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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rent-A-Mob Alert for Cleveland

art credit: noethics.net

Rent-A-Mob Alert!  And the July GOP Convention in Cleveland is on the target list. From Kevin Mooney at The Daily Signal:

Calling community activists: If you’re a committed, left-leaning activist who’d like to take part in “grassroots campaigns to protect the health, economy, environment, and livelihood of Ohio communities,” then Ohio Citizen Action has got a job for you.

And it’s one that pays reasonably well, with benefits on top. This could be an especially nice deal for recent college graduates looking to help create a little drama in Cleveland when the Republican National Convention convenes in July.

Just google Craigslist and Ohio Citizen Action, and you get an advertisement that declares: “Change the World and GET PAID … $80/day (Downtown Cleveland).”

You’ll learn the nonprofit group seeks candidates who “possess strong communication skills and a genuine commitment to the environment, progressive politics, and the empowerment of our fellow OH residents.”

The ad, specifying Cleveland, says positions are full time and pay $80 a day, with bonuses available at 20 days.
Applicants should expect to work from 2 to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. And yes, they should be committed to community organizing with an eye toward “environmental justice” and “sustainable energy.”

“Getting paid to participate in a supposedly ‘grassroots’ campaign is a contradiction in terms,” quipped Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, in an email to The Daily Signal.

The Craigslist ad explains some of what makes the 37-year-old Ohio Citizen Action tick:

Community organizing is the backbone of OCA and each year it allows us the opportunity to continue building the strength in numbers that has won so many of our campaigns. We are looking to add highly motivated individuals with good communication skills to our already effective and professional campaign staff. Also, if you are truly looking for nonprofit grassroots organizing experience, we do it all year, and not just when it gets nice out in the spring and summer!

Perks and benefits apparently are available for those willing to stick with it.

“Health insurance, paid vacations and personal days to employees that show longevity and proficiency with the organization,” the group’s ad promises. “Travel opportunities within our nationwide network of nonprofits for environmental and social justice causes.”

What the ad says is revealing, but what it doesn’t say is perhaps more so.

Donors to the nonprofit get tax deductions, skeptics note. Is Ohio Citizen Action really the employer? Is it legitimate for a tax-exempt charity to use donations to protest and engage in political activism?

Ohio Citizens Action has received $30,000 since 2006 from Tides Foundation and $20,000 since 2013 from the William B. Wiener Jr. Foundation, according to data compiled by the Capital Research Center, a Washington-based nonprofit that tracks charity and philanthropy.

In addition, the affiliated Ohio Citizens Action Education Fund has received almost $3.9 million from left-wing philanthropies since 2003. Major funders include the Joyce Foundation ($1.4 million since 2003), Rockefeller Family Fund ($595,000 since 2010), Energy Foundation ($422,000 since 2008), Winslow Foundation ($425,000 since 2007), and George Gund Foundation ($525,320 since 2003).

Read the rest, including reference to an earlier incarnation of the community activist outfit, ACORN, here.
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