The Commonwealth Foundation desperately does not want to be associated with the Commonwealth Leaders Fund. In July, after the Commonwealth Leaders Fund was roundly criticized for a political mailer that took the words of an editorial from Emily Skopov in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star out of context to attack her. The Commonwealth Foundation responded to Skopov on Twitter, stating they were “not associated with” the fund.
Racist and misleading tactics are nothing new for the Commonwealth Leaders Fund, the Commonwealth Foundation, or whatever branded front group they choose to deliver their message with. They have previously darkened the skin of a Black woman running for Superior Court judge in an attack ad and supported fringe candidates who have pushed conspiracies around reopening. In fact, they’ve pushed conspiracies themselves with Matt Brouillette wondering if Governor Wolf was inflating the total amount of COVID-19 deaths. They were also called out for an additional deeply problematic mailer with anti-semitic dog whistles in another mailer targeting Skopov. It’s no wonder the Commonwealth Foundation doesn’t want to be associated with them.
Spokesperson Gina Diorio could not keep it straight when asked why the Commonwealth Foundation’s building was being used to underline a ReOpen rally earlier this year who later had to clarify she was speaking on behalf of the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs. But it’s not just that these organizations share office space (which they do); they also share employees, funding, and Brouillette’s incestuous connections.
Some of the first donations to the Commonwealth Leaders Fund came from Charles Mitchell, current CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation, and Brouillette, who previously ran the Commonwealth Foundation, now runs the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs, and is Treasurer for the Commonwealth Leaders Fund. Both Brouillette and Mitchell have given thousands to the PAC in personal contributions in its short existence. Jeremy Baker recently moved from working at the Commonwealth Foundation to the Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs while also picking up consulting work at the Commonwealth Leaders Fund.
The Commonwealth Foundation can lie about its associations with the Commonwealth Leaders Fund all it wants. But it can’t deny it shares previous employees, funding from Commonwealth Foundation employees, and that they work out of the same building. No one is buying it.