Lauren Fraley
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Statement of PennFuture’s President and CEO Jan Jarrett on Commonwealth Foundation “Report” on PennFuture

July 8, 2010

(Harrisburg, PA - July 8, 2010) – Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), issued the following statement today about the Commonwealth Foundation’s publication entitled “PennFuture's Secret Lobbying”:

“After weeks of attempting to convince reporters and editors throughout the Commonwealth to cover PennFuture’s alleged malfeasance, the desperation of the Commonwealth Foundation (CF) is palpable with the publication of this so-called report. We have forthrightly answered every request for information and every reporter’s questions. If there are errors in our accounting or reporting, we will correct them immediately.

“How can any of our activities be considered ‘secret’ when the primary sources for the Commonwealth Foundation’s ‘report’ are PennFuture’s own public documents, websites, and reports, and other public websites? PennFuture is committed to transparency. Unable to prove any malevolence, the author is reduced to launching a classic smear attack.

“CF attacked our donors for their generosity and philanthropy, and engaged in the usual right-wing trick of equating the individuals and families who endowed the foundations with the activity of the foundation. This is laughable and a blatant attempt to smear some of our state’s most generous families. PennFuture fully reports all its donors, but the Commonwealth Foundation provides no such public report so no one knows who is funding CF’s lobbying and smear attacks.

“But CF should realize the truth of the adage, ‘People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.’ CF’s own state lobbying report shows that the Commonwealth Foundation spent an astounding 110 percent of the income it reported to the IRS on its 2008 tax return on lobbying, all while holding an IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt tax-deductible designation.

“This so-called report by CF comes just as its smear campaign on Dr. Michael Mann, one of the world’s premier climate scientists, was found baseless, and PennFuture demanded that CF ‘man up’ and apologize. We will not back down from that demand, nor our fight to stop the right-wing’s campaign of Smeargate to protect the oil-gas-coal interests from action to reverse climate change.

"PennFuture’s staff and board are proud of our record of accomplishments, and proud that we have educated and enabled citizens across the Commonwealth to stand up to the polluters and make Pennsylvania’s future cleaner and greener. We are also unafraid to stand up to bullies wherever we find them, on Capitol Hill or on State Street and beyond."

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