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USA Today: ‘Time’ names The Protester as 2011 Person of the Year

-By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

December 14, 2011- Time magazine has named "The Protester" as its Person of the Year for 2011, citing a worldwide outburst of people-power from Tunisia to Moscow to Wall Street.

"A year after a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself ablaze, dissent has spread across the Middle East, to Europe and the U.S., reshaping global politics and redefining people power," the magazine says.

An excerpt:

It's remarkable how much the protest vanguards share. Everywhere they are disproportionately young, middle class and educated. Almost all the protests this year began as independent affairs, without much encouragement from or endorsement by existing political parties or opposition bigwigs. All over the world, the protesters of 2011 share a belief that their countries' political systems and economies have grown dysfunctional and corrupt — sham democracies rigged to favor the rich and powerful and prevent significant change.


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Donate to Velvet Revolution and receive a DVD documenting the Occupy Movement of the 1960’s.

We need your continued support to help us fight for the 99%.  When you make a donation of $25 or more, we will send you a free DVD of the renowned documentary, Dominoes!

Progressive filmmaker John Lawrence Ré has offered us his terrific uncensored 60 minute film, Dominoes – described as a rollercoaster ride through the the Vietnam War years, from Watts burning in 1965 as Black America tried to take back their lives, to the student rebellions around the world in 1968, to the last US helicopter fleeing Ho Chi Minh City in the spring of 1975.  It’s a trip  —  uncannily similar to what is developing this year across the world with the Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement —  you won’t want to miss as it plays out against a wall to wall soundtrack featuring Santana, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, BB King, Marvin Gaye and many more.  Check out the trailer below:

Check out this clip of CSNY.

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Press Release: Formally Calls On DOJ And FBI To Investigate Justice Clarence Thomas And Virginia Thomas Dealings

New Financial Disclosure Form Raises More Troubling Questions

Washington, DC— In light of new financial disclosures provided Justice Clarence Thomas, today sent a letter  to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Public Integrity Section and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) urging that they investigate information recently revealed in Thomas’ 2010 Financial Disclosure Form. has previously sent several letters to the FBI and DOJ alleging improper conduct by Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia. Those allegations are:

First, Justice Thomas falsified 20 years of judicial financial disclosure forms by denying that his wife had income sources; second, he engaged in judicial corruption by receiving $100,000 in support from Citizens United during his nomination and then ruling in favor of Citizens United in 2010 without disclosing that fact or disqualifying himself; and third, he apparently conspired with his wife in a form of "judicial insider trading" by providing her with information about the result of the Court's decision in Citizens United prior to its issuance, which she then used to launch a new company to take financial advantage of that decision to benefit her and her husband.’s new letter asks for an investigation into the following questions:

  • Was Mrs. Thomas tipped off to the Citizens United decision before it was rendered?
  • Did Mrs. Thomas launch Liberty Central to take advantage of Citizens United and did she receive any income as a result of Citizens United?
  • What happened to the $550,000 raised by Mrs. Thomas for Liberty Central (which is listed on its 2009 IRS 990 form)?
  • Did Mrs. Thomas raise funds for Liberty Central after the Citizens United decision and if so how much and what was it used for?
  • Is Liberty Consulting engaged in consulting Supreme Court litigants or potential litigants?
  • Is Liberty Consulting engaged in lobbying and if so is Mrs. Thomas lobbying for litigants before the Supreme Court?
  • Is Liberty Consulting a legitimate company or a conduit to raise funds for the Thomas family?

On page 5 of the 2010 Financial Disclosure Form, under the heading “Investments and Trusts,” Justice Thomas lists “Liberty Consulting,” a lobbying and consulting firm founded by his wife to cater to the "tea party." It is unclear whether this disclosure refers to an investment in Liberty Consulting in 2010 or a return on an earlier investment.

Liberty Consulting was incorporated in Virginia on November 16, 2010 and launched a website,, on or about February 1, 2011. On February 8, 2011, staff went to the Liberty Consulting office “suite” in Burke, Virginia and discovered that it was a UPS Store mailbox with the same address as Liberty Central, a 501(c)(4) organization Virginia Thomas started on November 6, 2009.  Mrs. Thomas had supposedly resigned from Liberty Central on November 14, 2010 after questions were raised about her involvement in that organization, including conflicts of interest, such as a memo with Virginia Thomas' name on it that declared the Obama administration’s health-care legislation unconstitutional.

On February 8, 2011, posted a video on YouTube about the appearance of fraud and conflicts of interest from Mrs. Thomas’ involvement in Liberty Consulting and Liberty Central. Within a few days, the Liberty Consulting website was removed from the Internet, and no further information has been released to the press or public about the company. has provided the DOJ with screen shots of that website which showed Mrs. Thomas trumpeting her connection to Liberty Central and promising clients that she will “leverage her 30 years of experience as a Washington ‘insider’ to assist” her clients.

On page 2 of the 2010 Financial Disclosure Form, under “Spousal Non-Investment Income,” Justice Thomas reported that his wife received "salary and benefits" from both Liberty Consulting and Liberty Central in 2010.

In previous letters to the DOJ, asserted that the timing and facts surrounding Ms. Thomas’ involvement in Liberty Central give the appearance that the Thomases engaged in illegal “judicial insider trading” to enrich the Thomas family though the Citizens United decision.


Sept 9, 2009: Citizens United argued.

Nov 6, 2009: Virginia Thomas launches her new Liberty Central 501(c)(4) organization, which raises $550,000 in 2009.

Jan 21, 2010: Citizens United decided.

March 15, 2010: Virginia Thomas announces that Liberty Central would "accept donations from various sources — including corporations — as allowed under campaign finance rules recently loosened by the Supreme Court."

November 14, 2010: Liberty Central announces that Virginia Thomas would be leaving the organization.

November 16, 2010: Liberty Consulting incorporated in the state of Virginia.

February 4, 2011: Politico reports that Virginia Thomas had launched Liberty Consulting.

February 8, 2011: releases its expose of Liberty Consulting on YouTube.

February 12, 2011: Liberty Consulting website is deleted

February 23, 2011: files a formal bar complaint against Clarence Thomas requesting that he be disbarred on various grounds.’s new letter urges “the Department of Justice/FBI to investigate the issues … raised in all of our letters regarding Justice Thomas and apply ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ to his actions.”


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Campaign Finance Watchdog Spearheads Battle Against Anonymous Donations

Applauds IRS Initiative to Enforce Gift Tax of Fraudulent Non-Profits

Announcement Comes Months After Campaign Accountability Watch Sends Letter on Issue to AG Holder

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Campaign Accountability Watch (CAW), a watchdog at the forefront in the battle against secret campaign contributions, today applauded the IRS for announcing it will seek payment of a gift tax of 35% for donations made to non-profit organizations involved in electoral campaigns. CAW called it a good "first step" to reigning in these organizations.

CAW sent a letter on October 25, 2010 to Attorney General Holder seeking a special prosecutor for the misuse of non-profit organizations to hide the source of electoral donations.

The letter specifically highlighted the provision in the law that the IRS is now addressing:
…press reports indicate that these same 501c(4) organizations are not advising their donors that their donations are taxable as a 'federal gift tax' at a rate of 35%, thereby both misleading the donors and depriving the federal government of potentially hundreds of millions in tax revenue. 

"We are thrilled that the IRS is now addressing the concerns we raised by enforcing the gift tax against donors to these fraudulent non-profits," said Kevin Zeese who signed the letter to Attorney General Holder last October and is spokesperson for Campaign Accountability Watch.

"The IRS needs to continue to take action against these organizations by denying their non-profit tax status. They are misusing the tax laws to avoid disclosure required by federal campaign laws. The IRS should put a halt to this practice. These non-profits should be required to disclose the identities of all their donor."

The organizations themselves may find they are liable for this gift tax. Tax lawyers advise: "Individual contributors and 501(c)(4)s may wish to consider carefully the possible gift tax implications of contributions, and to seek the advice of counsel … both contributors and 501(c)(4)s need to be cognizant of the issues. 501(c)(4)s may face secondary liability for unpaid gift taxes owed by their contributors."

"Federal agencies regulating tax and election laws should be taking action against the illegal use of non-profits to avoid disclosure of donors and donations," Zeese said. "To de-politicize further action, we urge the Department of Justice to appoint a special prosecutor that will subpoena people such as Karl Rove of American Crossroads GP and Tom Donohue of the Chamber of Commerce as well as their donors. 

The administration needs to take an aggressive approach in ensuring these groups stay within the law, specifically, the FBI should escalate an ongoing investigation of these organizations which began last November; the IRS should deny their tax status; and the FEC needs to act on complaints filed against these groups for violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. The time to act is now, before the fundraising for 2012 shifts into high gear," said Zeese.

Earlier this month CAW sent letters to 40 U.S. Attorneys along urging prosecution of organizations including Karl Rove's Crossroads/Crossroads GPS, the Chamber of Commerce and American Future Fund for illegally using non-profit front groups to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) during the 2010 elections. None have been prosecuted for their violations to date.

The organization also urged President Obama to sign an executive order, in the face of dogged opposition, requiring disclosure of donations by those who seek contracts with the federal government.