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false accusations against kerry's wife

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  • Greg Cannon
    New FactCheck.org Document: Internet Whispering Campaigns Falsely Accuse Teresa Heinz Kerry Bogus e-mail messages claim she s given millions to radical
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2004
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      New FactCheck.org Document: Internet "Whispering
      Campaigns" Falsely Accuse Teresa Heinz Kerry

      Bogus e-mail messages claim she's given millions to
      "radical" groups,
      some linked to terrorists, and located Heinz factories
      overseas. Both
      claims are false.



      False allegations about Kerry's wife have been
      circulating for months,
      but the velocity of the Internet "whispering campaign"
      picked up
      substantially with the approach of the Fall campaign.

      One false message claims Teresa Heinz Kerry gave $4
      million to a
      foundation that used the funds to support a list of
      "radical" groups
      including one with alleged links to Hamas and another
      that is said to
      have offered to provide a lawyer for Saddam Hussein.
      But public records
      show otherwise. Heinz Kerry's foundation money was
      directed to projects
      such as "Sustainable Pittsburgh," which promotes
      "smart growth"

      Another widely circulated e-mail claims Kerry and his
      wife "own" dozens
      of H.J. Heinz Company factories in Europe and Asia. It
      accuses Kerry of
      hypocrisy for denouncing offshoring of US jobs while
      "making millions
      off that cheap labor."

      That's also false: neither of them own Heinz. Public
      records show Heinz
      Kerry isn't an officer of the company, isn't on the
      company's board of
      directors, and isn't even close to being the largest
      shareholder. The
      Heinz Endowments do own Heinz stock -- less than 4% of
      the company --
      but income from that stock goes to charity, not to the


      FactCheck.org has received hundreds of copies of these
      two e-mails from
      subscribers who asked us to check out whether there's
      any truth to
      They have been circulating like a virus, relayed by
      people who either
      don't bother to check out whether they are true, or
      don't care. It's
      modern equivalent of the old "whispering campaign" in
      which false
      served as political weapons.

      Bogus E-mail (excerpt):
      Teresa Heniz Funds Hamas?

      Subject: Catsup, Pickles and the Radical left .

      . .So how does Mrs. Heinz Kerry spend John Heinz's
      money? Just one
      According to the G2 Bulletin, an online intelligence
      newsletter of
      WorldNetDaily, in the years between 1995-2001 she gave
      more than $4
      million to an organization called the Tides Foundation
      . And what does
      the Tides Foundation do with John Heinz's money?
      They support numerous anti-war groups , including
      Ramsey Clark's
      International Action Center. Clark has offered to
      defend Saddam Hussein
      when he's tried.
      They support the Democratic Justice Fund, a joint
      venture of the Tides
      Foundation and billionaire hate-monger George Soros.
      The Democratic
      Justice Fund seeks to ease restrictions on Muslim
      immigration from
      "terrorist" states.
      They support the Council for American-Islamic
      Relations, whose leaders
      are known to have close ties to the terrorist group,
      They support the National Lawyers Guild, organized as
      a communist front
      during the Cold War era. One of their attorneys, Lynne
      Stewart, has
      arrested for helping a client, Sheikh Omar Abdel
      Rahman, communicate
      with terror cells in Egypt He is the convicted
      mastermind of the 1993
      World Trade Center bombing.
      They support Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion
      Rights Action
      League, and the Abortion Action Project. They support
      the most violent
      of all homosexual action groups, ACT-UP.
      They support the "Barrio Warriors," a radical Hispanic
      group whose
      primary goal is to return all of Arizona, California,
      New Mexico, and
      Texas to Mexico.
      These are but a few of the radical groups that
      benefit, through the
      anonymity provided by the Tides Foundation, from the
      generosity of our
      would-be first lady - the wealthy widow of Republican
      senator John
      Heinz, and now the wife of the Democratic senator who
      aspires to be the
      44th President of the United States.

      Teresa Heinz Kerry and the Tides Foundation

      The more virulent of these nasty, false mailings
      alleges that she's
      given more than $4 million to the Tides Foundation
      <http://www.tides.org/index_tds.cfm> of San
      Francisco to fund a
      variety of "radical" groups including some that the
      message suggests
      supportive of terrorists.

      To start, that's flatly denied by Maxwell King, the
      President of the
      Heinz Endowments. King told FactCheck.org:

      King: Neither she nor her foundations has ever funded
      any of the
      extremist organizations or unpatriotic causes listed
      in the email you
      forwarded. Period.

      The Tides Foundation also says that no Heinz funds
      have gone to any of
      the groups named in the e-mail. Further, it says Tides
      itself gives
      little or no money to several of them. Christopher J.
      Herrera, Director
      of Communications of the Tides Foundation, told us
      that the allegation
      about a Ramsey Clark group is utterly false, for

      Herrera: We have made no grants to this organization
      nor can we
      find any association with it in our records.

      According to Herrera, Tides Foundation gifts to the
      National Lawyers
      Guild total "approximately $30,000 over the last ten
      years," and
      donations to the Council on Islamic Relations amounted
      to a single
      $5,000 grant in 2002 for a Southern California project
      called the
      "Interfaith Coalition Against Hate Crimes." But even
      those relatively
      small sums didn't come from Heinz money as alleged.

      Where $8 million went

      Both groups say the only money given directly to the
      Tides Foundation
      the Heinz Endowments was $230,000 given between 1994
      and 1998, all used
      to support a pollution-prevention initiative and other
      projects in Western Pennsylvania.

      Much larger sums have gone through a related legal
      entity called the
      Tides Center <http://www.tidescenter.org/aboutus.cfm>
      , which
      administers grants for groups receiving donations that
      are not
      themselves incorporated as a nonprofit organization.
      The Tides Center
      takes a fee, typically between 7% and 9%, for handling
      disbursing, legal and administrative work, but the
      rest legally must go
      to the group for which the donor intended it.

      The Heinz Endowments released a list
      <http://www.heinz.org/files/HP_Digit.pdf> of grants
      totaling $8.1
      million given through Tides since 1994. None of the
      money went for the
      "radical" groups named in the e-mail.Instead, the
      grants included such
      sums as:

      $1.6 million for " Sustainable Pittsburgh
      <http://www.sustainablepittsburgh.org/> ," which
      promotes such projects
      as "bike to work week."
      Just over $1 million for the " Chemical Strategies
      <http://www.chemicalstrategies.org/> ," which looks
      for ways to cut the
      use of chemicals in industry.
      $800,000 for the " Green Building Alliance
      <http://www.gbapgh.org/> ," which promotes buildings
      that use less
      Nearly $1.4 million for the "Pennsylvania Energy
      Project," which
      spun off several renewable-energy projects before
      going out of business
      at the end of 2000.

      Included in the $8.1 million are grants from the
      Howard Heinz Endowment
      and also the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, which
      collectively make up the
      Heinz Endowments. Heinz Kerry chairs the Howard Heinz
      Endowment, the
      larger of the two, and is a member of the board of
      directors of the
      smaller Vira I. Heinz Endowment.

      The list appears to be accurate: FactCheck.org checked
      each grant on
      list against those that the Heinz endowments reported
      to the US
      Revenue Service on their form 990's for the five years
      1998 through
      2002. We found no discrepancies: all the grants on the
      master list
      matched grants reported on the IRS forms, where there
      could be legal
      penalties for false reporting. We would have checked
      990's for other
      years but those before 1998 are not readily available,
      and the two
      endowments aren't scheduled to file their forms for
      2003 until Aug. 15.

      (Anyone who wants to check for themselves can call up
      the Heinz form
      990's here <http://www.guidestar.org/index.jsp> ,
      where they are
      posted for all to see by Guidestar, a national
      database of nonprofit
      organizations. The service is free, but registration
      is required.)

      The Scaife Connection

      This false allegation has its roots in a study
      published in
      December, 2003 by the conservative Capital Research
      Center of
      Washington, DC. It stated that the Tides Foundation
      and Tides Center
      "effectively 'launder' donor dollars" so that "the
      original donor can't
      be linked to the ultimate recipient." It said the
      Heinz Endowments had
      given $4,298,500 to Tides between 1995 and 2001. That
      turned out to be
      much less than the actual amount, and far from being
      donations from Heinz are listed on the endowment's
      <http://www.heinz.org/index.asp?loc=J,J4> as well as
      in publicly
      available form 990's.

      One of the study's authors then wrote an opinion piece
      that appeared in
      the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, accusing Heinz of
      teaming with Tides to
      engage in "secretive funneling of cash . . . to
      extreme left-wing
      activist groups." In fact, none of the Heinz money was
      earmarked for any of the organizations listed.
      Nevertheless, the
      two articles have been quoted widely on conservative
      pages and on conservative websites, one of which is
      quoted in the bogus
      e-mail we cite here.

      Worth noting is that the publisher of the Pittsburgh
      Tribune-Review is
      conservative Republican donor William Mellon Scaife,
      whose charities
      also gave $260,000 to Capital Research in 2002,
      according to a March 7
      <http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04067/281739.stm> in
      the rival
      Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Scaife attracted notice in
      the 1990's when he
      funded some of the journalistic investigations into
      Bill Clinton's
      affairs. It was the editorial page director for
      Tribune-Review, Colin McNickle, whom Heinz Kerry told
      to "shove it" in
      much-reported incident during the Democratic National
      Convention July

      Heinz Kerry and the Overseas Food Factories

      Another e-mail that many of our subscribers have asked
      about claims --
      falsely -- that Heinz Kerry and her husband "own"
      factories overseas
      hypocritically are "making millions off all that cheap
      labor" while
      denouncing Bush for letting jobs go to other

      Bogus E-mail:

      Teresa Sends Jobs Offshore?

      Check your Heinz 57 labels
      Shortly after reading the following e-mail content, I
      happened to look
      at the label of a jar of Heinz sandwich slice pickles.
      Yep.... "Made
      Check some of your Heinz products.
      Sen. John Kerry keeps talking about U.S. corporations
      leaving this
      country and setting up shop in foreign countries,
      taking thousands of
      jobs with them. He is right, because that has
      happened. However, he is
      trying to blame it on George W. Bush.
      As far as I know, Bush has not moved one factory out
      of this country
      because he is not the owner of a single factory.
      That cannot be said about Kerry and his wife, Teresa
      According to the Wall Street Journal, the Kerrys own
      32 factories in
      Europe and 18 in Asia and the Pacific. In addition,
      their company, the
      Heinz Company, leases four factories in Europe and
      four in Asia .
      they own 27 factories in North America, some of which
      are in Mexico and
      the Caribbean
      I wonder how many hundreds of American workers lost
      their jobs when
      these plants relocated to foreign countries. I also
      wonder if the
      workers in Mexico and Asia are paid the same wages and
      benefits as
      workers in the United States.
      Of course they're not. However, Kerry demands that
      other companies that
      relocate should pay the same benefits they did in the
      U.S. Why does he
      not demand this of the Heinz Company, since he is
      married to the owner?
      If Kerry is elected, will he and his wife close all
      those foreign
      factories and bring all those jobs back to America? Of
      course they
      won't. They're making millions off that cheap labor.
      If you can read this, thank a teacher.
      If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

      This one can also be proved false from publicly
      available records. In
      fact, Heinz Kerry has no role in running the food

      As the H.J. Heinz Company reports in its most recent
      proxy statement on
      file with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
      Heinz Kerry is not on
      the company's board of directors
      htm#toc82155_4> , nor is she listed among the
      principal shareholders
      htm#toc82155_2> (those who control 5% or more of the
      shares). The charitable foundations she controls once
      held much more
      Heinz stock but sold off most of it nearly a decade
      ago to diversify
      their investments. The Heinz company said in a recent
      public statement
      that she
      currently controls less than 4% of the company's
      stock. The largest
      shareholder is actually a California investment
      company that owns
      roughly three times as much as the Heinz charitable

      About all that is true in this e-mail is that the
      Heinz company has a
      number of factories overseas.

      Its most recent annual report
      1e10vk.txt> , also publicly available at the SEC's
      website, lists 32
      factories owned in Europe (and three more leased), and
      18 in Asia and
      the Pacific (plus four more leased). Heinz also
      reported selling just
      over $3 billion in products in Europe and more than $1
      billion more in
      Asia and the Pacific -- accounting for roughly half
      the company's

      The company issued a statement
      back in March,
      when this e-mail first began circulating, saying that
      60% of its sales
      are outside the US (including those in Mexico and
      Canada as well as
      Europe and Asia) and that it locates plants in other
      countries "to
      accommodate those customers by providing facilities
      closer to those
      markets" and "to pack the freshest ingredients, tailor
      its recipes to
      local tastes and deliver the final products in a
      timely and efficient

      The company also distanced itself from the Kerry
      campaign and Heinz

      H.J. Heinz Co: In light of some misleading
      speculation, the H.
      J. Heinz Company would like to make clear that neither
      Mrs. Teresa
      Kerry, Senator John Kerry nor any member of their
      family is involved in
      the management or board of the H. J. Heinz Company. .
      . . They have no
      involvement in the Heinz´┐Ż Ketchup business or any of
      the company's
      brands or products.

      The Heinz company also said it is "nonpartisan." Worth
      noting, however,
      is that the company's Political Action Committee has
      given nearly all
      its donations to Republican candidates, including
      $5,000 to the Bush
      campaign and nothing to Kerry's as of the most recent
      available. That's additional evidence, as if any was
      needed, that the
      company isn't "owned" by Kerry's wife.


      Heinz Endowments, " The Heinz Endowments Grants to
      Tides Center
      <http://www.heinz.org/files/HP_Digit.pdf> / Tides
      Foundation," news
      release, undated.

      Howard Heinz Endowment, IRS Form 990PF, fiscal years
      1998, 1999, 2000,
      2001, 2002.

      Vira I Heinz Endowment, a Pennsylvania Non Profit
      Corp, IRS Form 990PF,
      fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002.

      Gretchen Randall and Tom Randall, " The Tides
      : Liberal
      Crossroads of Money and Ideas," Foundation Watch,
      Capital Research
      Center, Washington DC, December 2003.

      Tom Randall, " The Heinz Endowments have teamed with a
      left-wing group
      <http://www.heinz.org/files/TR-12-14-03.pdf> ,"
      Pittsburgh Tribune-Review , 14 Dec. 14, 2003. (Also
      Dennis B. Roddy, " Right zooms in on Heinz grants
      <http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/04067/281739.stm> ;
      Heinz Kerry's
      foundation work provide grist for foes," Pittsburgh
      Post-Gazette , 7
      march 2003.

      H.J. Heinz Company, "SCHEDULE 14A, Proxy Statement
      htm#toc82155_4> Pursuant to Section 14(a) of the
      Securities Exchange
      Act of 1934," 2 July 2004.

      H.J. Heinz Company, "FORM 10-K: ANNUAL REPORT
      1e10vk.txt> PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE
      EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended April
      28, 2004" 17 June
      H.J. Heinz Company, "H.J. Heinz Company Confirms Its
      Widely Held Public
      Ownership And Non-Partisan Status," news release
      , 22 March 2004.


      Please visit
      http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=224 to
      this FactCheck article in full.

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