March For Our Lives holds itself up as a grassroots gun control org, much like Moms Demand Action. And just like the Moms, the (supposedly) student-led March For Our Lives organization gets their funding not from the little people, but from a group of big dollar donors.
While the NRA and other gun rights orgs raise tens of millions each year primarily from everyday Americans, the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex lacks that kind of grassroots support.
Instead of donations from everyday Americans, civilian disarmament operations rely on dark money from the well-healed to keep the lights on.
Moms Demand Action started (as One Million Moms for Gun Control) following Sandy Hook. A sympathetic media compliantly repeated the fake narrative that Shannon Watts was just a stay-at-home mom ironing her husband’s shirts when she decided to do something about so-called “gun violence.”
Then, the story goes, she started Moms Demand Action all by herself.
From the Denver Post:
How a Colorado mother became the National Rifle Association’s worst nightmare
Shannon Watts folded laundry as news of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six adults flashed across her television screen in 2012, rattling something inside the mother of five that couldn’t be stifled. That newfound, burning activism would soon position the Colorado woman to identify herself as the National Rifle Association’s worst nightmare.
Watts scoured Facebook after the Sandy Hook shooting, looking to join a group similar to Mothers Against Drunk Driving but with a focus on ending gun violence. When she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she made her own.
The only thing missing from the first line of that fake news report: “Once upon a time….”
For anyone willing to do two minutes of Googling, one can quickly find her true background as a corporate communications professional and political operative. Under her maiden name of Shannon Troughton, she served as president and owner of VoxPop Public Relations, a boutique liberal PR firm.
And before that? We’ll let her explain from her press release via PR Newswire:
According to PR Week, “Shannon Troughton recently left a position at the helm of a 30-person corporate communications team at WellPoint, one of the largest health insurers in the US, to start her own healthcare firm, VoxPop Public Relations. She started the firm because she saw a need for boutique agencies that can provide the same service at a lower cost during the recession. At WellPoint, she launched a number of key efforts, such as its Zagats partnership, which allows users to rate their doctors, and the establishment of personalized health records for WellPoint members.”
Troughton has worked in public relations for nearly 20 years, specializing in media relations, product promotion, government affairs, and issues and crisis management.
At WellPoint, Troughton led a team of 40 public relations professionals responsible for implementing communications programs for the 14 states in which the company operates, as well as the company’s business units.
Previously, Ms. Troughton served as director of Global Communications for GE Healthcare, a $15 billion medical diagnostics and device business within General Electric.
Troughton also served as director of Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto Company in St. Louis..
Troughton began her career as a communications staffer for the administration of the late Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan in Jefferson City and is a graduate of the University of Missouri.
Just your typical housewife and mom, right?
The dark money behind March for Our Lives
Similarly, after the Parkland shooting, the media promoted the fiction that a retired FBI agent’s son and his merry band of plucky high school student friends started “March for Our Lives” (probably in their garage) after school.
Yes, once upon a time. Again, that was all a lie.
Now we learn that 99.5% all of the nearly $18 million raised in the first year by this new “student-led” group did not come from the $25 donations sent in by everyday Americans who just wanted to keep their children safe.
Instead, almost almost $17 million of the total came from exactly 36 donations of between $100,000 to $3.5 million.
Because millionaires, billionaires and their foundations and trust funds regularly hand over six- and seven-figure checks to brand new organizations run by a bunch of Florida high school kids, right?
To put that into perspective, the median household income in America comes in at $59,000.
Meanwhile, of that $18 million raised, a measly $80,000 came from donations under $5000 according to their IRS Form 990.
Stephen Gutowski at the Washington Free Beacon has the details:
The gun-control group responsible for a 2018 march on Washington, D.C., raised the vast majority of its funds from undisclosed donations over six figures, a recently released tax document shows.
The March For Our Lives Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization launched in the aftermath of the deadly 2018 shootings at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is bankrolled almost entirely by large donations in excess of $100,000. The group reported $17,879,150 in contributions and grants over the course of 2018, its first year of operations. Ninety-five percent of those contributions came from 36 donations between $100,000 and $3,504,717—a grand total of $16,922,331.
The group’s reliance on a small number of large donations raises questions about its ability to turn rally-goers and supporters into donors. It also provides ammunition to gun-rights activists who have long cast the gun-control movement as driven not by grassroots supporters, but by billionaire benefactors like Michael Bloomberg…
While March For Our Lives is not required to disclose its donors under federal law, some businessmen and Hollywood celebrities vowed to provide generous contributions for the group’s 2018 march on Washington, D.C. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and billionaire businessman Eli Broad both gave $1,000,000, two of six donors to do so. George Clooney and wife Amal Clooney gave $500,000, as did fashion company Gucci.
Of course, you didn’t and won’t read about any of this in the New York Times or see it on the 60 Minutes. It doesn’t fit the fake news narrative that most Americans desperately want more gun control.
Register to vote at https://t.co/SrCltJsrBH
— David Hogg text VOTE to 954-954 (@davidhogg111) January 3, 2020
Once again, this effort to restrict Americans’ gun rights is all a sham. It’s run by experienced political operatives and organizers and papered over by a thin veneer of photogenic teenagers in order to give the effort the appearance of a grass roots origin and support.
And so it goes.