Hispanic Group With Ties To Soros’ Open Society Targets Western Senators
An advocacy group running ads against western Republican senators regarding their votes in May to repeal an Obama-era methane rule has deep ties to liberal donor George Soros, a review of Internal Revenue Service filings shows.
The Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) launched a series of radio and print ads last week against a trio of western senators, according to Politico. The group’s Colorado print ad, attacking Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) read in part, “Senator Cory Gardner put oil & gas companies ahead of Colorado’s communities.”
“Senator Cory Gardner,” the ad continued, “voted to OVERTURN a federal rule and allow oil companies to pollute our air and waste hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer-owned natural gas.”
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) also drew HAF’s ire as a result of the vote. They and Gardner all voted May 10 in favor of a procedural vote to begin the debate of H.J. Resolution 36, a Congressional Review Act challenge to a rule aimed at curbing methane emissions on public lands. The vote failed 49-51.
HAF said the vote, and the three senators in particular, “went against the interests of Latino communities” in Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada.
The group did not disclose, however, that it is directly funded by the New Venture Fund, a foundation that has received nearly $5.9 million in funding from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, a group founded and funded by Soros.
HAF did not respond to a Western Wire request for comment.
In February, HAF helped launch the “Latino Partnership to Cut Waste, Protect Our Health” and sent a letter to senators in Arizona and Nevada, including Flake and Heller, opposing the use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn the last-minute “venting and flaring” rule issued in the waning days of the previous administration by the Bureau of Land Management. As reported in Western Wire, business groups, elected officials, tribes and local leaders supported the rule’s appeal.
A search of the IRS documents filed by both HAF and New Venture Fund reveal money flowing in both directions, with cash grants to focus on environmental programs and to launch other activist groups within the Latino community.
The Soros-backed Foundation to Promote Open Society’s IRS 990 filings for 2013, 2014, and 2015 indicate $5,886,650 in 22 separate grants issued directly by the organization to New Venture Fund.
HAF, along with HECHO, GreenLatinos, Hispanic Federation, and Latino Outdoors co-founded the Latino Conservation Alliance in 2015. HAF’s 2015 990 documents show a $10,420 grant to New Venture Fund for “Launching the Latino Conservation Alliance.”
A look into New Venture Fund’s grantees in the organization’s 2014 990 indicates a total of nearly $54,000 in cash went to HAF and the Hispanic Federation for “Environmental (Climate Conservation & Energy) Programs.”
In 2013, the Washington Examiner’s Ron Arnold detailed the efforts by New Venture Fund and other environmental groups to legally circumvent the reporting requirements that might more transparently describe the funding activities of the decentralized activist organizations.
According to HAF’s latest “Impact Report” from 2012-13, 71 percent of the organization’s money came from corporate contributions, with 6 percent from foundation grants.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has given NVF $5.66 million in grants since 2007.
In March, HAF’s President, Maite Arce, wrote an op-ed for HuffPost, asking senators to vote against “special interests.”