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We all knew the Gates Foundation was hardly a staunch defender of individual liberty, but their latest set of moves underscores this and reveals so much more about the current advanced stage of liberal take-no-prisoners political warfare — something The Heartland Institute has seen close up.
Two facts: GF, along with several other large corporate and foundation donors, last month stopped funding the American Legislative Exchange Council amid a rabid media-liberal attack led by truther Van Jones against the conservative legislation-sharing nonprofit. And, just last week, GF handed the nation’s largest teachers union a cool $550,000 grant.
Gates had previously given the National Education Association $358,000, making its total contribution $908,000. Gates had contributed approximately $375,000 to ALEC in the past two years. Progressive groups have managed to get 16 major companies to stop supporting ALEC in much smaller amounts, including Amazon.com, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Proctor & Gamble, and McDonald’s.
This parallels many of these same groups’ attacks on Heartland over its support for non-alarmist climate science, which recently led to Fakegate and the loss of several of our corporate donors once their names were stolen and revealed by Peter Gleick in February.
Think about how this looks. Gates will not fund a relatively tame nonprofit for the crime of being conservative, but will fund a far larger and far more politically charged teachers union even though unions are gradually losing support on both sides of the political aisle.
I’m sure Van Jones and the anti-ALEC forces will not pressure Gates to rescind its contributions to the NEA. I’m also reasonably sure no one else will, either. And that’s the point.
Companies and foundations should be free to donate as they wish, even if recipients are politically engaged like ALEC or the NEA. The liberal activists targeting ALEC clearly do not believe this. They are engaging in a concerted effort to silence the speech of their opponents, and a news media usually concerned about the First Amendment freedoms of speech and association has done nothing but partner with these organizations in their despicable efforts to silence, intimidate, and financially decimate their opponents rather then meet them fair and square in open and honest public debate.
Unless donors and the media start standing up to this intimidation, it will continue, because it is effective.
Image by Hugger Industries.