• April 15, 2022
Undermining Police: With Grants From Left-wing Foundation
Alex Newman 
• Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation 
• Fall 2021

Reprinted with permission without endorsement by Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation

The original article was posted in the Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation Fall 2021 magazine and online, as linked here.

Under the guise of justice, the radical MacArthur Foundation is paying local governments to release criminals from jail.

James Jumping Eagle

James Jumping Eagle

In 2020, James Jumping Eagle, a well-known criminal and registered sex offender who sexually abused a minor, was arrested and charged for possession of LSD in Pennington County, South Dakota. Local law-enforcement authorities had signed a controversial deal in exchange for large grants promising to drastically reduce the number of people incarcerated in the local jail — especially if the people to be jailed were non-white. Jumping Eagle, a Native American, was released from jail, public records show, but did not turn up when required, so a bench warrant was issued. The charges could have carried years behind bars.

Just a few months after his arrest and release, though, on February 10, Jumping Eagle allegedly broke into the home of 82-year-old Reta McGovern and brutally murdered her. The convicted sex offender then fled back to an Indian reservation that has no extradition agreement with local authorities. It was not clear what the relationship was, if any, between the alleged murderer and the great grandmother of 15 children. But many locals believe McGovern would still be alive today if Jumping Eagle had not been released from jail earlier under pressure from quotas established by the grant. The case was sealed, so it has become very difficult to get information.

This is hardly limited to Pennington County. In dozens of communities across America, crime is rising or even surging, and criminals who would normally be behind bars are roaming free terrorizing neighborhoods and innocent citizens. Dubious racial quotas are being used to determine who goes to jail and who stays free. And the decisions making it possible are happening behind closed doors, funded by big bucks from an unaccountable leftwing organization in Chicago with leaders tied to radical movements — including one key official tied to a movement aimed openly at abolishing police across America.

One of the key forces behind this disturbing trend is the MacArthur Foundation, a tax-exempt behemoth with some $7 billion that is showering huge grants on police departments and law-enforcement agencies nationwide. But the money is not free. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Instead, MacArthur is buying drastic policy changes, outside of the democratic process and the reach of voters, that the public would be unlikely to support. Critics have decried the resulting politicization of law enforcement by such private interests, too. And yet it continues nationwide.

Local Jails: Accepting money from the MacArthur Foundation, which critics are calling a “bribe,” requires agreeing to a quota system in which about one in four criminals in local jails are released.

By its own admission, one of the foundation’s goals with the nearly $250 million spent so far on “Safety and Justice Challenge” is to reduce the number of criminals behind bars in communities across America. They point out that the United States has more people in jail than any nation on Earth, and that this is tremendously expensive. They also highlight the fact that black and Latino men tend to be incarcerated at rates higher than white Americans, and that jailing people can destroy families and careers. That is all true, of course.

And yet, there are good reasons why the American people’s elected representatives at the state and federal level have passed laws to get thieves, rapists, murderers, drug peddlers, gang bangers and other dangerous individuals off the streets. And there are good reasons why Americans of all ethnic backgrounds support those laws. If and when Americans become dissatisfied with those laws, there are simple tools for communities and states to change them using the democratic process.

But MacArthur Foundation thinks it knows better than communities and their elected officials. Among the key self-proclaimed goals of its “Safety and Justice” scheme is changing the way Americans think about jails and drastically reducing the number of people sitting in them. Another critical objective is ending what the left-wing foundation claims is the overrepresentation of “communities of color” in the criminal justice system.

This starts from the false assumption— a false assumption that is ubiquitous in the foundation’s work even beyond its criminal-justice programs — that the reason people from “communities of color” are arrested and jailed more often is because of racism in police and government. But countless studies and reports have pointed out the flawed thinking behind the idea that alleged “systemic racism” is responsible for the issue.

Through its controversial Safety and Justice Challenge, the MacArthur Foundation has spent hundreds of millions paying local police departments to release criminals from jail, partly based on their race.

In any case, the ultra-liberal foundation’s primary mechanism for injecting its racialist ideology into law enforcement and policing is known as the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge. According to the outfit’s website, this program provides funding for projects nationwide that involve “creating fairer, more effective local justice systems using innovative, collaborative, and evidence-based solutions.”

In other words, changing policy and systems with big money rather than through the legislative process and public debate. Launched more than five years ago, the scheme has over 50 jurisdictions in more than 30 states involved already. A massive “communications campaign” designed to peddle its narrative and stir up the American people is an integral part of the plan. But the public knows little about the shadowy money flows changing government policy in their communities.

While crime levels nationally have been generally decreasing slightly over the last five years, with the COVID chaos complicating matters more recently, the data in some of the cities receiving MacArthur grants actually showed increases in crime. That is despite the fact that critics of the MacArthur schemes say the grants are encouraging police and authorities to overlook some crimes and seek lesser charges on others.

In some cases, such as New Orleans, Louisiana, the surge in crime levels was drastic, with violence exploding. Philadelphia, another major recipient of MacArthur grants (where even the prosecutor has been backed by billionaire leftist George Soros’ “Safety and Justice” grants), saw 500 homicides last year — the second highest ever recorded and the highest in more than 30 years. This year is on track to be even worse.

On its Facebook page, however, the MacArthur program operatives and its partners defended their view that reducing jail populations would not cause increases in crime. “Narratives connecting these reforms to rising crime rates are misleading and damaging,” the page claimed, without providing details but citing supposed “data” obtained through MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge’s controversial data-gathering operations.

Rapid City, South Dakota: A Test Case

Jumping Eagle’s murder of an 82-year-old grandma is just the tip of the iceberg in one of the areas hit hard by the MacArthur Foundation’s meddling in law enforcement. In Rapid City, South Dakota, where Pennington County became one of 20 initial jurisdictions chosen for the plan, the criminal justice system there has received an infusion of millions of dollars from the foundation. Obviously, there were strings attached. And the fruit is becoming clear, locals say.

The purpose of the initial grant, according to the agreement obtained by the Intelligence Brief, was to create a plan to “target jail misuse and overuse as part of a network of sites participating in the Safety and Justice Challenge.” The “criminal justice reform” scheme’s goal, it continues, is to “reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.” Local judges and law-enforcement officials all signed off.

Among the strings attached to the grant were demands that, under the guise of “racial justice” and “equity,” more and more criminals be released from detention and less people be placed there. Despite the ongoing surge in crime, local authorities agreed to obey the foundation’s quotas by ensuring almost 25 percent less people in local jails. The effects soon became obvious, and local law-enforcement officers are feeling the pain.

The situation is now so bad that, according to Crime Grade, which rates cities based on how safe or dangerous they are, downtown Rapid City received an F, the worst possible grade. The numbers speak for themselves. Rapes, assaults, auto thefts, and other forms of violent crime have been on the rise since the MacArthur meddling began. The increase in crime is even more pronounced when compared with the U.S. average.

Locals have noticed. “Recent statistics from the Police Department in Rapid City show many serious juvenile crimes such as weapons violations, assaults, and robbery,” said retired U.S. military serviceman Ed Manzano, a local activist in Rapid City with Citizens for Liberty working with state lawmakers who has extensively studied the effect of the MacArthur grants in his community. “Yet very few of these young offenders receive consequences through the criminal justice system.”

“Rather, they go to community diversion programs due to MacArthur Foundation requirements to reduce incarceration rates among specific ethnic groups,” explained Manzano, who also chairs the Black Hills War Monument Committee. “So in Rapid City SD arrest and incarceration rates are way down, yet crime is way up.”

One of the very revealing facts highlighted by Manzano involves “Square One Justice.” MacArthur Foundation Criminal Justice Director Laurie Garduque is a Square One Justice executive committee member. The Pennington County sheriff whose jurisdiction includes Rapid City, meanwhile, is listed as a Square One “expert.” And yet, Square One is closely linked to Columbia University’s so-called “Abolition Democracy” movement, which is literally and openly working to abolish police departments nationwide.

Local activists and leaders seeking to get information and documents about the MacArthur program have had a difficult time due to the opaque nature of the grant. Incredibly, authorities concluded that meetings with the foundation and many documents related to the program are not public records subject to freedom of information because MacArthur is not a “political subdivision.” The Foundation also carefully works with local jurisdictions to manage communications with the media, fomenting even more suspicion among local communities targeted under the program.

One of those who grew suspicious was Nick Uhre, a lifelong resident of Rapid City and a local business owner who became concerned for the safety of his clients. “When criminals make secret deals that cause harm to the community, it’s called ‘conspiracy,’ but when a wealthy foundation gives money to our local government to adopt bad policies in secret, it’s called ‘cooperation,’” complained Uhre in an op-ed for the Rapid City Journal about the MacArthur-funded scheme.

Uhre, who provided documents to the Intelligence Brief, highlighted numerous other concerns. “MacArthur is clearly a leftist agenda-driven organization,” he said, wondering whether its vision is aligned with what citizens want. He also pointed out that that the foundation is not accountable to voters but is driving public policy — something that is obviously problematic under any circumstances, but especially on something as critical as public safety.

The fruit of the project is poison. “Since the advent of MacArthur’s influence on local law enforcement, we’ve seen a huge rise in vagrancy, property crime rates have skyrocketed, violent crime and murders like the brutal killing of Reta McGovern in her own home are far more common,” continued Uhre, whose local hotel has seen growing lawlessness in the community.

Blasting the race quotes and arrest restrictions imposed on law enforcement, Uhre said criminals were being “emboldened to offend.” Citizens who become victims of these criminals, though, have little understanding of the drastic policy changes being imposed on the city by the unelected, unaccountable foundation and its millions in grants.

“This is not a grant; this is a bribe masquerading as a grant,” Uhre told the Intelligence Brief, noting that the foundation was “purchasing” government immunity as well as massive amounts of private data through the program. “I am deeply concerned.”

Indeed, Uhre told the Intelligence Brief that he believes something even more sinister is afoot, though he cannot prove it due to the shadowy nature of MacArthur’s operations. And he is hardly the only one who has become suspicious of MacArthur’s motivations.

Lawmakers are also growing concerned. State Senator Julie Frye-Mueller, a Republican whose district is in the same region of the state, warned of numerous problems with the MacArthur grants being used to change local policy.

“My belief is that no law-enforcement agency should be taking any money from this organization at all,” she told the Intelligence Brief. “Once these agencies and departments have taken this money, they become beholden to that organization, and I, for one, do not like what they stand for.”

She called on law-enforcement executives and officials within the justice system to “do their due diligence and make sure they know what these organizations represent and who they are tied to before getting involved with them.” “Even worse would be if these law enforcement agencies and officials actually know and are taking the money anyway,” Senator Frye-Mueller said. “This has got to stop.”

Left-wing Extremism Pervasive in MacArthur

It is easy to see why critics would be so alarmed. The MacArthur Foundation has a long track record of left-wing extremism that falls far outside of the American mainstream and is clearly political in nature. The recipients of its grants illustrate the left-wing agenda of the foundation, and they show how out of touch it is with the concerns of everyday Americans.

For instance, one of its key grant recipients in 2017 was Mayors for Smart on Crime, a partisan scheme of the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP) —also involved in the Safety and Justice schemes — funded by anti-police financier George Soros and founded by disgraced Clinton and Obama operative John Podesta. “Smart on Crime” did not mean what normal Americans would think. The MacArthur-funded Mayors initiative was led by 10 of America’s most left-wing, anti-police mayors — many of whom would later go on to join the “Defund the Police” campaign. Among them: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, whose administration waged war on the city’s embattled police department and witnessed a historic surge in crime as a result. Similar disasters befell other cities that attempted such approaches. New York is also a recipient of “Safety and Justice Challenge” funds.

Radical leftwing billionaire George Soros is also using his billions to radically transform the justice system, bankrolling prosecutors who refuse to prosecute and jail criminals.

Instead of traditional crime fighting, the mayors’ scheme called for new laws and approaches to crime that are “outside the criminal justice system.” In other words, instead of using police and sheriff’s deputies to control crime, the effort sought to divert funding into “public and behavioral health, education, jobs, and housing.” One of the mayors in the scheme argued that using law-enforcement solutions to crime would result in losing “human potential.” Ensuring that felons can vote has also been supported by the foundation.

MacArthur has been instrumental in peddling the narrative that American police are racist and that law-enforcement perpetuates “white supremacy.” The CAP-led Mayor plan, for instance, called for rejecting “outdated tough on crime approaches,” claiming that being “tough on crime” was racist because it allegedly has a “disproportionate” effect on “black and Latino communities.”

The MacArthur Foundation also showered money on the left-wing Brennan Center for Justice so it could produce a report, headlined “Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Jails: Recommendations for Local Practice.” Among other debunked left-wing talking points taking aim at police, the report argued that police supposedly suffer from “implicit racial bias,” and that this explains the higher rates of arrest among minorities.

Ironically, despite the MacArthur Foundation’s condescending attitudes toward both police and minorities, polls show black and Latino Americans overwhelmingly want the same amount or even more police in their communities — not less. Indeed, black and Latino Americans, like all Americans, also want criminals taken off the streets rather than allowing them to roam free terrorizing their families, businesses, and neighborhoods.

But the MacArthur Foundation appears to believe that it knows better what black and Latino communities supposedly need when it comes to protecting their lives and property from criminals.

The foundation also funds agenda driven propaganda disguised as journalism in order to promote its controversial agenda in policing and criminal-justice reform. For instance, in recent years, it gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the left-wing Poynter Institute. The grant started with an assumption — “jail overuse”— and sought to arm “reporters” with “practical skills, technical assistance, and access to sources they need in order to report effectively on local criminal justice systems and jail overuse.” How the foundation determined that jails were being overused was not made clear.

Longtime Anti-Police Bias & Extremism

This obsession with protecting criminals from law enforcement and incarceration is not new. As Capital Research Center Senior Fellow Martin Morse Wooster explained in a 2005 piece for the Capital Research Center on the MacArthur Foundation, even back then the outfit was bankrolling this sort of research.

“For example, the foundation has, over several years, spent $23.6 million (or as much as it spends on two years of MacArthur Fellowships) on the research of Felton Earls, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, who is studying the reasons why neighborhoods go bad and criminals gain the upper hand,” Wooster wrote.

“Many criminologists and police departments support the ‘broken windows’ theory of James Q. Wilson and George Kelling, which argues that ignoring small crimes like not repairing windows broken by vandals gives a signal to bad guys that they won’t be punished if they commit more substantial crimes,” he continued. “But Earls argues that rather than try to punish all crimes (including very minor ones), police might do a better job fighting crime if they figured out ways to encourage neighbors to work together and solve community problems. Community cooperation, not more arrests, is the answer.”

The foundation that is buying itself more and more influence among police departments is politicizing everything it touches. And that is likely to continue. “Given MacArthur’s funding history, it’s likely that in the future, MacArthur will continue to be one of the Left’s best friends,” explained Wooster, noting that it is one of the largest and most powerful foundations in the nation. “The likelihood of more balanced spending from MacArthur is vanishingly small.”

More clues about the MacArthur Foundation’s vision for “justice” can be found in its full-throated support for the disgraced International Criminal Court. Widely ridiculed by legal experts as a kangaroo court, the global body includes no protections for the constitutionally protected rights that Americans take for granted. That is one of the reasons why the U.S. Senate has consistently refused to ratify the agreement creating it. And yet, the ICC continues to falsely claim that it has jurisdiction over everyone on the planet—including Americans—for such vaguely described crimes as “aggression.”

The foundation, which was set up by billionaire banker John D. MacArthur to avoid paying taxes, finances a wide range of leftist programs, organizations, and agendas. These include man-made global-warming activism, abortion behemoth Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, globalist organizations, environmental advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and much more. “There could hardly be a more liberal grant than the MacArthur Fellowship,” noted Sam Worley, deputy editor of the far-left “alternative” weekly Chicago Reader.

And indeed, the foundation has funded a veritable who’s who list of left-wing extremists including neo-Malthusian doomsayer Paul Ehrlich and his cohort John Holdren, an advocate of coercive population control, among others. Perhaps even more alarming, the MacArthur Foundation was a key financier of a “juvenile justice reform” scheme led by unrepentant terrorist Bernadine Dohrn, whose terror group Weather Underground murdered police, bombed the Capitol, and cooperated closely with the mass-murdering communist dictatorship in Cuba.

It was not always that way, however. John MacArthur himself was known as a conservative and free-market supporter. “The liberals have destroyed what makes this country great,” he was quoted as saying in the New York Daily News. But by the early 1980s, with guidance from MacArthur’s ultra-liberal son, leftists seized almost total control of the board, with most of the conservatives resigning.

There may be some worthwhile elements to the grants being made by the MacArthur foundation. And there may be some truth to the idea that America relies too heavily on jails.

But the fact that big money from outside local communities is being used to change policy without input from the community— especially on an issue this important, and by an organization with such radical political leanings — means extreme caution is needed. The foundation did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Far-left New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, whose government has been a major recipient of MacArthur grants, has waged war on police, causing skyrocketing crime rates.

There are other major foundations pushing similar policies. Billionaire leftwing “philanthropist” George Soros, for instance, has poured countless millions into similar schemes, including funding for numerous prosecutors and organizations working to keep more criminals out of jail. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is in on it, too. The left-wing Ford Foundation is also pumping money into the cause.

If local communities want to find ways to reduce the population in local jails, they can and should do so on their own, without bribery, manipulation, and coercion from left-wing extremists in big cities with big money — and without compromising public safety. As it stands, local law enforcement agencies should beware of “free cheese” from big left-wing donors and foundations. It may be bait in mouse trap. And your city’s residents may suffer.

The Latest

Stay Updated

Read the latest updates from the campaign trail and find out why folks across Pennington County know Ryan Mechaley is the best person to create safe streets, strong neighborhoods and sustainable communities.

Straight Talk: Rumors, Innuendo & Hyperbole – Dirty Politics

Straight Talk: Rumors, Innuendo & Hyperbole – Dirty Politics

Rumors, innuendo and hyperbole are some of the oldest, and dirtiest tricks in politics. This 1964 television ad ran by Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential election, implied strongly that Barry Goldwater was a threat to our national security. The same politician,...

Straight Talk: Politicians and Status Quo

Straight Talk: Politicians and Status Quo

It’s no surprise that politicians and political insiders want you to believe that the world is nothing but sunshine and roses. Because if it isn’t, that means they did something wrong and may be accountable for their actions, by us the voters. During elections,...

MacArthur Safety & Justice Grant – A Path to Destruction

MacArthur Safety & Justice Grant – A Path to Destruction

Here in South Dakota, we often feel insulated from many of the more radical things taking place in the country, but often feelings don’t reflect reality. In 2020, many of us in South Dakota watched as rioters across the country were screaming to “defund the police”...

Meet & Greet – Black Hills Sports Show

Meet & Greet – Black Hills Sports Show

I am thrilled at the opportunity to be at the Black Hills Sports Show at our Pennington County Republican booth and talk with God-fearing Americans that love our country and our rights. One of the things that I hear over and over again is the concern over crime and...

Candidacy Announcement for Ryan Mechaley

Candidacy Announcement for Ryan Mechaley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Contact: Press Team(605) 430-1654media@ryanforsheriff.com​  Ryan Mechaley announces candidacy for Pennington County SheriffRAPID CITY, S.D. (JAN. 10, 2022) – Veteran South Dakota Highway Patrol officer, Ryan Mechaley is running for...









May 2024 Edition




Stay Informed. Take Action.


Straight Talk: Rumors, Innuendo & Hyperbole – Dirty Politics

Straight Talk: Rumors, Innuendo & Hyperbole – Dirty Politics

Rumors, innuendo and hyperbole are some of the oldest, and dirtiest tricks in politics. This 1964 television ad ran by Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential election, implied strongly that Barry Goldwater was a threat to our national security. The same politician,...

Straight Talk: Politicians and Status Quo

Straight Talk: Politicians and Status Quo

It’s no surprise that politicians and political insiders want you to believe that the world is nothing but sunshine and roses. Because if it isn’t, that means they did something wrong and may be accountable for their actions, by us the voters. During elections,...