involved in Arca’s affairs. Until he died inJanuary 2010, Smith Bagley (son of NancyReynolds Bagley) served as the foundation’spresident. His daughter Nancy R. Bagleysucceeded him as president.Nancy R. Bagley is also editor-in-chief of
a glossy “lifestyle”magazine that chronicles the balls and galasattended by what passes for the social set inthe nation’s capital. She is also a trustee onthe board of the Z. Smith Reynolds Founda-tion, named for Nancy Reynolds’s brother. Itfocuses its liberal advocacy on the people of North Carolina. Earlier, Bagley worked onthe Clinton-Gore presidential campaign andthen on HillaryCare when she took a positionin the Clinton White House.
Finances and Grantmaking
Arca is not a large foundation. Foundation-Search ranks it 2,072th in asset size amongU.S. foundations. Even in the District of Columbia it ranks 51st in asset size witha reported $48 million in 2009. Arca’s in-come (mostly on investments) was $14.7million.But what the foundation lacks in size it morethan makes up for in the focus and intensityof its giving to radical organizations. Arcafunds groups such as the Institute for PolicyStudies ($584,200 since 2001), a strongholdof Marxist thinking; the Center for Constitu-tional Rights ($115,000 since 2001), a publicinterest law
rm that looks for opportunitiesto defend anti-American radical activists;and Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now”($40,000 in 2004), a daily program of left-ist news stories broadcast on 900 radio andtelevision stations nationwide.Arca has a special af
nity for making grantsto activist media outlets that tend to portrayconservatives as irrational zealots. Amongthese organizations are Media Matters forAmerica ($150,000 since 2004); Com-mon Cause Education Fund ($1,395,000since 2000); Institute for America’s Future($625,000 since 2000); US Action Educa-tion Fund ($245,000 since 2002); People forthe American Way Foundation ($650,000since 2001); Working America EducationFund ($200,000 since 2008); Nation In-stitute ($100,000 since 2004); LeadershipConference on Civil Rights Education Fund($225,000 since 2003); Center for PublicInterest Research ($300,000 since 2003);Drum Major Institute ($250,000 since 2007);League of Conservation Voters EducationFund ($250,000 since 2004); Center forIndependent Media a.k.a. American Indepen-dent News Network ($250,000 since 2008);and the anti-Israel J Street Education Fund($50,000 in 2009).Arca also funds Saul Alinsky-inspired com-munity organizing networks including theCenter for Community Change ($350,000since 2003) and the Gamaliel Foundation($325,000 since 2004), which used to employBarack Obama as a trainer. It gives largegrants to the Tides Foundation and TidesCenter ($940,000 since 2001), which supportand nurture many small and obscure radicalgroups. Arca even gave a $25,000 grant in2003 to the eco-terrorist Ruckus Society.
Donna Edwards: Community Organizer,Grantmaker, Member of Congress
Arca’s staff is mostly comprised of commit-ted but little-known activists. The currentexecutive director, Anna Lefer Kuhn, is aformer program of
cer at George Soros’sOpen Society Institute. However, DonnaEdwards is a former executive directorwho is far better-known. Now a Democraticmember of the House of Representativesrepresenting Washington, D.C. suburbsin Maryland, Edwards’s career trajectoryillustrates how even the most radical leftistcan achieve political power.Edwards joined Arca in 2000, where shecoordinated grantmaking before winningelection to Congress in 2008. Prior to joiningArca, Edwards worked to enact the ViolenceAgainst Women Act (VAWA), a 1994 law thatestablished a $1.6 billion government pro-gram that focused on crimes against women.The law also created the Of
ce of ViolenceAgainst Women within the U.S. Departmentof Justice. Subsequently, from 1996 to 1999,Edwards served as executive director of theNational Network to End Domestic Violence,a group she co-founded.Many critics regard VAWA as a well-inten-tioned law that is misconceived because itexpands the de
nition of domestic violence,makes it a federal crime in some cases, andenhances the penalties for perpetrators com-mitting acts of violence against women
Civilliberties groups on the Left and Right haveexpressed concern that the law de
nes thecrime of domestic violence too loosely andgives police and courts too much power tosuppress it.The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, much toEdwards’s chagrin. Like other politicalradicals, Edwards sees such matters as theseparation of powers in the U.S. Constitutionas an obstacle to social justice. In a 2000 casecalled
U.S. v. Morrison
the Supreme Courtstruck down the provisions in VAWA thatgave victims of gender-related violence theright to sue attackers in federal court. Thelaw’s defenders argued that the Constitu-tion’s Commerce Clause gave the federalgovernment the power to make legislationabout what is usually considered a state mat-ter. But the high court ruled that Congresshad no power to regulate violence againstwomen because, simply stated, violenceisn’t commerce.From 1992 to 1994, Edwards was a lobbyistfor Public Citizen’s Congress Watch project,