Right Wing Front Groups: Connecting the Dots
The following may sound a bit like stream of consciousness writing because…well, because that’s indeed essentially what it was. Being the CuriousLurker that I am, and a relative neophyte to the world of politics & political blogs, I often found myself fascinated by (but sorely lacking in knowledge of) many of the things discussed here.
A little over a year ago I decided to start cataloging & cross-referencing names of organizations & individuals to try to get a better grip on things and recognize names when they came up in discussions. It just so happened that this weekend I began sorting through everything and trying to put it in a digestible format—in this case a searchable database—and some of the recent data I’d entered had to do with subjects that came up here at LGF in the past couple of days.
So that’s the background on this Page. Without further ado, I’ll jump right in.
This was originally intended to be a response to a fellow LGF member in an earlier front page thread. I did eventually post it in different thread, however I think it’s better suited to being a Page of its own.
Below is the comment I was originally responding to, followed in turn by my response:
re: #187 jaunte
The bedfellows are getting stranger and stranger.
Not really, not when you start connecting the dots. The Bradley Foundation gives away millions of dollars a year to many conservative organizations. This is just a partial list of grants they gave out from 1985-2002 (in no particular order—Heartland just happened to be at the top of my list). You’ll recognize many of the names:
The Heartland Institute
Americans for Prosperity
The Heritage Foundation
American Enterprise Institute
David Horowitz Freedom Center
Project for the New American Century
Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
Middle East Forum
Citizens for a Sound Economy
Third Way Foundation
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Human Rights Foundation
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Institute for Justice
Institute for American Values
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
The National Interest
The Public Interest
Alliance Defense Fund
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Institute for Humane Studies
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf
Institute on Religion and Democracy
It’s all tied together through think tanks, philanthropies, etc.—many are non-profits and therefore tax exempt. As a matter of fact, I found out a few weeks back that Fred C. Koch, founder of the oil refinery that later became Koch Industries, and father of the now famous Koch brothers, was a founding member of the JBS (John Birch Society). Finding out that any of these people have ties to racists or other right-wing fringe no longer surprises me in the least. If you poked around a bit, you could probably fairly easily find something that links Heartland (or one of its higher-ups) to … shall we say something or someone less than pleasant.
I’ve also noticed that some on the right are now referring to themselves as “classical liberals” instead of conservatives. Perhaps they’re going to try to reframe themselves in an effort to change how they’re perceived (especially if they’re rejected in November and want to come back with a softer & more modern sounding image).
Speaking of, there’s a document written in 2005 by Joseph Bast, President and CEO of Heartland, called A Guide to Classical Liberal Think Tanks. It’s very interesting info and even has a handy list of 275 of of them in the U.S. at the end. If you keep records of all the right-wing stuff you run across like I do, then you might want to add them to your list of organizations whose info you accept with a hefty grain of salt.
Now that I think of it, there was another document (or maybe it was a web page) from a conservative European site that had much the same info. I’ll have to dig it up. It caught my attention due to the resurgence of the far-right across Europe.
I’m not one to buy into conspiracy theories, but there are very real connections between some on the far-right here in the U.S. and their counterparts in Europe, a good bit of which our host, Charles Johnson, has documented as one of the main things that caused him to part ways with the right, so I know it’s not just coincidence. Randall Gross’ Pages are also a great source of info on far-right groups, both domestic and foreign.