• Group named Common Ground awarded multimillion dollar loan from federal government
  • That group is an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in 1940 by Saul Alinsky
  • Common Ground is also run by a “professional organizer” attached to the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF)
  • Alinsky is the radical author of “Rules for Radicals”

Here’s an interesting development to keep an eye on.

Common Ground, a coalition of religious groups and other organizations, has been awarded a $56.4 million federal loan to start a nonprofit health insurer that would be run by its members,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “The money is part of $3.8 billion included federal health care reform to help start nonprofit health insurers, similar to cooperatives, to compete in the market for individuals and small businesses.”

The loans, which are part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, are meant to help nonprofit health insurers, known as CO-Ops (i.e. Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans ), with start-up costs and to help them meet and maintain the minimum reserves required by insurers to pay for claims.

The loans for the start-up costs are to be repaid in 5 years and the loans for the minimum reserves in 15 years.

“The goal stated in the federal health care law is to fund one CO-OP in each state,” the Sentinel reports. In fact, as of February, seven nonprofits offering coverage in eight states have been awarded a total of $638.7 million from the federal government.

Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, healthy fed loan in hand, plans to set up shop in southeastern Wisconsin, but the main goal is to expand throughout the state over the course of five years, according to a news release from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

So, where’s this Alinsky connection? And by the way, who the heck is Saul Alinsky?

For Blaze readers unfamiliar with the name, Alinsky was a “ruthless radical organizer” whose book, “Rules for Radicals,” was the subject of Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s 1969 Political Science Thesis, and whose message of social revolution through “organization” would play a formative role in the life of President Barack Obama.

So, what does this have to do with Common Ground?

“Common Ground, which also includes some unions and a few small businesses, is the Milwaukee affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation, founded in 1940 by Saul Alinsky [emphasis added],” the Sentinel reports. “The organization, based in Chicago, bills itself as the oldest and largest community organizing network.”

Indeed, according to the non-profit site infed:

…Saul Alinsky established the Industrial Areas Foundation to bring his method of reform to other declining urban neighborhoods. He left the Institute to work for the Foundation. His approach depended on uniting ordinary citizens around immediate grievances in their neighborhoods and in protesting vigorously and outside of the ‘established’ ways of expressing dissent…He concentrated on recruiting and training indigenous ‘organizers’ to take a lead in the communities…

The Industrial Areas Foundation gained a significant amount of money from the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1957 to undertake a study of the changes in local communities resulting from population shifts (in particular the growing African American) – and the tensions and discrimination involved…

Furthermore, The Blaze’s Billy Hallowell has detailed the nature of the Industrial Areas Foundation in the past:

…The Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), [is] an infamous ultra-left group that was founded back in 1940 by the father of community organizing, Saul Alinsky.  IAF, which is still very active today, is known for using religion as an adhesive force to bring individuals together in support of Democratic principles and candidates.

…despite the group’s “non-ideological and strictly non-partisan” rhetoric, the causes and candidates it supports are typically far-left.

Oh, and then there’s Mark Fraley, Common Ground’s “Lead Organizer,” or, as The Warrior puts it, a “professional organizer.” According to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fraley “served as the first Lead Organizer for Action In Montgomery (AIM), one of the first suburban organizing projects of the IAF, from 1998 to 2005.”

It continues [emphasis added]:

His efforts focus on building a multi-faith, multi-racial, economically diverse network of congregations committed to engage in the “public life.” In doing this, he works with congregations, unions, community organizations and other civic institutions to identify and develop leaders, to create and conduct issue campaigns focused on the priorities of the leaders involved and to teach the political strategies to make these campaigns successful.

Mr. Fraley began his work with the Industrial Areas Foundation as a leader with West Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, in 1995. He became an Organizer with the IAF in 1997.

So, let’s recap: Common Ground (the recipient of the multimillion dollar loan) was not explicitly created by Saul Alinsky, but it is an affiliate of the Alinsky-created Industrial Areas Foundation. Moreover, Common Ground is a “coalition of religious groups” or, as Mr. Hallowell points out, the type of organization the “ultra-left” IAF prefers to use “as an adhesive force to bring individuals together in support of Democratic principles and candidates.” Lastly, Common Ground is led by a “professional organizer” who has logged over 15 years experience working with the IAF.

With that in mind, and as stated in the very beginning of this article, this may be a development worth following.

See William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, briefly discuss with Saul Alinsky the primary purpose of the IAF:

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)