Due to the lack of transparency about where its $60 million in donations went, Black Lives Matter did report that it paid a lot of money to its contractors. The problem is that these contractors are related to or have connections to the organization’s leadership.
According to the Washington Examiner, in its application for tax-exempt (i.e. charity) status in August 2020, BLM wrote that it paid out $12,706,366 in “Professional Fees” expenses. Or, in other words, it spent over $12 million in fees to contractor or outside sources.
At the time, prior to the resignation of co-founder Patrisse Cullors, three stakeholders were in direct control or had close ties to consulting firms that BLM paid fees to. For example, the father of Cullor’s child, Damon Turner, worked as a “lead developer of the art & cultural efforts” for BLM through his art company, Trap Heals. BLM’s political action committee also paid Trap Heals almost $150,000 for the production of an election night live stream event. The event had a myriad of technical problems and, as the Examiner said, it could have been done at a fraction of the cost.
Another troubling connection is that BLM paid Cullors through her consulting firm, Janaya and Patrisse Consulting. She was paid up to $20,000 per month in 2019 from another affiliate that she used to lead, called Reform LA Jails.
Then, throw in Bowers Consulting, which is run by BLM board member Shalomyah Bowers. Bowers has served as treasurer for various activist organizations, such as Reform LA Jails and BLM’s political action committee, both of which are connected to Cullors. Bowers provided his consulting firm’s email address in its charity registration form in the state of New Mexico, as well as identifying himself as an individual authorized to sign checks for BLM.
But that is not the end of the intrigue. Another board member, Raymond Howard, used to list the fact that he was the finance and operations manager of New Impact Partners, a consulting firm based in Dayton, Ohio. New Impact Partners’ website listed BLM as one of its clients, which was later erased after the Examiner asked BLM about their relationship with New Impact Partners.
BLM board member Raymond Howard used to state on his LinkedIn account that he served as finance and operations manager of New Impact Partners, a Dayton, Ohio-based consulting firm owned by his sister. Yet, after being asked about it by the Examiner, Howard scrubbed the reference from his LinkedIn account. Also, the New Impact Partners website named BLM as one of its clients, but the reference was removed from the site in late January after the Washington Examiner inquired BLM about its relationship with the firm.
In the meantime, BLM is not in compliance with many of the states that it claimed to be operating in, such as California, Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, Maine, and Virginia because it did not report its 2020 finances as most charities do. It is temporarily compliant in New Mexico, but the state said it is “closely monitoring until they are in full compliance.”
Adding to the chaos, BLM’s most recent tax filing pointed out that its accounting practices were being done by the Elias Law Group. The law group is run by Democratic Party lawyer Marc Elias, who is a longtime friend of the Clintons. Another Clinton ally, Minyon Moore, was listed as a new board member in the same filing.
No questions are being answered from BLM because, after Cullors resignation amidst her multimillion-dollar house-buying spree, there are no leaders willing to speak to the media or to come clean about the financial secrecy.