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Bonds and Babies: Extremists use trojan horse tactics to push anti-business agenda

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by Peter Steele | The Maine Wire

How are these two apparently random, innocent-sounding events connected?

First, The Portland Press Herald ran an op-ed on May 15, titled “Maine Voices: Research and development investment will produce jobs,” which pushes for a $20 million taxpayer-funded bond to subsidize “green technology” companies.

Second, women from Maine joined mothers, cancer survivors, students, health workers and activists from around the country on May 22 in a “stroller brigade” at the U.S. Capitol to support the Safe Chemicals Act, which is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

The anything-but-innocent connection between “stroller brigades” and “green technology” is Mike Belliveau, executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center and vice president of the Sustainable Bioplastics Council of Maine.

Belliveau is the one-man assault team who has assembled genial words like  “safe,” “green” and “sustainable” into anti-consumer Trojan horses, wheeling them into the public debate during his crusade to over-regulate business and destroy consumer choice.

The bus trip to the “stroller brigade” was organized by the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine, a coalition of more than 50 public health, medical, parent, women’s, workers’ and environmental organizations. Belliveau, a co-founder of the Alliance, spearheaded the movement to pass legislation to ban BPA and 1,400 other chemicals from Maine, paving the way for environmental activists to block the sales of common, every-day products to citizens.

Belliveau also co-authored the pro-bond op-ed with Catherine S. Renault of Innovation PolicyWorks in Topsham. They promote publicly funded business-university-nonprofit consortiums as a way to thrust “environmental justice” and “green jobs” onto the state.

For over three decades, Belliveau has decried the influence of big business in the political arena. In 2011, when Governor LePage rolled out a list of environmental regulations he wanted repealed, Belliveau joined Sean Mahoney of the Conservation Law Foundation and Matt Prindiville of the Natural Resources Council of Maine in condemning LePage for proposing reforms that they said came from lobbyists for wealthy, out-of-state companies.

But The Maine Wire has discovered that Belliveau’s anti-consumer efforts in Maine are financed through the country’s most infamous left-wing organization that is well known for hiding its real donors. The Tides Center, an ultra-wealthy California organization, acts as a pass-through for a nationwide network of radical leftist groups to fund local organizations, including Belliveau’s Environmental Health Strategy Center.

Tides funnels money from environmental and progressive groups that are determined to raise prices, ban everyday products, undermine the U.S. economy and punish businesses. By channeling large sums of money from major leftist groups to local organizations such as Belliveau’s, the real donors—and their aggressive anti-business agenda—are shielded from public view.

The Tides Center, which is funded in part by hedge-fund billionaire George Soros, provides money to groups including the embattled Media Matters; the subversive MoveOn.org; the voter-fraud organization ACORN; the American Civil Liberties Union; the socialist-leaning Democracy Now!; the Marxist-founded Free Press; the Marxist-oriented Institute for Policy Studies; and a laundry list of antiwar organizations.

Beneficiaries of Tides funding include many of the most notorious anti-consumer groups in the country: Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Media Services and Environmental Working Group. Another Tides Center project is the Institute for Global Communications, a clearinghouse for progressive propagandists, living-wage advocates, anti-war protesters, slave-reparations proponents and a range of extreme environmentalists.

Still other Tides beneficiaries have worked to promote the mission of Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group. Tides also funds such “progressive” programs as The Condom Project in Washington. D.C.; Honor the Earth; and StopGlobalWarming.org.

Contrary to media portrayals of Occupy Wall Street movements as homegrown, grassroots efforts, the genesis of the well-organized Occupy movement actually came from Tides-funded groups. The nationwide initiative was a professionally orchestrated and well-funded enterprise created by Tides-financed groups that got their inspiration from the “Arab Spring” movement. With money from Tides, the Ruckus Society provides direct-action training for Occupy protesters.

Few Americans are aware that a small network of left-leaning “philanthropists” is so integral in their everyday lives, and the Tides Center is the spigot that dispenses their influence. Based in San Francisco, Tides Center is a division of the Tides Foundation, which was founded in 1976 by California anti-war activist Drummond Pike.

These one-percenters are using their immense wealth to move the country toward a European-style system of socialism. To illustrate how closely tied these “philanthropists” are to each other, Pike sits on the board of the Democracy Alliance with hedge-fund billionaire S. Donald Sussman, the major funder of liberal Democratic causes in Maine, owner of the Portland Press Herald and husband to sitting U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.

Considered a brilliant fundraising expert, Pike has directed grants to more tax-exempt organizations than any other person in the world. Pike left Tides in 2010 to join Equilibrium Capital Group, but his legacy remains.

The Tides Center shelters these leftist groups under its tax-exempt status, providing management and payroll services, fundraising assistance and legal counsel—all for an 8% fee—while the groups operate their own projects and programs. None of the 260-plus projects under the Tides umbrella files its own Form 990 with the IRS, which means their finances are essentially kept secret and hidden from public review.

“By taking advantage of collective-funding pioneers like Tides, even the smallest group can now speak with the weight of an entire activist community,” according to activistcash.com, a website created by the Center for Consumer Freedom. “The Tides Foundation exists, in part, to give the Left’s small-fries—and their fringe messages—the collective bullhorn and bankroll necessary to remake society in their image.”

One of those “small fries” is Belliveau’s Environmental Health Strategy Center. Its funding through the Tides Center originates from donors across the nation, including: The Beldon Fund in Michigan; The Betterment Fund in New York City; the John Merck Fund in Boston; the Kendeda Fund in Delaware; the Marisla Foundation in California; and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which has offices in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Kendeda Fund’s most scandalous beneficiary was Van Jones, the former Obama Green Jobs Czar, who had to leave office after his ties to 9/11 “truthers” were revealed.

The John Merck Fund also provided financing through Tides to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, of which Belliveau was a member, and the Maine People’s Resource Center.

Belliveau, a self-described “science policy analyst, health advocate and social entrepreneur,” is hailed as one of the original “environmental justice” activists, who merged his concerns over toxic waste and public health with perceptions of racism and unequal exposure to hazardous chemicals.

Mixing green ideology with his “social entrepreneur” political agenda, Belliveau has for 30 years argued in favor of burdensome and expensive regulations to pressure industries to use clean technology. He has fought to reform energy subsidies and to push progressive pollution taxes, such as high gas taxes, to discourage driving and coerce the production of higher-mileage cars.

All the while decrying outside influence by corporations that provide commonly used products to consumers, Belliveau has relied heavily on rich and powerful national foundations to force his zealotry for green ideology on the state. Doesn’t sound so “safe” any more.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently the executive producer of the Kirk Minihane Show. Follow him on Twitter @BigSteve207.

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