- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2001

For the next three days, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold confirmation hearings on President-elect George W. Bush's nominee for attorney general, former Sen. John Ashcroft. As the protesters gather outside the committee room, it is worth remembering that many of those protesting against Mr. Ashcroft are funded by your tax dollars.
According to the Capital Research Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that analyzes organizations that promote the growth of the welfare state, groups in those meetings have received almost $150 million in government funding over the last four years. Among the groups participating and receiving tax dollars are the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), the Feminist Majority, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for Women, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Planned Parenthood.
While visiting the web site of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, you are immediately clubbed with this message: "JPI joins coalition in opposing Attorney General-designate John Ashcroft." Follow the link and you are taken to a page that disparages the reputation of Mr. Ashcroft. In fact, they even go so far as to accuse Mr. Ashcroft of "demonizing children." In 1998 and 1999, the CJCJ received nearly $2.3 million in government money. According to their own web site, CJCJ is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is "to reduce society's reliance on the use of incarceration as a solution to social problems." If that is their mission, why are they trying to sabotage Mr. Ashcroft's confirmation as U.S attorney general by distorting Mr. Ashcroft's record?
According to their web site, the Feminist Majority was established "to promote women's rights and equality, nonviolence, a feminist agenda, and to enhance feminist participation in public policy and decision-making." Having received nearly $120,000 in government funding from 1997-1998, they vigorously oppose Mr. Ashcroft's nomination as U.S attorney general.
One visit to their web site and it becomes clear that they have a lot invested in stopping Mr. Ashcroft, as well as several other Bush Cabinet appointees. One click and you are taken to a page that has a variety of links that allow you to send e-mails to Sens. Patrick Leahy, Edward Kennedy and Jeff Bingaman, all of whom are ranking Democratic members on committees that will hold hearings on the Cabinet nominations of John Ashcroft, Tommy Thompson and Gale Norton, respectively. Moreover, there is a link on their site to "Oppose Right-Wing Bush Cabinet Appointees," which allows users to send an e-mail to Sen. Tom Daschle, Democratic leader in the Senate. Users are encouraged to ask Mr. Daschle to "lead the Democratic opposition in the Senate against these ultra-conservative nominees." That is telling.
Then we take the case of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC). From 1996-1999, the NAPALC received more than $320,000 in government funds. What kinds of things does this group focus on? Well, they protested casting of a British actor in a Eurasian role in the Broadway musical, "Miss Saigon." Boy, that's important. Did that require taxpayer money? No. Was taxpayer money spent on it? Almost certainly. The NAPALC declares on their web site that "urgent action is needed to block Ashcroft."
The National Organization for Women Legal Defense And Education Fund (NOWLDEF) has received over $1 million in taxpayer funds over the last four years. NOWLDEF says it exists "to end the injustice and inequality women face daily." How do they go about that? For one, they represented a Boca Raton lifeguard in a Supreme Court case saying that employers are responsible for the actions of employees in sexual harassment cases, regardless of whether the employer knew of the harassment (they have never justified this position and their support of President Clinton).
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) was established by medical professionals and students "concerned with the threat of nuclear war, environmental degradation, and violence in our society." For their efforts, PSR received $15,000 in tax dollars in 1999. Their mission is to educate the public "on the medical effects of nuclear war and nuclear weapons and on the implications of national policy and legislative actions on arms control and environmental issues." Their mission does not mention the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, nor does it inform the public about the fact that PSR is using tax dollars to defeat John Ashcroft.
While Planned Parenthood needs no introduction, many Americans might be surprised by the fact that they received almost $60 million in taxpayer money from 1996-99 to promote abortion-on-demand and fight efforts to end the scourge of partial-birth abortion.
It is remarkable that each of these organizations regards itself as a "public charity." At the same time they rely on the forced "charity" of taxpayers, they advocate and sometimes lobby for policies that would raise taxes on all of us. They hide behind their buzzword issues: "women," "children" and "diversity."
It's time to put taxpayer-funded, left wing activists on notice: We won't bankroll your political agenda with our hard-earned money anymore. This isn't a First Amendment issue. No serious conservative advocates regulating the political speech of the nonprofit sector. We just don't think we should be forced to pay for it.

Robert Funk and Chad Cowan are with Americans for Tax Reform. Chris Yablonski is with the Capital Research Center

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