American Constitutional Rights Union

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The American Constitutional Rights Union (ACRU), formerly the American Civil Rights Union, was founded by Robert B. Carleson, who served as Ronald Reagan's Chief Deputy Director of the California State Department of Public Works starting in in 1968. According to his biography[1], on the site, he founded the organization to serve as a "'constructive alternative' to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). His goal was to provide a vehicle to protect the civil rights of all Americans - rights that continue to be undermined by the left-wing and anti-family agenda of organizations like the ACLU."

ACRU's President is Lori Roman.

News and Controversies

Address Overlap with 60-Plus Association

From information on tax forms and current web site contact information, the ACRU may have shared the same address as the 60-Plus Association, a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. Records show the two occupied the same address.[2][3]

Mission

The ACRU states that its mission as "dedicated to protecting the civil rights of all Americans by publicly advancing a constitutional understanding of our essential rights and freedoms. ACRU monitors and counters organizations that threaten our constitutional rights and promotes election integrity, compliance with federal election laws, government transparency and constitutional government."[4]

Issues

The group outlines its issues on its website as:[4]

  • Election Integrity
  • First Amendment
  • Second Amendment
  • Economic Liberty
  • Federalism
  • Redistricting
  • Right of Recall‎

Ties to the Bradley Foundation

ACRU has received $385,000 in contributions from the Bradley Foundation.

Bradley Files

In 2017, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), publishers of SourceWatch, launched a series of articles on the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, exposing the inner-workings of one of America's largest right-wing foundations. 56,000 previously undisclosed documents laid bare the Bradley Foundation's highly politicized agenda. CMD detailed Bradley's efforts to map and measure right wing infrastructure nationwide, including by dismantling and defunding unions to impact state elections; bankrolling discredited spin doctor Richard Berman and his many front groups; and more.

Find the series here at ExposedbyCMD.org.

Funding

The American Constitutional Rights Union is not required to disclose its funders. Its major foundation funders, however, can be found through a search of the IRS filings. Here are the know major funders of ACRU:

  • Aqua Foundation: $1,000 (2016)
  • Bailey Family Foundation: $2,100 (2014-2017)
  • Betty K. Wolfe Foundation: $50,000 (2013)
  • Bradley Foundation: $385,000 (2002-2018)
  • Eric Javits Family Foundation: $4,750 (2010-2017)
  • Esperanza Foundation: $1,000 (2017)
  • Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $25,187 (2016-2017)
  • Floyd Foundation: $1,000 (2014)
  • Jacobs Family Foundation: $2,150 (2012-2017)
  • Jim Hicks Family Foundation: $22,000 (2014-2017)
  • John P and Katherine G Evans Foundation: $1,000 (2014-2017)
  • Kirchner Family Foundation: $1,500 (2017-2018)
  • National Christian Charitable Foundation: $1,550 (2014-2018)
  • Oxford Area Foundation: $1,000 (2013)
  • Roger and Susan Stone Family Foundation: $2,000 (2017-2018)
  • Ron and Susan Krump Foundation: $7,000 (2011-2015)
  • Rothschild Art Foundation: $1,000 (2011)
  • Sarah Scaife Foundation: $150,000 (2016-2018)
  • Scott Family Foundation: $2,000 (2013)
  • Thomas A and Joan M Holmes Foundation: $1,000 (2016)
  • William H and Ella W McMahan Foundation: $8,000 (2017-2018)
  • Wilson Family Foundation: $3,000 (2013)

Core Financials

2018[5]

  • Total Revenue: $1,279,467
  • Total Expenses: $1,437,765
  • Net Assets: $1,065,258

2017[6]

  • Total Revenue: $3,119,465
  • Total Expenses: $3,542,825
  • Net Assets: $1,250,047

2016[7]

  • Total Revenue: $4,192,713
  • Total Expenses: $3,900,863
  • Net Assets: $1,656,938

2015[8]

  • Total Revenue: $4,761,663
  • Total Expenses: $4,591,647
  • Net Assets: $1,355,299

2014[9]

  • Total Revenue: $2,396,366
  • Total Expenses: $2,290,894
  • Net Assets: $1,198,765

Personnel

As of August 2020:[4]

Board of Directors

  • Susan A. Carleson, Chairwoman
  • Edwin Meese III
  • Morton C. Blackwell
  • David A. Leedom
  • Wendy Borcherdt
  • Lori Roman, President of ACRU

Policy Board & Advisors

  • Edwin Meese III
  • J. Kenneth Blackwell
  • Jack Park, General Counsel
  • Walter E. Williams
  • Hans von Spakovsky
  • Curtin Winsor, Jr.
  • Charles J. Cooper
  • J. Christian Adams

Issue Experts

  • Ken Blackwell, senior fellow
  • Kerri Toloczko, vice president of public policy
  • J. Christian Adams
  • Kristina S. Heuser
  • Chris Brown

Contact Information

American Constitutional Rights Union
405 5th Avenue South
Suite 7C
Naples, FL 34102
Phone: 703 807-0242
Toll free: 877 730-ACRU (2278)
Webpage: http://www.theacru.org/
Email: info@theacru.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/The_ACRU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theACRU


External articles and resources

IRS Form 990 Filings

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

Related SourceWatch resources

References

  1. About our founder, TheACRU.org, accessed July 20, 2007.
  2. American Civil Rights Union Issue: Second Amendment, accessed September 13, 2010
  3. 60 Plus Association/Guidestar [60_Plus_Assoc-2009_990_form.pdf 60 Plus Association 2009 Form 990], accessed September 13, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 ACRU, about the acru, ACRU, August 2020.
  5. ACRU, 2018 Form 990, organizational tax filing, September 17, 2019.
  6. ACRU, 2017 Form 990, organizational tax filing, July 17, 2017.
  7. ACRU, 2016 Form 990, organizational tax filing.
  8. ACRU, 2015 Form 990, organizational tax filing.
  9. ACRU, 2014 Form 990, organizational tax filing, June 23, 2015.