Who is Leo E. Linbeck, III?
Google the name and we discover he’s…
- President and CEO of Aquinas Companies, based in Houston, Texas
- A lecturer at Stanford.
- Been hailed as an “anarchist” campaign financier by Mother Jones, who profiled his effort in 2012 with the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a superPAC set up to primary incumbents around the country.
- A hard-core corporate education reformer
- A guy on twitter who follows four people: Dylan Ratigan (late of MSNBC), Project Glass, investment banker Clarke Keough, and the Health Care Compact1.
Those are the obvious bullet points. Linbeck is very wealthy but seems to live by the maxim that his giving should be done out of plain sight, which is why he chose to fund the John Hancock Committee for the States via the Greater Houston Community Foundation. An interesting choice, but there it is in black and white, via the 2011 990 filed for the GHCF:
Note the reference in the second entry to amounts to be paid for services provided by the Aquinas Companies, Linbeck’s day job. The address used for the JHC differs from all other addresses used on other filings and disclosures. For the first time, there is a dba associated with JHC; specifically, Citizens for Self-Governance, which actually is a separate organization with a separate identifying number, run by Mark Meckler, former Tea Party Patriot founder.
The South Carolina address leads us to a non-descript brick townhome in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston property records list the owner as Amy C. Adams.
We are unable to determine who Amy C. Adams is, or how Ms. Adams might be connected to the JHC. We do find it interesting, however, that Ms. Adams received $592,384.85 in “grants” from the GHCF, which appear to have come from Mr. Linbeck. There are other grants made to other organizations during the same year where he specifies himself as the grantor, like this $100,000 gift to the “First Freedoms Foundation” in Wisconsin, where he requests that Mr. Dean be advised specifically that it was coming from Linbeck, III’s organization in reference to the Health Care Compact.
There were other grants from the GHCF as well, notably to a non-profit organization known as the Texas Puentes Initiative, for which there are no tax filings available. TPI is linked with Jeb Bush, another education reformer and Linbeck associate.
We have questions for Mr. Linbeck and his associates.
- Why did the Greater Houston Community Foundation send nearly $600,000 to a woman in South Carolina when JHC lists its official address at a Houston, Texas location?
- Was the $3,000,000 transferred from the Koch Donors’ Capital Fund to the Greater Houston Community Foundation part of the funding sent to South Carolina?
- What, exactly, has the JHC done other than push a lot of cash into Texas and other states?
- What is the Tocqueville Initiative and how does it differ from the primary mission of the JHC?
- Is the Texas Puentes organization an ongoing concern, or is it another disposable C4 organization?
- Were any of the funds given to the JHC used to fund Ted Cruz’ candidacy?
We would like to think that we’re not simply tracking the movement of money which is paid out to fund astroturf-type activities, but based upon what we see in the reports, and Linbeck’s penchant for “anarchy”, we feel it is reasonable to question why a Texas organization sent $600,000 to a state for the purpose of funding some sort of “office”, when the office was located in Texas.