The people who conducted an in-your-face protest at the personal residence of Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) in Woodbury, Minnesota, belong to an Alinskyite group that is part of a larger, somewhat notorious community organizing network. Frightening targets by surrounding their homes and scaring their families is a tried and true left-wing organizing tactic that was frequently practiced by the now-defunct ACORN.
The leftist group in this case is called Take Action Minnesota. It describes itself as “a statewide network of people – people just like you — working to realize racial and economic equity across Minnesota.” In other words, these people are identity politics-obsessed socialists. The group is reportedly funded by SEIU and other unions. It is also funded by prominent left-wing philanthropies (more on that in a moment).
On Wednesday, members of Take Action Minnesota surrounded Lewis’s home where he lives with his wife and two daughters and chanted over cuts proposed to relatively useless welfare programs like Medicaid that are sucking American taxpayers dry. Neighbors called the police about the unruly group, which was probably a wise move.
Lewis released this statement on Facebook about the near-invasion of his home:
Appalled to find out my home and private property were invaded today by protestors while I was working in my congressional district. Suffice it to say it is more than a bit disturbing to get a call from your neighbor saying his daughters were afraid and called him to contact the police.
Take Action Minnesota, which is headquartered in Saint Paul, said supporters came to the lawmaker’s house because he hadn’t been making himself available to residents in his congressional district.
“For months, constituents have asked for a town hall,” the group said in a statement. “His constituents would rather have a conversation at a town hall, than deliver a letter to his door.”
Take Action is an affiliate of National People’s Action (NPA). NPA is as radical as it is kooky. As I’ve written about NPA, its membership is a mix of radical activists, retirees, college students, professional agitators, union goons, and the dregs of society – the same sort of deadbeats, welfare recipients, and the kind of down-and-outers ACORN preyed upon and conned into paying $120 annual membership dues they couldn’t afford to pay.
Many of these people are what Karl Marx might have called an American version of the Lumpenproletariat. They are so hopelessly inept at life that they need to explain away their failures. Their list of scapegoats is long. They blame imaginary systemic racial discrimination, markets, white people, police, corporations, Republicans, insufficiently generous welfare programs, and whatever else trickles down day to day from their intellectual betters in the academy.They need something to believe in. They need something to explain why their lives suck. They hate America, and they want to burn it down.
Take Down Minnesota … errrr, I mean, Take Action Minnesota, has four components.
There is Take Action Minnesota (spelled, annoyingly, as TakeAction Minnesota in its IRS filings), the 501(c)(4) nonprofit. It disclosed that in 2015 it gave $30,000 to the Center for Popular Democracy in Brooklyn, New York, and $15,000 to Demos in Plymouth, Minnesota.
There is the Take Action Minnesota Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. I briefly searched for its IRS Form 990 disclosure document but didn’t locate it before I had to turn my attention to Tucker Carlson’s TV show (guest host Mark Steyn — YES!). But philanthropy databases list grants made to the 501(c)(3) by big, fat left-wing foundations.
Among those leftist funders are: Ford Foundation ($925,000 since 2011); Joyce Foundation ($883,000 since 2005); Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ($630,584 since 2009); Nathan Cummings Foundation ($180,000 since 2007); Needmor Fund ($93,500 since 2012); and Arca Foundation ($25,000 since 2013).
Finally, the group has at least two political action committees.
According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), there is the Take Action Minnesota Political Fund. It hasn’t taken action. It took in no money and spent no money in the 2016 election cycle.
There is also the Take Action Minnesota Federal Political Fund. It made an initial filing with the FEC in early 2016 but failed to file anything after that.
And there is the Take Action Minnesota PAC — maybe. On its 2015 IRS Form 990, the 501(c)(4) lists something called something called “TakeAction MN – Pol Action Committee” as a 527 PAC. Does it exist? Who knows.
The FEC database also indicates that in the 2014 cycle “Take Action Minnesota” threw a little money around. That group, whether the 501(c)(3), 501(c4), a PAC, or something else, disclosed that it spent $25,000 in 2014 reelecting Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)
Small nonprofits are often terrible at keeping up with government paperwork, so which entity actually spent the money may remain a mystery.