Friday, June 18, 2010
The New York Times reports that Richard B. Berman has created a network of nonprofits, including the Center for Consumer Freedom, to criticize groups including the Humane Society, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine. He and his groups have themselves come under criticism both for their apparent support by industries that are hurt by the efforts of his targets and for their relationships with his for-profit communications firm, Berman and Company. According to the article, Berman's nonprofits are closely tied to Berman and Company, with overlapping employees and consultants as well as payments flowing from the nonprofits to the for-profit firm often representing more than 50 percent of the nonprofits' revenues. Berman defends the nonprofits and his firm, however, noting that at least two of them have been subject to IRS audit but retained their exemptions. According to the article, the other nonprofits include the Employment Policies Institute, and according to the Center for Media and Democracy they also include the Center for Union Facts, the Employment Roundtable (which appears to no longer be active), and ActivistCash.com (self-identified as a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom).