The Ties that Bind

Obama appointee’s foundation supported group of convicted domestic terrorist

Lisa Hall /
• December 4, 2012 5:00 am


President Barack Obama’s latest round of appointments includes the head of a nonprofit that gave tens of thousands of dollars to a group run by a convicted domestic terrorist.

Obama nominated Lisa Green Hall to the Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board last week. She is the president and CEO of the nonprofit Calvert Foundation, which gave $30,000 over three years to the Justice Through Music Project (JTMP).

Brett Kimberlin is the director of the JTMP, which "uses famous musicians and bands to organize, educate, and activate young people about the importance of civil rights, human rights, and voting," according to its website.

However, Kimberlin is also known as the "Speedway Bomber" for a series of eight bombings he carried out in Speedway, Ind., in 1978. He is also a convicted perjurer and has been involved in an alleged campaign of intimidation against his online critics.

Two $10,000 Calvert grants to the JTMP in 2008 and 2010 were marked for "general support." Calvert gave the group another $10,000 in 2009 for an effort listed as "Stop Domestic Terror campaign to promote racial equity and meaningful democratic process and policy in our country."

Calvert’s 2011 990 is not yet available online.

Hall also sits on the board of the Tides Foundation, which has received more than $50,000 in grant money from Calvert, according to the above filings. Tides has contributed to the JTMP.

The Tides Foundation did not return requests for comment.

Calvert says the foundation was not aware of Kimberlin’s criminal history. "The donor advised fund that made these grants [to the JTMP] has not existed at Calvert Foundation since 2010," a foundation spokesperson said in an email. "To the extent there are serious allegations about this group, I hope they are shared with the proper authorities."

The authorities are well aware of Kimberlin’s criminal past, which is public record. According to the U.S. District Court in Maryland, he

[R]eceived a 50-year concurrent sentence from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana for possession of an unregistered destructive device, unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device, malicious damage by means of explosives, and malicious damage by means of explosives involving personal injury. As set forth in his presentence report, during a six day period in September, 1978 eight bombs made of Tovex 200 dynamite were detonated in the Speedway, Indiana area. One bomb, placed in a gym bag in the Speedway High School parking lot, detonated on September 6, 1978, when it was picked up by Carl and Sandra DeLong after a high school football game. Sandra DeLong received permanent nerve damage caused by bomb fragments in her leg. Her husband Carl lost his right leg and two fingers. Carl DeLong received additional injuries to his inner ear, stomach, chest, neck and arm due to bomb fragments, and endured a series of operations.

Carl DeLong, a veteran of the Vietnam War, would eventually commit suicide. His family won a $1.6 million civil judgment against Kimberlin, who was released from prison after serving 13 years of his 50-year sentence. Kimberlin’s parole was revoked after he refused to pay the DeLong judgment. He spent another four years in prison.

Kimberlin has also been convicted of felony perjury.

Additionally, he allegedly has been involved in a campaign of intimidation against some of his more vociferous online critics. A group called Occupy for Accountability, for instance, posted the address and photos of the home of John Patrick Frey (a.k.a Patterico) who had written extensively about Kimberlin and his associates.

Occupy for Accountability’s donation page points to the website of a group called Velvet Revolution. Corporate filings list Kimberlin as a "resident agent" of Occupy for Accountability in Maryland and give his address as the organization’s headquarters.

Frey and other bloggers, most prominently Aaron Walker, claim Kimberlin has been involved in "SWATtings"—malicious 911 calls warning of nonexistent emergencies designed to harass targets through major police actions—directed at his online critics. Frey noted on Saturday, Dec. 1, that Kimberlin had invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination with regard to the "SWATting" accusations.

Attempts to reach Kimberlin for comment through Velvet Revolution and the Justice Through Music Project went unanswered.