Being a professional protester can be quite lucrative. Take, for example, Ana Maria Archila, who makes nearly three times the annual U.S. median household income doing things like confronting Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in an elevator.
Archila (pictured above right) is one of eight officials making two and three times, or more, above the U.S. Census Bureau’s median average U.S. household income of $60,336 working for the tax-exempt nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Thanks to her encounter with Flake (above left), she is likely the most famous of the eight.
Archila is thus among the leaders of one of the Left’s best-funded activist groups, making a way of life in organizing, funding and leading protests on behalf of a host of left-wing causes and campaigns across the country.
She received total compensation in 2016 of $178,071 as co-executive director, according to CPD’s most recent publicly available tax return, which also lists her as its principle officer.
Archila is also listed with the same title and compensation for the Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund Inc., a 501(c)(4) advocacy and lobbying group that uses the same street address as CPD.
Archila is joined by these seven other highly paid CPD officials and employees:
1.) Brian W. Kettenring is CPD’s other co-executive director. He is paid, in total annual compensation, $182,198. Like Archila, Kettenring is listed as an officer of the CPD Action Fund.
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2.) Andrew Friedman is CPD’s highest paid officer, with total 2016 compensation of $213,683, more than three times the median average household income for all Americans — and puts him among the top 6 percent of all income earners. Friedman is listed as the principle officer of CPD Action Fund.
3.) Steven Kest is CPD’s senior adviser, who received $179,622 in total compensation in 2016.
4.) Amy Carroll is CPD’s chief of staff. She received total compensation in 2016 of $165,245.
5.) Christine Habib is CPD’s director of operations and human resources. Her total compensation in 2016 was $132,325.
6.) Constance Razza is director of campaigns for CPD and was paid $132,193 in her total 2016 compensation.
7.) Annusya Chatterjee is CPD’s director of organizing and capacity building. Her total compensation in 2016 was $146,893.
All of the above compensation figures were current as of CPD’s 2016 tax return.
The group’s 2017 return may reflect even higher total compensation figures for Archila and her seven high-earning colleagues.
Archila did not end up in that Senate office building elevator by accident, as a CPD fundraiser put it in an email uncovered by National Review’s John Fund: “Last week, you saw protestors interrupting the Kavanaugh hearings, trying to slow it down and show the Judiciary Committee how much they/we care. Those protests were organized by the Women’s March and the Center for Popular Democracy and other groups.”
The CPD had 162 employees in 2016 and annual income of $12.7 million, with operations in an estimated 30 states. As a “recommended organization” endorsed by the Left’s Democracy Alliance donor consortium, CPD has received millions of dollars from such left-wing foundations as the Wyss Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Public Welfare Foundation, along with more than $3 million in anonymous “dark money,” according to Influence Watch.
“George Soros is one of the largest funders to the CPD. Soros provided the CPD with $130,000 from the Foundation to Promote Open Society in 2014 and $1,164,500 in 2015. Soros provided an additional $705,000 from the Open Society Policy Center in 2016,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Scott Walter, president of the Capital Research Center that maintains InfluenceWatch.org, objected: “It’s easy to discover that people like Ana Maria Archila are well-paid officials of multimillion-dollar activist groups and thus every bit as political as the elected representatives they harass.
“Yet the mainstream media refuse to report this fact and pretend these protestors are ordinary citizens. When others report the truth, the media then object that unless George Soros personally called Archila that morning to order her to harass Flake, his millions of dollars in funding to groups like hers has nothing to do with the harassment.”
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