Monday, April 10, 2017

How Steve Bannon Exploited Tax Exempt Organizations To Earn Millions

This article demonstrates the value of investigative journalism that few news organizations can afford to provide to the public.  The Washington Post investigated Steve Bannon because of his position on the Trump campaign and his current role in the Trump White House.  It shows how Bannon earned millions from conservative non-profit charities and how conservative billionaires were able to funnel money to Bannon by making "donations" to tax exempt organizations.  However, the most important lesson from the article is the description that it provides of the connections between billionaire conservative donors and the tax free organizations that are effectively employed to elect conservative politicians.  For example, the Mercer family contributed funds to Citizens United foundation in order to fund projects that employed Steve Bannon.  Bannon has a close relationship to the Mercer family and to the head of Citizens United.  Bannon produced conservative films and he used Breitbart News to deliver political messages to the base that elected Trump.  Bannon had connections with many conservative in addition to Citizens United.  Fund from the Koch organization found their way to Bannon as well.  US politics have changed dramatically since  Citizens United won a Supreme Court case that accelerated the flow of money from individuals and corporations to politicians.  Conservative news organizations, like Breitbart News, have developed to deliver the political messages.  President Obama and the Clinton's have been popular targets.  Bannon produced a negative film on the Clinton's in 2016 in the final stages of the Trump campaign,

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