The Kanters…Alliance for a Better Utah(ABU)…Democracy Alliance(DA)…ProgressNow

To understand ABU, you have to understand the people and organizations they are connected to:

Josh & Catherine Kanter 

Josh Kanter is the founder of ABU. We got wondering, who is this Josh Kanter and where does he come from. He’s using his money to fund this organization and clearly trying to impact outcomes in our state. What we found was very interesting and makes us wonder what his ultimate goal for this “better Utah” truly is.

Josh Kanter isn’t even from Utah. He is from Chicago. He and his family inherited their money from his father, Burton Kanter who was a very well-prominent tax attorney.  In fact, Burton Kanter was an attorney to several well-known Hollywood elite and some of the most wealthy liberal families in this country. His speciality was helping people avoid paying taxes through investments, tax shelters and offshore accounts.

So let’s stop there to make sure you’re catching this – they got wealthy by helping people avoid paying taxes through controversial tax schemes. We aren’t making any allegations of wrongdoing. From what we can find everything Burton Kanter did and was investigated was never found to be criminal. Sounds a little like a certain 2016 Presidential candidate don’t you think?

What we find ironic, and why we think it is important to know who they are and how they became wealthy, is that this family obtained its wealth by helping others avoid paying taxes, avoided taxes themselves and they are now using that wealth to try and force progressive policies that raise taxes on others and use tax dollars to pay for social programs.

With his inherited wealth, Josh Kanter has joined the Democracy Alliance, ProgressNow, the Patriotic Millionaires, founded Alliance for a Better Utah and contributes to many Democratic candidates and politicians.  His wife Catherine Kanter is currently a candidate for the Salt Lake County Council.

Links for Burton Kanter:

Links on Josh Kanter:

Alliance for a Better Utah(ABU):

That name sounds nice. Who doesn’t want a better Utah?  The problem is that this name doesn’t match what they do. They claim they are a non-partisan good-government watch dog group focused on transparency. Give us a break. They are part of a larger network of east coast liberal organizations driven by George Soros and other wealthy liberals seeking to push a progressive agenda by using their money and influence. ABU is just a front for the Democracy Alliance and they are the Utah chapter of Progress Now.

ABU was founded and is funded by Josh Kanter. Does anyone really believe that anything this guy is associated with is “non-partisan”?

Links on ABU:

Democracy Alliance (DA) 

  • Large sources of undisclosed and unaccountalbe political influence

  • Millions to liberal organizations backed by George Soros

  • DA pumps millions into Democratic Super PACs

  • To be a member of DA one must give:

    • $25,000 entry fee

    • $30,000 annual dues

    • At least $200k annually to liberal organizations

  • Invest in groups to build a political infrastructure that can support Democratic causes like:

    • Center for American Progress (CAP)

    • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

    • Center for Progressive Leadership

    • Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN)

    • Media Matters for America

    • Sierra Club

  • Most groups are exempt from public disclosure laws – how’s that for transparency

Links on the Democracy Alliance:

Progress Now

  • ProgressNow consists of a 501(c)(3) organization and a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization called ProgressNow Action. They have 20 state-level partner networks across the U.S. and appear to be aiming to expand.  ABU is their Utah affiliate.

  • ProgressNow belongs to The Democracy Alliance, a group of wealthy liberal donors who pledge money to various progressive organizations under its umbrella. George Soros is one of its advisers.

  • Rob McKay, a wealthy Taco Bell heir, sits on the ProgessNow board. He is a major donor to numerous progressive groups and is closely involved with The Democracy Alliance.

  • In 2011, various labor unions donated over $1,130,000 to ProgressNow and its partner networks. Although donations from organized labor have generally increased over time, they actually peaked in the 2008 election year with contributions totaling over $1,300,000.

  • ProgressNow has also received numerous grants from various liberal foundations, including supporters of Color of Change and Common Cause. Among its biggest donors are:

    • The Foundation to Promote Open Society ($250,000), created by George Soros

    • The Gill Foundation ($443,125), a Denver based LGBT group founded by Tim Gill.

    • The Bohemian Foundation ($580,000), funded by medical-equipment heiress Pat Stryker.

    • The Tides Foundation ($460,000), started by activist entrepreneur Drummond Pike and the recipient of over $7 million in funding from Soros over the years.

These same groups are also heavy funders of organizations like Media Matters for America and other high-profile progressive groups.

 

Background

ProgressNow, previously the Rocky Mountain Progressive Network, is a progressive group founded in 2003. ProgressNow, a 501(c)(3) organization, along with its sister organization ProgressNow Action, a 501(c)(4), bills itself as a network of state-based communications hubs that function as a marketing department for progressive ideas and as an answer to so-called conservative “propaganda.”

ProgressNow was created in 2003 as a response to the conservative Independence Institute based in Colorado. It has since grown a subscriber base of more than 350,000 grassroots activists in Colorado. In 2006, ProgressNow began to expand its network outside of Colorado and has subsequently created ProgressNow Partners Networks in approximately 20 states:

  • Courage Campaign (CA)

  • ProgressNow Colorado

  • Progress Ohio

  • Progress Florida

  • Better Georgia

  • Progress Michigan

  • Alliance for a Better Minnesota

  • Bold Nebraska

  • Progress Missouri

  • ProgressNow Nevada

  • Granite State Progress (NH)

  • Progress New Mexico

  • Progress North Carolina

  • Keystone Progress (PA)

  • Progress Texas

  • ProgressVirginia

  • Fuse Washington

  • One Wisconsin Now

  • Alliance for a Better Utah

  • Progress Iowa

In 2010, the book The Blueprint: How Democrats won Colorado, and why Republicans everywhere should care described ProgressNow as the “crown jewel” of the progressive investors effort to flip the state.

So there you have a very brief summary of the web this is Alliance for a Better Utah. This group sure sounds like it represents Utah values doesn’t it?