There’s new information out about Clarion Fund. This is the group that released more than 20 million copies of a controversial anti-terror DVD called “Obsession” in battleground political states a few weeks before the election. (Background here and here.)
Clarion, which has released very little information about itself, just sent me its long-delayed 2007 tax return, IRS Form 990.
As a 501(c) organization, Clarion is not supposed to influence U.S. elections, but the 990 reveals that two of the fund’s unpaid directors in 2007 had strong GOP ties:
- Peter Feaman, a Florida trial lawyer. He’s also the author of Wake Up America! about the dangers of fundamentalist Islam. Feaman has been active in GOP political circles. He has run for the Florida house and serves as the Republican state committeeman for Palm Beach County. He was a delegate to the 2008 GOP convention.
- Nina Cunningham, founder of Quidlibet, a legal research consulting firm in Illinois. She has given more than $33,000 to GOP candidates and causes in the past three election cycles, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. She is the Illinois State chair of the Republican Jewish Committee’s women’s committee.
The other two directors were previous identified:
- Robert “Raphael” Shore, producer of Obsession and the follow-up film, The Third Jihad, and Richard Green, Clarion’s executive director and the organization’s only paid employee.
According to the 990, Clarion listed total revenue of nearly $2 million in 2007, about half of which came from direct public support. The contributors are not identified.
The fund’s biggest expense as $610,000 for film promotion and distribution. But Obsession earned Clarion more than $800,000 so the fund actually booked a small profit.
The fund’s distribution costs were much higher in 2008, but we won’t know the details for some time.