know better imposing standards on local boards of education and school children, resented by millions, and thus far, the results have been far from positive for schools as local control is further eroded into a national testing system.

When Joseph N. Pew and his family started the Pew Foundation, it’s express purpose was to fight the Big Government Agenda that the Pew’s detested as part of FDR’s New Deal. They believed Big Government mandates hurt individual freedom and wound the capitalist system.  It would cause the Pews to roll over in their graves if they knew the money that they put aside for the purpose of limiting government went to impose Big Education on local schools, but that is exactly what happened.

But Common Core has come to fruition in large part due to the misanthropy of Big Business, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, who donated $598,798 over three years to the Common Core Initiative of the Council for a Strong America, one of the Big Business groups that pushed Common Core.  

This series is about mission creep, and how foundations sometimes lose their way.  When you think of the original Pew founding mission to “acquaint the American people……. with…. the evils of bureaucracy” the testing regime and lack of local control of education curriculum associated with Common Core sure looks like mission creep.

Have you ever heard of the radical Center for Biological Diversity?  That group of fun lovers has as its mission the limitation of “Human activity” and the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act according to its IRS filing: “to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species needs to survive.”

Pew is a funder of this group. If you value spotted owls over humans, snail darters over children, and not allowing for the collection of firewood to heat the homes of Americans, the Center is the place for you.  Pew’s funding of the group, considered radical by conservatives and liberals alike shows more of its mission creep.

Most curious is the apparently self-defeating push funded by the Pew Trusts towards destroying the American coal and natural gas industry. Of course, Joseph N. Pew founded Sun Oil (SUNOCO) on oil and gas exploration, but his hard-earned money and that of his children are being used to actively destroy the very industry that he helped to create.

The Pew Trusts are funding radical leftist organizations like Earth First, The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club to the tune of millions of petrodollars annually. Since 2012, Pew Trust has entrusted $3.9 million to these anti-fracking, oil, and natural gas advocacy groups, who often employ radical Saul Alinsky-style tactics to draw attention to their causes. The official newsletter of Earth First says that it is a “radical” organization.

Even more eye popping, the money showered on a group called The Energy Foundation, a neutral moniker for a group that works to take developable and energy-rich land out of private hands, and sell it to the Federal Government to curb mining and oil and gas exploration.  $4,947,600 of energy explorer Joe Pew’s money has been donated by the Pew Trusts since 1997.  While these are less profile donations that prove mission creep from an anti-regulatory group to a liberal advocacy trust, of note is the Trust’s public work as a for-profit provider of research to go with liberal advocacy, its hiring of lobbyists and taking of funds from lobbying groups to wrap liberal causes under the Pew brand.  

Pew’s Trusts do some lobbying.  The firm that handles part of Pew’s lobbying efforts was started by the staffers of the late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (DFL-MN) [lifetime approval rating of 4% by American Conservative Union; the AFL-CIO named an award for him for public service). Grassroots Solutions focuses on anti “voter suppression” movements (read: voter laws with little safeguards against cheating), anti-oil, gas, and coal usage (pity Joseph Pew), social and economic justice for LGBTQ people, among other advocacies.

Pew paid Grassroots Solutions $8.9 million in fees from 2012-15. That is a lot of lobbying. Most of the lobbying group’s clients are labor unions and Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta’s Center for American Progress.

Some of the lobbying goes to increasing CAFÉ Standards for American automobiles.  CAFÉ Standards are the corporate average fuel economy of a fleet of vehicles made by automobile manufacturers.  The Obama Administration, substantially raised the CAFÉ standards, with Pew lobbying support, to levels that are thought to currently be unattainable for the automakers. So much so that the Trump Administration is ratcheting back some of the requirements.

Of course, the increased CAFÉ standards call for vehicles to use less gasoline.  This is the very products that SUNOCO, the Pew Family business, manufacturerd among other oil related products.  

From radical anti-development environmental advocacy to attacks on the very products that fund the Pew Trusts, Pew is a leading example of what happens at Foundations that alter the original intent of good-hearted capitalists who turn the reigns of their Foundations to Liberal Managers, and the resulting mission creep.

Next up in our series, we will “go further” with the Ford Foundation. This is not your father’s Edsel, nor even Edsel Ford’s Edsel.