The last time we visited this subject was here: Discovery Institute: Their 2007 Tax Return. We know you like current information, so we looked for the latest tax returns we could find from the neo-theocrats at the Discovery Institute‘s creationist public relations and lobbying operation, the Center for Science and Culture (a/k/a the Discoveroids, a/k/a the cdesign proponentsists).
Our information comes from GuideStar, which posts publicly available information about nonprofit organizations. You can see the latest Discoveroid returns here: Discovery Institute Form 990 for 2008 (33-page pdf file), and here Discovery Institute Form 990 for 2009 (35-page pdf file). Each one takes a minute or so to load.
We remind you that we’re not skilled at reading these documents, so we’ll just give you what we see as the highlights.
The first item of interest is the Discoveroids’ gross revenue. Back in 2007 it was $4,256,588.00. For 2008 it increased to $5,179,188, and for 2009 it was down substantially — to $4,509,577. But that’s more than they grossed in 2007, so they’re still very much in business.
As was done on the 2007 return, the Discoveroids provide a breakdown of their expenses according to activities. In 2007, their work on transportation ate up almost 25% of their revenue. and nearly half of their revenue was expended for the creationist activities of their “Center for Science and Culture,” which they describe as:
Production of public service reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus media coverage and the Institutes own publications in the field of Science and Culture.
In 2008, page 2 of the return shows that the breakdown was $1,128,496 for their transportation work, and $2,019,146 for their creationism public relations and lobbying efforts.
In 2009 it was $993,414 for transportation and $2,161,013 for the creationism work. As in the past, it continues to be true that that promoting creationism is the Discoveroids’ principal function.
Page 7 lists “Current Officers, Directors, Trustees, Key Employees, and Highest Compensated Employees” and their salaries and expense accounts. One of their Directors is Howard Ahmanson. It’s long been known that he’s a patron of the Discovery Institute.
The Discoveroid president, Bruce Chapman, was paid $148K in 2008 and 2009, the same as in 2007.
Stephen Meyer (we think he’s a vice-president) was paid $102,500 back in 2007. It was $140K in 2008 and $125K in 2009.
John West’s salary was $100K in 2007. We don’t see him listed for 2008, but he was paid $120K in 2009.
On page 17 of the 2008 return there’s some information about lobbying expenses. It looks like they spent $373K that year, but we’re not certain we’re reading it right. On page 18 of the 2009 return that item was $376K.
There’s one other disclosure that may be of interest. On page 26 of the 2008 return there’s a (sideways) attachment that shows “Grants.” There were 10 “CSC Fellowships” which cost a total of $185K. Page 27 of the 2009 return (also sideways) again shows 10 such fellowships, costing $172K. The Discoveroid “fellows” had to take a cut in pay.
These tax returns have a mass of other information. We don’t know what to make of it, but perhaps you do. If so, let us know.
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