UPDATE: thanks to Ken Libby, we now know that both the Broad Foundation ($500K) and the Gates Foundation ($100K) gave substantial funds to EEP in 2009. As of 2011, however, the organization no longer appears to exists.
Today, in the Daily News, Adam Lisberg reports that Mayor Bloomberg gave $110,000 to Al Sharpton in 2008, apparently to gain his assent for overturning term limits, money that was laundered through the Education Equity Project, Joel Klein’s vanity non-profit that supposedly works for education reform.
This revelation comes on top of the earlier finding that Sharpton received a secret contribution of $500,000 from a hedge fund to join EEP in the first place, funds that were washed through Education Reform Now, a pro-charter lobbying group, to help him avoid federal indictment for tax fraud. Below is a timeline of events:
June 12, 2008: There is much speculation on our list serv and elsewhere about who is funding this effort. On our blog at “Unholy alliance: Al Sharpton and Joel Klein” we speculate that it is being supported by Gates and/or Broad Foundations. The next day, David Cantor, then-head of the DOE press office, emails our NYC education list serv that “No Gates or Broad money is going to this initiative. Zero.”
June 13, 2008: We speculate that perhaps Bloomberg money is backing EEP and add another posting, Who is funding the Education Equity project? Later that day, David Cantor emails me: “Leonie: The project is being funded anonymously. No public money will be spent. The mayor is not funding the project.”
June 15, 2008: I post Cantor’s email on our blog at The mystery continues: who is funding the Klein/Sharpton operation? and add: “One would think that given the kind of public campaign that these men say they are embarking upon, including staging "events at both political conventions” and attempting to influence the position of the next President, they should be obligated to reveal their source of financing" Silly me.
June 15, 2008: I finally pick up on the news about how Sharpton owes the IRS more than $1 million in taxes, and write on the blog: “Which further begs the question – is someone contributing to Sharpton's operations to persuade him to ally himself with Joel Klein, and if so, who is it? Apparently, the US Attorney's Office in
Brooklyn is conducting a grand-jury investigation of his organization's finances, as is Attorney General Cuomo. Hopefully we'll find out someday. More good timing on the part of Joel Klein, who certainly knows how to pick his friends. But I guess beggars can't be choosers.”
June 19, 2008: According to the Post, the feds broaden their investigation, and issue "a flurry of subpoenas" to Sharpton’s corporate donors.
Sometime during Sept. 2008 (?): Bloomberg gives $250,000 grant to EEP. According to the News, this is one of only two contributions that EEP received in 2008, totaling $500,000.
December 8, 2008: Bloomberg hires Bradley Tusk, formerly top operative and Deputy Gov. to Rod. Blagojevich, as his campaign manager. Over the course of the year Bloomberg gives $1.3 million to the Independence Party. Of that, $750,000 was allegedly pocketed by
Queens GOP operative John Haggerty.
And that's only the campaign spending that is officially reported!