The Media/Non-Profit Racket

In past months, I’ve showed you how not only big-media-alum group-blog MinnPost, but “No Rant, No Slant” Minnesota Public Radio are on the take from the Joyce Foundation – which funds “Protect MN”, the anti-rights group run by Rep. Heather Martens.  I speculated that it might be the reason that MPR has been so incurious about Martens’ astroturf group, and why the MinnPost – with all its pretenses to legitimate journalism – spent the past year giving Martens a public tongue bath.

I asked – does this involvement go any higher in the Twin Cities’ “progressive” political world?

I asked, and Bill Glahn answered – ten months ago.  Joyce is a huge financial backer of “Take Action MN”, a non-profit that verges on being a political party in its own right, a descendent of “Progressive Minnesota”, which had its own unseemly connections with “non-partisan” institutions.


The Joyce Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, was founded by Iowa lumber heiress Beatrice Joyce Kean.  This $760 million foundation has been involved with TakeAction since near the beginning of the Minnesota non-profit’s existence.  Joyce’s 2006 Annual Report (p. 25) shows a grant of $350,000 to be paid out to TakeAction over two years, “To develop and promote a political reform agenda focused on campaign finance, judicial, and voting rights reforms.”
Joyce’s 2009 IRS Form 990 reveals that the $350,000 grant to the 501(c)(3) TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund was renewed in 2008 for two additional years, “for ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen democracy in Minnesota.”[12]
Joyce’s 2011 IRS Form 990 reveals that, yet again, the $350,000 grant to the TakeAction Education Fund was renewed in 2010 for two additional years, “For advancing a political reform agenda that encompasses election administration, voting rights, campaign finance, redistricting, and judicial independence.”[13]

The Joyce Foundation’s website indicates that the TakeAction Education Fund received an additional $150,000 in 2012 for one year, “For advancing a democracy reform agenda using legislation, community organizing, movement building, coalition work, and unexpected alliances.”
Unexpected alliances?  In any event, the seven-year total of grants from the Joyce Foundation to TakeAction equals $1,200,000.

So let’s break this down:  The Joyce Foundation heavily sponsors “Progressive” non-profits, including “Take Action MN”, “Protect MN”, and (I strongly suspect) “Common Cause MN”.

And they pour money into at least two “non-profit” Minnesota media outlets that have pretensions to respectability; Minnesota Public Radio and the MinnPost.

I’ve sought comment from both organizations in the past, without success.  I’ll try again.

All of this carefully obfuscated money going to support “campaign finance…reforms” is one thing.

Going to buy friendly media coverage?

And finding willing takers, in an industry whose “code of ethics” tells journalists who avoid financial entanglements in their “journalism?”

3 thoughts on “The Media/Non-Profit Racket

  1. The fact that the same people are committing the same violations 11 YEARS after the Dakota county attorney’s investigations concluded they (and SPPS) had violated the law can be explained by Geartner’s send off to me: “If you think I’m going to bring charges that involve the school district you’ve got another thing coming”

    Minnesota is run by gangsters.

  2. Hopefully by putting pressure on those involved and keeping the issue alive, it may start to resonate with more of the public. An article in this month’s American Rifleman (the NRA’s monthly publication, Dec. 2013, p. 16) addresses Michael Bloomberg’s MAIG group’s loss of members and apparent public support. Much of this may be due to the public’s resentment of outsiders trying to control their political issues through influence and money.

    The Joyce Foundation, and similar groups, seem to be using Bloomberg’s template, although perhaps less visibly because it’s leader(s) are less visible or vocal. Still, it amounts to the same thing; outsiders meddling in “our” issues. If there is a growing sensitivity to this, your continued exposure of these groups might be more helpful now than it might have been a year or two ago.

  3. The Joyce Foundation of Chicago, Illinois, was founded by Iowa lumber heiress Beatrice Joyce Kean.

    Yet ANOTHER self loathing trust fund brat. How completely unsurprising.

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