Non-profit

California League of Conservation Voters

Location:

OAKLAND, CA

Tax ID:

94-3169564

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $1,708,439
Expenses: $2,054,201
Assets: $549,803

The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is a left-of-center environmentalist political activist group, and a regional branch of the nationwide League of Conservation Voters (LCV). They work by endorsing candidates, providing awards, and publishing a blog about environmental issues.

The CLCV is led by President Glen Dake a landscape architect and former staffer on environmental issues for Los Angles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). The CLCV board includes several prominent Californians from the political, advocacy, technology, and oil and gas sectors. Treasurer Carl Guardino has sat on the board of the California Transport Commission since 2007. Between 1997 and 2020 he served as the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an industry group representing technology firms based in Silicon Valley, such as Apple and Google. In this role, he led campaigns to use sales taxes to pay for infrastructure projects beneficial to trade group members. In April 2021 he was accused by the San Jose Spotlight of using his connections with the San Jose city government to successfully secure an exemption to the city’s commercial gas ban for his employer, Bloom Energy.

The CLCV receives donations and grants directly from the national LCV organization, which has been labeled one of the largest dark money groups in the United States by Issue One, a left-leaning organization which receives support from left-of-center donors, including Jonathon Soros. The CLCV has also received funding from labor unions and other non-profit organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). CLCV board secretary Victoria Rome works as the NRDC’s Director, California Government Affairs.

The CLCV runs the California League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee (CLCV-PAC). The CLCV-PAC has donated exclusively to Democratic candidates since 2002.

Organization

The California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV) is the California-based state branch of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), a left-of-center political pressure group focused on environmental issues. [1] Founded in 1971, the organization works by endorsing candidates and laws; it is also associated with the CLCV Education Fund, which works though lobbying state legislators. [2] [3]  CLCV has a yearly award for environmental activism, the “Badass in Green” award, which is given to Californians who support the organization or other environmentalist projects and organizations. [4] CLCV also publsihes a blog on environmentalist projects and theories. [5] The CLCV has made claims that hydraulic fracturing can lead to contaminated groundwater, despite scientific studies performed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showing no evidence for cross contamination between fracking and groundwater. [6] [7]

CCLV is also associated with the California League of Conservation Voters Political Action Committee (CLCV-PAC). CLCV-PAC spent $30,148 in the 2020 election cycle. [8] Since 2002, CLCV-PAC has donated exclusively to Democratic candidates.

Leadership

Glen Dake, President and Board Chair

The CLCV is headed by landscape architect Glen Dake. [9] He joined CLCV in 2018, as the organization’s president. [10] Between 2001 and 2005 he worked on the staff of then-LA city councilman, later Mayor, Eric Garcetti (D) for whom he was tasked with handling environmental issues. [11] In 2017 Dake cohosted a $1,000 per-per son event for Kamala Harris’ leadership PAC. [12]

Fran Diamond, Vice Chair and Membership Officer

Diamond works as the Vice Chair of the board and as the membership officer at the CLCV. [13] Prior to her role with the CLCV, Diamond was the head of No Oil, which successfully campaigned to end onshore oil drilling in Los Angeles. [14] Diamond has also served as chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and has been particularly vocal on issues of water quality. [15]

Carl Guardino, Treasurer

Guardino is board treasurer for the CLCV. [16] He has served on the board of the California Transport Commission since 2007 and was appointed to a fourth consecutive four-year term by Governor Jerry Brown (D) in 2019. [17] Between 1997 and 2020 Guardino served as CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, an industry group representing over 300 Silicon Valley based companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google. [18] During his tenure there he worked to expand sales taxes to support the expansion of infrastructure, and other projects which benefited trade group members. [19] Some local commentators noted that by using sales taxes to support these projects, Guardino was pushing the costs of infrastructure onto poorer locals, and away from the large tech companies represented by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. [20]

In April of 2021, Guardino was the subject of an investigation by the San Jose Spotlight for allegedly using his political and personal connections with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo (D) and members of the city council to secure an exemption to a ban on the use of natural gas in new commercial buildings for Bloom Energy, for which he serves as executive vice president for Government Affairs and Policy. [21] The lobbying campaign was said to take place over November and December of 2020, and to have involved intervention from Guardino at critical moments in the measure’s drafting and passage. [22]

Victoria Rome, Secretary

Victoria Rome works as the CLCV’s board secretary. [23] She concurrently works as the Director of California Government Affairs, for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which provided grants to the CLCV in 2018 and 2015. [24] [25] [26]

Funding and Finance

The CLCV receives substantial funding from grants provided by the national League of Conservation Voters. [27] In 2017 the CLCV received $162,500 in grant direct funding from the LCV. [28] In 2018, the CLCV received a $157,000 grant from the LCV. [29]

In 2018, the CLCV received $25,000 in funding from the California Branch of the AFL-CIO. [30] In 2018 CLCV received $7,500 from the National Resources Defense Council. [31] In 2015 they received $8,000 from the NRDC. [32]

In 2015 the CLCV received a $210,000 grant from NextGen Climate Action, a political activist group founded and until 2019 led by failed presidential candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer. [33] [34] They received another grant of $50,000 from NextGen in 2016. [35]

National LCV Dark Money Allegations

In 2018 the League of Conservation Voters was listed as one of the 15 largest “Dark Money” groups by the left-of-center pressure group Issue One. [36] Issue One has received funding from notable left-of-center donors like Jonathan Soros and Democracy Alliance. [37]

Expenses

In the 2018 financial year, CLCV reported total expenses of $493,927. $272,675 was spent on executive and employee compensation. $102,991 was spent on compensating non-employees, not including $1,000 in lobbying related expenses. The CLCV expensed $55,573 on occupancy and travel charges. In total, only $61,688 was spent on activities other than those listed. [38]

References

  1. “Our Climate Movement.” Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/movement/. ^
  2. “California League of Conservation Voters – Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding.” Crunchbase. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/california-league-of-conservation-voters. ^
  3. California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund (CLCV Ed Fund, CLCVEF). Accessed April 30, 2021. http://www.clcvedfund.org/. ^
  4. “CLCV Badass in Green Awards 2021.” CLCV Badass in Green Awards. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://big.ecovote.org/. ^
  5. “ECOVOTE BLOG.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/category/blog/. ^
  6. “What The Frack Is Fracking?” California League of Conservation Voters, April 12, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/2021/04/12/what-frack-fracking/. ^
  7. Rapier, Robert. “No, The EPA Has Not Actually Changed Its Conclusion On Risks Of Fracking To Drinking Water.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, December 15, 2016. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2016/12/15/yes-direct-injection-of-fracking-fluid-into-groundwater-causes-contamination/?sh=7e51d0b219d3. ^
  8. “California League of Conservation Voters PAC Profile.” OpenSecrets. Center for Responsive Politics. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/california-league-of-conservation-voters/C00012401/summary/2020. ^
  9. “Our Board.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/board/. ^
  10. “CLCV Announces New Chief Executive Officer.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/2018/07/20/clcv-announces-new-chief-executive-officer/. ^
  11. “Honors & Awards.” 2020 Glen Dake, FASLA. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.asla.org/AwardRecipient.aspx?id=57783. ^
  12. Johnson, Ted. “Jon Ossoff’s Lead in Georgia Race Gives Boost to Democrats’ 2018 Hopes.” Variety. Variety, April 20, 2017. https://variety.com/2017/biz/news/jon-ossoff-georgia-special-election-donald-trump-1202033797/. ^
  13. “Our Board.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/board/. ^
  14. Busby, Laurel. “Diamond Explains Rethinking L.A. Water.” Palisades News, May 18, 2016. http://www.palisadesnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Palisades-News-Home-Garden-May-18-2016.pdf. ^
  15. Weiss, Kenneth R. “L.A. Faces Fines for Sewer Spills.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2002. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2002-dec-24-me-sewer24-story.html. ^
  16. “Our Board.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/board/. ^
  17. “Carl Guardino.” Carl Guardino | CTC. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://catc.ca.gov/about/commission-members/carl- guardino#:~:text=Carl%20Guardino%20serves%20as%20the,to%20everyone%20in%20the%20world. ^
  18. Lopez, Nadia, and Janice Bitters. “Carl Guardino Leaves Silicon Valley Leadership Group.” San José Spotlight, January 7, 2020. https://sanjosespotlight.com/carl-guardino-leaves-silicon-valley-leadership-group/. ^
  19. Staff. “Carl Guardino’s next Move Finally Revealed.” San José Spotlight, June 30, 2020. https://sanjosespotlight.com/carl-guardinos-next-move-finally-revealed/. ^
  20. Price, Dave. “Opinion: There May Be More to the Story behind Carl Guardino’s Resignation.” Palo Alto Daily Post, January 15, 2020. https://padailypost.com/2020/01/15/opinion-there-may-be-more-to-the-story-behind-carl-guardinos-resignation/. ^
  21. Herrera, Sonya, and Tran Nguyen. “How San Jose Mayor’s Ally Helped Bloom Energy Skirt a Natural Gas Ban.” San José Spotlight, April 15, 2021. https://sanjosespotlight.com/how-san-jose-mayors-ally-helped-bloom-energy-skirt-a-natural-gas-ban/. ^
  22. Herrera, Sonya, and Tran Nguyen. “How San Jose Mayor’s Ally Helped Bloom Energy Skirt a Natural Gas Ban.” San José Spotlight, April 15, 2021. https://sanjosespotlight.com/how-san-jose-mayors-ally-helped-bloom-energy-skirt-a-natural-gas-ban/. ^
  23. “Our Board.” California League of Conservation Voters. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.ecovote.org/board/. ^
  24. Rome, Victoria. “Victoria Rome.” NRDC. Accessed April 30, 2021. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/victoria-rome. ^
  25. IRS form 990, National Resources Defense Council, Schedule I, 2015 ^
  26. IRS form 990, National Resources Defense Council, Schedule I, 2018 ^
  27. IRS form 990, League of Conservation Voters, Schedule I, 2018 ^
  28. IRS form 990, League of Conservation Voters, Schedule I, 2017 ^
  29. IRS form 990, League of Conservation Voters, Schedule I, 2018 ^
  30. IRS form 990, California Labor Federation AFL-CIO, Schedule I, 2018 ^
  31. IRS form 990, National Resources Defense Council, Schedule I, 2018 ^
  32. IRS form 990, National Resources Defense Council, Schedule I, 2015 ^
  33. Bowman, Bridget. “Tom Steyer Launches Presidential Run, but Also Pledges $50 Million to Outside Groups.” Roll Call. Roll Call, July 9, 2019. https://www.rollcall.com/2019/07/09/tom-steyer-launches-presidential-run-but-also-pledges-50-million-to-outside-groups/. ^
  34. IRS form 990, NextGen Climate Action, Schedule I, 2015 ^
  35. IRS form 990, NextGen Climate Action, Schedule I, 2016 ^
  36. Beckel, Michael. “Dark Money Illuminated.” Issue One. Issue One, 2018. https://www.issueone.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Dark-Money-Illuminated-Report.pdf. ^
  37. Vogel, Kenneth P. “Fighting Big Donors with Big Dollars.” POLITICO, February 11, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/fundraising-campaign-contributions-money-in-politics-103350. ^
  38. IRS form 990, California League of Conservation Voters, Part IX, 2018 ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Paul Growald
    Former Board Chair
  2. Eric Kessler
    Former National Field Director
  3. John Hunting
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1999

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Jul Form 990 $1,708,439 $2,054,201 $549,803 $163,791 N $1,797,466 $0 $344 $175,346
    2015 Jul Form 990 $2,454,571 $3,692,514 $955,990 $224,216 N $2,580,103 $0 $453 $264,375 PDF
    2014 Jul Form 990 $4,018,860 $3,106,121 $2,277,420 $307,703 N $4,141,041 $0 $496 $394,603 PDF
    2012 Jul Form 990 $3,182,612 $3,264,771 $1,342,937 $242,042 N $3,277,990 $0 $1,381 $267,490 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    California League of Conservation Voters

    350 FRANK H OGAWA PLAZA
    OAKLAND, CA 94612-2006