Fracking foes crassly bought support of Indian chief

The enemies of the fracking revolution have deep pockets, and they are willing to spend big if a propaganda point can be made. And who better to rail against what they see as the rape of the earth than a chief of a tribe of indigenous people? Thus, we get this story from Canada's Sun papers (hat tip: Instapundit):

A left-wing lobby group in San Francisco wired $55,000 to the bank account of an Indian chief in Northern Alberta, paying him to oppose the oilsands.

And sure enough, that chief - Allan Adam, from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation - earned his money. Last weekend, he flew to Toronto to sit on a stage next to Neil Young, the folk singer who was in town to demonize Canada's oil industry.

Now, $55,000 might sound like a lot of money to pay, just to rent a politician for a day if all the chief did for his money was to appear on stage in Toronto beside Neil Young. But to the Tides Foundation, it's well worth it. Think of Adam as an actor, hired to play a part in an elaborate theatrical production.

Neil Young had his role: he's the American celebrity who can draw crowds of fawning Baby Boomer journalists. But at the end of the day, he's just another millionaire celebrity. When he talks about the oilsands, he quickly reveals himself as a low-information know-nothing.

Adam brings what Young can't: authenticity. Young likes to wear an Indian-style leather vest, but Adam really is an Indian, and he really lives near the oilsands.

The Tides Foundation operates in essence as a money-laundering entity, enabling donors to disguise their support of causes. Discover the Networks:

...the Tides Foundation was set up as a public charity that receives money from donors and then funnels it to the recipients of their choice. Because many of these recipient groups are quite radical, the donors often prefer not to have their names publicly linked with the donees. By letting the Tides Foundation, in effect, "launder" the money for them and pass it along to the intended beneficiaries, donors can avoid leaving a "paper trail." Such contributions are called "donor-advised," or donor-directed, funds. 

Through this legal loophole, nonprofit entities can also create for-profit organizations and then funnel money to them through Tides -- thereby circumventing the laws that bar nonprofits from directly funding their own for-profit enterprises. Pew Charitable Trusts, for instance, set up three for-profit media companies and then proceeded to fund them via donor-advised contributions to Tides, which (for an 8 percent management fee) in turn sent the money to the media companies. 

It would be quite possible for the Saudis, for instance, to supply funds through various nonprofits controlled by them to Tides, and then via Tides bribe the Indian chief (and anyone else). Thus, Glenn Reynolds asks, "I wonder if they're getting Saudi money, too?"

As I wrote 12 days ago, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, perhaps the smartest and most influential member of the Saudi royal family, has admitted that fracking is strategic threat to Saudi wealth and influence.

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