WASHINGTON – The non-profit, tax-exempt organization representing the families of September 11 victims who are critical of campaign ads by President Bush is a project of the Tides Center, which has received millions of dollars in charitable contributions from foundations chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry, WorldNetDaily has learned.

Teresa Heinz Kerry

“September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows” is a pacifist organization that has opposed not only the war in Iraq but the war in Afghanistan as well. It is a project of the Tides Center, one of the pet causes of the Howard Heinz Endowment and the Vira Heinz Endowment, both directed by Mrs. Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

The group delivered up to the New York Daily News Thursday opponents to attack President Bush’s re-election campaign ads. None of the critics of the ads in that original story were identified as members of Peaceful Tomorrows.

The Peaceful Tomorrows activists charged the campaign ads exploited the September 11 terrorist attacks for political advantage.

That story in the New York Daily News touched off a national media firestorm. By Thursday night, the Peaceful Tomorrows activists were on every national television news show, often identified simply as relatives of the victims of the September 11 attack rather than members of an activist organization, supported with tax-exempt Heinz funds, with a specifically anti-Bush agenda.

Peaceful Tomorrows is much more than an independent group of grieving survivors. It is a stridently antiwar organization that has ferociously criticized the Bush administration since it was founded about a year after the attacks.

Peaceful Tomorrows claims to represent 120 families of the nearly 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Following the media blitz by the organization’s activists, John Kerry himself weighed in on the controversy.

In New Orleans, Kerry said Bush was trying to “scare America” and “change the subject” with the ads.

“You can understand why he’s doing that,” Kerry said. “He can’t come out here and talk to you about jobs. He can’t come out here and talk to you about protecting the environment. He can’t talk to you about balancing the budget.”

The Bush ads contain only fleeting imagery of the Sept. 11 attacks. ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos acknowledged that in his own report on “World News Tonight”: “You’ll have to look very closely to see what all the fuss is about. Blink twice and you’ll miss it. But those four seconds set off the first firestorm of this new campaign, when some 9/11 families cried foul.”

As WorldNetDaily reported last month, the Tides Foundation, a 28-year-old grant-making institution, is one of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s favorite distributors of charitable funds. It sponsors to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars radical groups that, among other things, protest the U.S. invasion of Iraq, demand open U.S. borders, provide the legal defense of suspected terrorists and promote the spread of Islamist ideology in the U.S.

Heinz Kerry, worth an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars, working through the Howard Heinz Endowment, oversaw the donation of more than $4 million to the Tides Foundation between 1995 and 2001. For a fee, Tides protects the anonymity of donors by directing tax-deductible contributions to specific groups.

Heinz Kerry not only serves as chairman of the Howard Heinz Endowment, she also sits on the board of the Vira I. Heinz Endowment.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.