Left’s obsession with funding diverts attention from issues and its own funding


One of the duties of being a blogger on the left is constant disparaging of the source of funding or leadership of your opposition. All done, of course, while ignoring the painfully obvious problems with your own.

As an example, a recent Boston Globe column — its title is In glitzy shadows, a health reform foe lurks — makes claims that are false. Others are actually something to be proud of, not ashamed.

I don’t recommend you actually read the Globe piece. As one comment left to the article stated: “What an amazingly biased and unbalanced piece.” It’s not worth the time.

Instead, read the Examiner.com’s analysis at Boston Globe falsely claims Koch Industries astroturffed Obamacare protests.

At issue is the funding of Americans for Prosperity, which describes itself — accurately, I would say — as “an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels.” Liberals and those in favor of big-taxing and big-spending government make continued charges that AFP is funded by “shadowy” interests — remember the Globe headline — that somehow manipulate ordinary Americans into coming to tea parties and engaging in other forms of political activism.

A key part of the Examiner.com analysis is a quote from a Koch Industries statement: “Not every issue focused on by AFP or AFP Foundation receives support from Koch Industries or a Koch foundation. For example, neither Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch have contributed funds to AFP’s and AFP Foundation’s efforts on the health care issue, which have included town-hall meetings and citizen rallies around the country.”

As to the totality of AFP funding, a statement that I received a few months ago from Missy Cohlmia, Director of Communications for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC indicates that David Koch’s contributions to AFP are a relatively small portion of its total budget: “Less than 5 percent of the funding AFP or the AFP Foundation has received in 2009 has been contributed by David Koch, Koch Industries, or Koch foundations.”

Cohlmia also told me about the relationship between Fred Koch and the John Birch Society, which is another favorite talking point of the Left: “Fred Koch, who died in 1967, was a supporter, not a founder, of the John Birch Society in the 1950s. His anti-communist sentiment stemmed from time he spent in the Soviet Union between 1929 and 1932 when his engineering company designed and built oil cracking units to be erected in refineries in the U.S.S.R.”

Charles Koch’s recent book The Science of Success contains this about his father’s experience in Stalin’s Russia:

Fred found the Soviet Union to be “a land of hunger, misery and terror.” Virtually all the Soviet engineers he worked with were purged by Stalin, who exterminated tens of millions of his own people.

This experience, combined with what his Communist associates told him of their methods and plans for world revolution, caused Fred Koch to become a staunch anti-communist.

It reminds me of Ronald Reagan’s quip about an anti-communist being someone who has read Marx and Lenin and understands them. Or, in the case of Fred Koch, someone who actually saw the problems with communism through direct experience.

Additionally, David Koch is very interested in health care. Some details of his contributions to medical and cancer research, and also to education and science are detailed at David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and Personal Philanthropy.

Another source of information about David Koch, his background, and his charitable giving is from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In a way, I can understand leftists’ continued harping on these factors. It’s easier for them to focus on the personalities and the source of funding and leadership than on the actual issues. For example, even the headline of the Globe piece — alluding that opposing health care reform is evil — assumes that what the liberals are working through Congress is actual reform: “changes and improvements to a law, social system, or institution.” Many thoughtful people strongly disagree that the Obama plan will improve America’s health care system.

Besides, when you talk about personalities, there are few worse than George Soros, funder of many leftist causes and institutions. A speculator — one of the most evil of all players in the liberal world view — and not just any speculator — a currency speculator — Soros was actually convicted of insider trading.

Yet, the Left welcomes his millions in funding for all sorts of causes opposed to free markets and economic freedom. In fact, the author of the Globe piece is an employee of the Center for American Progress, one of several organizations funded by Soros.


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