Friday, March 30, 2012

Foundations and their tremendous influence

Tax Free....little if any oversight....and nearly zero disclosure of investors and agenda.

A little bit on a few foundations (also called unions, funds, societies, alliances, institutes, think tanks, etc)...to basically demonstrate the high degree of cross pollination and incestuous management/funding sources...and since I just finished the rant on Ron Paul....I'll focus on the conservative flavor that controls that side of the franchise.  Also for a better understanding you probably should go through that post first as well as the links providing the historical background for my comments and opinions.

Further Background:
Tax-exempt Foundations were originally setup for humanitarian purposes to provide grants to existing institutions. Rene A. Wormser served as General Counsel to the Reece Committee, which was a congressional committee that investigated the Tax-exempt Foundations from 1953 to 1955. His book, Foundations: Their Power and Influence, is a documented expose of his experience with the committee. In it he wrote, "Foundations were originally created to support existing institutions and to undertake certain 'operating' functions."
Soon after (or possibly from their inception) foundations became a loop hole that the financial elite used to avoid taxes. "By the time the income tax became law in 1913, the Rockefeller and Carnegie foundations were already operating. Income tax didn't soak the rich, it soaked the middle class," wrote Perloff. "Because it was a graduated tax, it tended to prevent anyone from rising into affluence. Thus it acted to consolidate the wealth of the entrenched interests, and protect them from new competition."
Smoot pointed out that the primary purpose of some of the large Tax-exempt Foundations is no longer humanitarian in nature, but "predominately tax avoidance." "One of the leading devices by which the wealthy dodge taxes" concurred Perloff "is the channeling of their fortunes into tax-free foundations." He also charged that, "The major foundations, though commonly regarded as charitable institutions, often use their grant-making powers to advance the interests of their founders."
The "independent, uncontrolled financial power often enables foundations to exert a decisive influence on public affairs," wrote Wormser. He further testified that, "They have a power comparable to political patronage." He cautioned "When they do harm, it can be immense harm--there is virtually no counterforce to oppose them." Source
In the international field, foundations, and an interlock among some of them and certain intermediary organizations, have exercised a strong effect upon our foreign policy and upon public education in things international. This has been accomplished by vast propaganda, by supplying executives and advisors to government, and by controlling much research in this area through the power of the purse. The net result of these combined efforts has been to promote 'internationalism' in a particular sense - a form directed toward 'world government' and a derogation of American 'nationalism.'
They observed that the major foundations 'have actively supported attacks upon our social and government system and financed the promotion of socialism and collectivist ideas.' The Reece Committee clearly declared that the CFR was 'in essence an agency of the United States Government' and that its 'productions are not objective but are directed overwhelmingly at promoting a globalist concept.' Source
On August 19, 1954, Reece summed up his investigation:
"It has been said that the foundations are a power second only to that of the Federal Government itself ... Perhaps the Congress should now admit that the foundations have become more powerful, in some areas, at least, than the legislative branch of the Government." 
The investigation ended in 1955, when funding was withheld. Source

This tool comes in handy for further investigation (names and connections) as well as visual picture of the web...


American Conservative Union:
Established in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is a large grassroots conservative lobbying organization, committed to a market economy, the doctrine of original intent of the framers of the Constitution, traditional moral values, and a strong national defense. It was formed in response to the electoral defeat of Barry Goldwater; the organizing meeting included Robert Bauman (organizer); Frank S. Meyer, John Chamberlain, Jameson Campaigne Sr., John Ashbrook, Katharine St. George, William F. Buckley Jr. and L. Brent Bozell. It was modeled after the Americans for Democratic Action, and also was positioned as an organization where members of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), founded by Buckley, could go when they reached the maximum age of 35. 
In 1984, David Keene, the current chairman of the ACU, assumed that position. He is also the managing associate of Carmen Group Lobbying, a Washington, DC-based lobbying firm. Source
Board members include: Senator Jesse Helms; Grover Norquist, Morton Blackwell, also on the Conservative Leadership PAC and Free Congress Foundation boards; and Becky Norton Dunlop, also serves on boards of the Heritage Foundation, the Family Foundation and Century Communications 
Frequent Donors: The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; the Bill and Berniece Grewcock Foundation; and the William E. Simon Foundation                                                          Source
Less than a month after he succeeded David Keene as chairman of the American Conservative Union, Al Cardenas sat down with HUMAN EVENTS to discuss the outlook for the ACU and the conservative movement. A Florida co-chairman of Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign and the 1978 Republican opponent to longtime Rep. Claude Pepper (D.-Fla.), Miami attorney Cardenas, whose family came from Cuba, has been in active in most of the modern conservative political battles. As head of the nation’s oldest national conservative organization, which is the main sponsor of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the 59-year-old Cardenas will no doubt be a player in helping direct the movement in the coming decade. Source
The Leadership Institute:
The Institute was founded in 1979 by conservative activist Morton C. Blackwell. Its mission is to "increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists" and to "identify, train, recruit and place conservatives in politics, government, and media."

The Leadership Institute offers 40 types of training seminars at its Arlington headquarters, around the United States, and occasionally in foreign countries. In 2009, the Institute trained more than 9,500 students. Since its 1979 founding, the Leadership Institute has trained more than 91,475 students. Notable alumni include Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Senator Mitch McConnell, Congressman Mike Pence, and seven new members of the 112th Congress.

While the Institute does not provide instruction in philosophical conservatism, it does encourage its graduates to read classic conservative authors like Edmund Burke and "classical liberal" authors like Frederic Bastiat, as well as more modern conservative thinkers including William F. Buckley Jr., Milton Friedman, Russell Kirk, Barry Goldwater, and libertarian thinkers such as F. A. Hayek.

The Leadership Institute teaches 41 different types of classes and seminars using its own curriculum. Class content varies from teaching how to create a campus newsletter to political activism (i.e. grassroots activism) to professional training and development (i.e. broadcast journalism).

The Institute has developed an interest in training students internationally, and has been active in the creation of similar Institutes in Greece, Chile, Poland, France, the U.K., Korea, Canada, and Japan.  Source
Blackwell is considered something of a specialist in matters relating to the rules of the Republican Party. He served on rules committees of the state Republican parties in Louisiana and Virginia. He serves now on the RNC’s Standing Committee on Rules and has attended every meeting of the Republican National Conventions’ Rules Committees since 1972.

Blackwell has been a member since 1984 of the Council for National Policy, a group of politically active conservatives. Founders included Richard Viguerie, the Virginia direct-mail specialist, Paul Weyrich, Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, and Phyllis Schlafly, a St. Louis activist who led the opposition to the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. Another founder was Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind novels. The council does not make its proceedings public. When he first ran for president, George W. Bush addressed the Council for National Policy. His remarks from 2000 have never been unveiled.  Source
We know that at least two of the young men charged in connection with attempts to tamper with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones led conservative college newspapers that received seed money from The Leadership Institute. But what’s the Leadership Institute?

Leadership Institute Vice President David Fenner said in a phone interview this morning that the group had “informal, above-board relationships” with both James O’Keefe and Joseph Basel when they were college students.

O’Keefe founded The Centurion at Rutgers and Basel launched The Counterweight at the University of Minnesota-Morris — each of which received $500 “Balance in Media” grants from the Leadership Institute. Both were charged yesterday with trying to tamper with Landrieu’s phones.

In tax forms posted on its website, the Leadership Institute reported receiving nearly $6 million in contributions in 2008, compared to $9.6 million in 2007. The group reported spending $11.2 million in 2008 and $11.4 million the year before — leading to a net loss both years.

The group claimed its net assets and fund balances totaled $11.6 million at the end of 2008.

In 2008, the Leadership Institute reported spending more than $3 million conducting “344 training schools of 39 different types to train youth leaders and provide education regarding the public policy process.”

Additionally, the group reported $4.6 million in spending on its “campus leadership program” — the same program that O’Keefe and Basel benefited from. The Leadership Institute uses this program to conduct “leadership schools for these groups and helps students start newspapers on their campuses.”  Source
...basically the Leadership Institute is a feeder program (training and indoctrination) for use by the foundations...for example -
Andrew, as a young twenty-something, has a resume with experience at Grove City’s Center for Vision and Values, the Leadership Institute, Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, The Fund for American Studies, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation’s Associate Program, and the Bill of Rights Institute, where he is currently a director of development.

“Attending my first Leadership Institute’s Youth Leadership School in 2002 led to my first job as a youth campaign coordinator in the most expensive congressional primary race in 2004,” Andrew said. “My first experiences in Washington, D.C. came to fruition because of my internship at the Leadership Institute. That summer served as a springboard for me in many ways.” Source
The goal of the alliance, according to organizers, is to foster the growth of liberal or left-leaning institutions equipped to take on prominent think tanks on the right, including the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution, the American Enterprise Institute and the Cato Institute, as well as such training centers as the Leadership Institute and the Young America's Foundation. Source
The Performance Institute:
Called “the leading think tank in performance measurement for government” on OMB’s ExpectMore.gov, The Performance Institute has been a leader in Performance Management training and policy since the 2000 administration transition. As part of the Government Performance Coalition, a group of good government organizations, the Institute worked in 2000 to deliver recommendations to the then new administration on what would become the President’s Management Agenda. Source
Carl DeMaio's former company, the Performance Institute, reaped the majority of its revenue from public funds. Then, DeMaio used that money to push for his own political agenda. DeMaio called the Performance Institute a "private think tank," but unlike other think tanks, it has no board and no oversight. In the past, the Performance Institute did not disclose its donors, or how much its former CEO, Carl DeMaio, made. Source

In 2007, Thompson Publishing Group, now Thompson Media Group acquired The Performance Institute and The American Strategic Management Institute from founder Carl DeMaio. The Performance Institute is a private, non-partisan think-tank in the United States that specializes in improving government results through the principles of performance, transparency and accountability.

Thompson Media Group, LLC, originally established as Thompson Publishing Group, Inc. was founded in 1972 by Carl DeMaio. It is a privately-held media company that specializes in providing compliance, regulatory, and market information through its four operating units: Thompson Publishing Group, The Performance Institute & American Strategic Management Institute, AHC & BioWorld, and Sheshunoff Information Services, A.S. Pratt, & Alex Information (collectively, SIS). Thompson Media Group, LLC, is based in Washington, DC. Thompson Media Group LLC established their name during reorganization in 2011. Source
American Conservative Defense Alliance:
A think tank and interest group that supports national security conservatism, emphasizing that the United States should take foreign action only in service of vital national interests. Its platform states: 
Supporting a strong, cost-effective and Constitutional national defense strategy, the purpose of which is to secure the lives, liberty, and property of the American people.
Creating, strengthening, and maintaining military forces capable of defeating any enemy that attacks the United States. Ensuring that America’s soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors, coast guard and reserve component forces are the best equipped, trained, and led military forces in the world. 
Promoting a foreign policy of strategic independence, thereby avoiding foreign conflicts unless there is a verifiable and imminent threat to the United States. If the U.S. does engage in military action, there must be clear standards for victory and exit. Absent exceptional circumstances, when a vital national interest is at stake, America should neither underwrite regimes nor engage in nation building.
Providing to the world examples of how to maintain a free and prosperous society based on the rule of Constitutional law, individual liberty, and the rights of private property.

Its positions reject the doctrines of neoconservatism. Source
Michael advocated for American national security interests as a co-founder of the American Conservative Defense Alliance, which worked to promote a traditional conservative foreign and defense policy (2008- 2010). He blogs on national security related issues at Politico. Working to promote civil liberties, Michael co-founded and is National Director of the Liberty Coalition, a transpartisan coalition of groups working to protect civil liberties, privacy and human autonomy (2005- present). He is presently the coalition coordinator and public policy counsel for the Campaign for Liberty working on transparency and open government issues including Audit of the Federal Reserve. He also sits on the Steering Committee for Openthegovernment.org and Board Member for Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Source
This public policy group is the creation of Grover Norquist, an anti-tax conservative activist with a record of ties to Muslim Brotherhood leaders and Islamist front groups.90 It was founded in early 2008 and, until recently, housed in Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform offices. 91 ACDA Board Members include Samah Norquist, secretary (also Grover Norquist’s wife); Peter Gemma, treasurer; and Philip Giraldi, the Francis Walsingham Fellow.

Norquist’s role in Islamist influence operations is an ominous one. He founded a front organization called the Islamic Free Market Institute in 1998 together with a Muslim activitist long associated with Muslim Brotherhood operatives named Khaled Saffuri “to promote a better understanding of Islam in America.”

During the presidential campaign of 2000, Norquist arranged a meeting between Alamoudi and then- Republican presidential candidate, Texas Governor George W. Bush.96 Later, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush appeared at a prayer service with Alamoudi and apparently remained unaware of his terrorist links for a number of years after that.97

Another troubling connection is Grover Norquist’s close relationship with Faisal Gill, Policy Director of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division for the Department of Homeland Security under President Bush. In 2004, it was discovered that Gill, who was a political appointee, had failed to disclose his own formerly close working relationship with Alamoudi, whom he apparently served as spokesman for the American Muslim Council. Nevertheless, Gill was permitted to retain his government position.98

Although the American Conservative Defense Alliance claims to advocate for a strong U.S. national defense policy, it eschews any initiative that would entail “imposing American-styled ‘democracy’ abroad” or engaging in “nation-building.”99 ACDA’s place within the Iran Lobby network can be discerned from a look at key figures among its leadership boards, website links to other Iran Lobby entities and posted statements by its associates that scoff at evidence of the Tehran regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and involvement in supporting terrorist militias in Iraq

The ACDA links with NIAC’s Trita Parsi also include a November 14, 2007 event at the Nixon Center that was co-sponsored by ACDA and featured a panel discussion about U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. Panelists included Philip Giraldi and Trita Parsi. The event was posted on the personal website of Michael D. Ostrolenk, ACDA President and Board Member. Ostrolenk’s homepage also highlights an October 17, 2007 discussion with Trita Parsi about his then just-released book, Treacherous Alliance.  Source 
Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is a fellow with the American Conservative Defense Alliance Source
...other current key people -
Donald Devine,Director, Office of Personnel Management, 1981-85
Bruce Fein, Ron Paul's 2012 Campaign Legal adviser, Former Reagan lawyer
Thomas Gale Moore, Economist, Council of Economic Advisers, 1985-89
William Niskanen, Chairman of the Cato Institute
Richard Viguerie, Conservative activist                                                                           Source
Americans for Tax Reform:
Fiscal conservative interest group, headed by Grover Norquist, which opposes all tax increases and advocates a flat tax; rates legislators on compliance with its key issue votes; Advisory Committee and Supporting Member, Congressional Internet Caucus  Source
Its founder and president is Grover Norquist, a conservative tax activist. It was founded by Grover Norquist in 1985 at the request of President Ronald Reagan.

Shortly after Bill Clinton's 1992 election, ATR headquarters became the site of a weekly, off-the-record get-together of conservatives to coordinate activities and strategy. The "Wednesday Meeting" of the Leave Us Alone Coalition soon became an important hub of conservative political organizing. Participants each week include Republican congressional leaders, right-leaning think tanks, conservative advocacy groups and K Street lobbyists. George W. Bush began sending a representative to the Wednesday Meeting even before he formally announced his candidacy for president in 1999, and continued to send representatives after his election in 2000. 
ATR has helped to establish regular meetings for conservatives nationwide, modeled after the Wednesday meetings in Washington, with the goal of creating a nationwide network of conservative activists to help support initiatives such as tax cuts and deregulation. There are now meetings in 48 states and more internationally, with meetings in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

According to an investigative report from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on the Jack Abramoff scandal, released in June 2006, ATR served as a "conduit" for funds that flowed from Abramoff's clients to finance surreptitiously grass-roots lobbying campaigns. Records show that donations from the Choctaw and Kickapoo tribes to ATR were coordinated in part by Abramoff, and in some cases preceded meetings between the tribes and the White House. Source
Free Congress Foundation:
Found by Paul Weyrich in 1974 after serving as President of the Heritage Foundation for a number of years and considered one of the most influential men in US politics.
The Free Congress Foundation’s history as an active voice on behalf of conservative ideas and principles reaches back to its founding in 1977 by the late Paul Weyrich.

The foundation won early national prominence and played an important role in organizing and driving coordinated political action by modern conservatives.

Powered over the years by the financial support of a broad range of donors, FCF has had significant impact on public policy issues of importance to all Americans.  Source
The Free Congress Foundation (or Free Congress Research and Education Foundation or FCF for short), is a conservative think tank founded by Colorado beer magnate Joseph Coors and led by Paul M. Weyrich. It evolved from the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress and the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation. A group affiliated with the FCF is the Free Congress Political Action Committee. The organization publishes Empowerment!. Source
No one has said, "What will fill this coming vacuum?" No one has developed a strategy for the transition from Washington to localism.

Such thoughts are not common in today's world of Federal power and Federal money. It takes a specific worldview even to ask such a seemingly utopian question.

Ron Paul has such a worldview. So do his followers.

As for training materials, they already exist. Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation developed them three decades ago: the Kasten system. This system of local mobilization got Bob Kasten elected to Congress in 1974 and to the Senate in 1980. Source
While in Rep. Paul's office, I also worked closely with the Free Congress Foundation's Coalition for Constitutional Liberties and its 800 member organizations to educate the public on the privacy implications of KYC. It was this coalition that generated most of the comments to the regulators--many through the Libertarian Party's DefendYourPrivacy.com web site. I have teamed up with Free Congress to double our efforts for privacy and against KYC. We are leading the initiative against the global KYC initiative. Our coalition and letter by forty-three organizations (http://www.freecongress.org/) are credited with forcing the Bush administration to review their policies. Source
The Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF):

Founded in 1989 in Denver, Colorado, by Richard M. Ebeling and Jacob G. Hornberger, both with ties to the Foundation for Economic Education....and who sits on the board?

BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
Harold Luhnow, president of William Volker & Company
A.C. Mattei, president of Honolulu Oil Corporation
Charles White, president of the Republic Steel Corporation
Donaldson Brown, former vice-president of General Motors
Jasper Crane, former vice president of Du Pont
B.E. Hutchinson, chairman of the finance committee of Chrysler Corporation
W.C. Mullendore, president of the Southern California Edison Company

Foundation for Economic Freedom:
Established to study and advance classical liberalism, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is the oldest free-market organization in the United States. Murray Rothbard recognized FEE for creating a "crucial open center" that he credits with launching the movement.

In 1946, FEE was founded by Leonard Read of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Donaldson Brown of General Motors Corporation, Professors Leo Wolman of Columbia University and Fred R. Fairchild of Yale University, Henry Hazlitt of the New York Times, Claude Robinson of Opinion Research Corporation, and David Goodrich of B. F. Goodrich. The William Volker Fund was instrumental in subsidizing FEE's establishment.  Source
Lawrence W. Fertig (b. 1898 – d. 1986) was an American advertising executive and a libertarian journalist and economic commentator.

Fertig wrote columns for the New York World-Telegram and the New York Sun. Fertig also wrote the 1961 Regnery Press offering, Prosperity Through Freedom.

He was the founder of Lawrence Fertig & Company, a New York advertising and marketing firm. The Hoover Institution maintains an archive of Fertig's papers at their Stanford, California location.

After attending the 1944 Bretton Woods conference on behalf of Scripps-Howard newspapers, Fertig authored a weekly column on financial matters, something that he would continue until the collapse of the New York World Journal Tribune in the late 1960s. He was on the board of trustees of the Foundation for Economic Education's monthly journal, The Freeman.

Fertig, who was a member of the NYU board of trustees, was instrumental in supporting his friend Ludwig von Mises when the economist fled Europe to the United States during the rise of the Third Reich, even going so far as to pay part of Mises' salary himself when Mises began teaching at Fertig's alma mater. Referring to Mises' visiting professorship at NYU, economist Murray Rothbard stated that

NYU’s support for Mises was grudging, and only came about because advertising executive and NYU alumnus Lawrence Fertig, an economic journalist and close friend of Mises and Hazlitt, exerted considerable influence at the university. 
The Mises Institute, founded in 1982 in honor of Ludwig von Mises, credits Fertig as being instrumental in its creation and development. The institute offers a Lawrence Fertig memorial prize to the author whose work "best advances economic science in the Austrian tradition." Source
Brookings Institution:
Brookings Institution is a tax-exempt think tank created in 1916 as the Institute for Government Research by a group of business leaders and academics led by St. Louis timber and mining executive Robert Brookings, who later served on the War Industries Board. The IGR was founded to provide research and expertise to help restructure government agencies in accord with modern business methods, in order to promote administrative competence and government efficiency. During the Depression Brookings took on government and corporate research contracts. Renamed in 1927, the Brookings Institution established itself as a conservative think tank supported by industry and critical of the New Deal social programs, which were seen as replacing free enterprise with central authority.

After the second world war, Brookings supported the Marshall Plan and an active U.S. presence in the world, and by the 1960s had a reputation as a liberal think tank, but Brookings income flowed from Rockefeller and Ford Foundation grants and corporate contributions. By the mid-1980s, in keeping with the Democratic Party and other "liberal" institutions, Brookings positioned itself back in the "center" of the political spectrum again. In the 1980s Brookings studies called for government budget cutbacks, corporate competitiveness, and national security. In the 1990s Brookings studies promoted market-based incentives to replace regulation, increases in military spending, and "free" trade. In 1995, Michael Armacost, a U.S. State Department official under Reagan, became the president of Brookings.

Brookings board of trustees includes the corporate CEOs and directors of AT&T, Fremont Group (Bechtel), Booz Allen & Hamilton, Kissinger Associates, Human Genome Sciences, Inc., Johnson Capital Partners, State Farm, Aetna, Times Mirror, the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, Heinz Family Philanthropies, ARCO, Chase Manhattan, USAirways, Bank of America, Levi Strauss, as well as Robert S. McNamara (former president of the World Bank) and James D. Wolfensohn (the current president of the World Bank). Brookings trustees also include directors and trustees of foundations, hospitals, and universities, including Johns Hopkins University, University of Chicago Law School, Harvard, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the University of Pennsylvania, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  Source
Heritage Foundation:
The Heritage Foundation, founded in 1973 with funding from ultraconservative sources including Scaife and Coors, is a think tank whose mission is "to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." Heritage produces articles, lectures, conferences, and briefings for Congress, Congressional staff, executive branch policymakers, the news media, and academia.

U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich called the Heritage Foundation "the most far-reaching conservative organization in the country in the war of ideas," and U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey said "when conservatives on Capitol Hill are looking to turn ideas into legislation, the first place they go is The Heritage Foundation." Two-thirds of the Heritage Foundation's 1981 policy recommendations to President Reagan were adopted.

The Center's national advisory board includes William F. Buckley Jr., conservative journalists Mary Lou Forbes, Paul Greenberg, and Charles Krauthammer, and several professors of journalism. Heritage claims its more than 200,000 members make it "the most broadly supported think tank in America." Heritage Foundation had income of $43 million in 1998; two-thirds of it from individuals, 26 percent from foundations, and 4 percent from corporations. Amway, Joseph Coors, Pfizer, John M. Olin Foundation, and the Sarah Scaife Foundation are recent funders of the Heritage Foundation's work. Source
The Heritage Foundation has been home to some of the nation's most influential neo-conservative voices, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Foundation has since lost some of its luster, as some of its leading voices have graduated to other influential government and non-government careers. Still, the Foundation remains a conservative voice in Washington and around the world.

Meanwhile, there was also a connection between Heritage and the Rev Sun Myung Moon (founder of the Moonies). This first appeared in a 1975 congressional investigation on the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA) activities in the US.

The report noted, "In 1975, Ed Feulner ... was introduced to KCIA station chief Kim Yung Hwan by Neil Salonen and Dan Feffernan of the Freedom Leadership foundation".

Salonen was head of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in the United States. The Freedom Leadership Foundation (FLF), a political arm of Moon's Unification network, was linked to the World Anti- Communist League.

In the early 1980s, the KCIA began making donations to Heritage Foundation. In turn, Heritage established an Asian Studies Center. Source 
Paul Weyrich is considered by conservative Powers That Be as the most powerful man in American politics today. Weyrich allegedly founded the immensely influential conservative think tank, Heritage Foundation, in 1973 with funding from Joseph Coors of the Coors beer empire and Richard Mellon-Scaife, heir of the Carnegie-Mellon fortune. 
Over the past 25 years, Heritage has also been funded by private foundations such as Pew Charitable Trust which also funded many GOALS 2000 initiatives. William Greider's bestseller, Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy reveals other benefactors: "Not withstanding its role as 'populist' spokesman, Weyrich's organization, for instance, has received grants from Amoco, General Motors, Chase Manhattan Bank [David Rockefeller] and right-wing foundations like Olin and Bradley."
Paul Weyrich served as President of Heritage Foundation until 1974 when he founded the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress (which he heads today as the Free Congress Foundation). Heritage Foundation guided the Reagan administration during its period of transition and Joe Coors served in the President's "Kitchen Cabinet." During its first year, the Reagan administration adopted fully two-thirds of the recommendations of Heritage's Mandate for Leadership: Policy Management in a Conservative Administration.

John Saloma's Ominous Politics, refers to Heritage as a "shadow government" noting that "[Heritage President] (Edwin) Feulner also served on the Reagan transition executive committee (fourteen other Heritage staff and board members also had transition appointments), but declined to join the administration." Source
Back around 1988, Rockefeller and an assistant -- the son of a very famous foreign policy expert -- interviewed Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation. He wanted to know which figures in the conservative movement were hostile to him. Weyrich mentioned the John Birch Society. "Who else?" he asked. "The hard- money movement," Weyrich replied. "What's that?" Rockefeller asked. The assistant said, "I'll brief you later."

Rockefeller was intrigued. "Who are they?" Weyrich mentioned me and Larry Abraham. (Thanks, Paul. He blew our cover.) "What are they saying?" Weyrich accurately replied: "They are saying that you and your big business colleagues are making deals behind the Iron Curtain, so that when full trade resumes, you will already be set up there."

Weyrich reported to me and to Abraham that Rockefeller replied, "They're right," and then went on at some length to describe their efforts. Within a few months, the Berlin Wall went down. In 1991, the USSR committed suicide.

All I am saying here is this: For a man still at the top of the pinnacle of influence, he has remained out of touch with respect to the American Right, which is among his greatest enemies, along with the American Communists -- defunct for over 20 years -- and some fringe groups on the Left. Source
Hoover Institute:
The Hoover Institution is a conservative think tank founded in 1919 as a center for advanced study in domestic and international affairs, supporting conservative scholars, sponsoring conferences, publishing books and articles, and producing television and radio programs.

The Hoover Institution says it "strives to conceive and disseminate ideas defining a free society, involving the study of politics, economics, and their interrelationships (that is, political economy) within the United States and other countries." The Hoover Institution describes its work in terms of the rule of law and property rights; promoting the idea of society based on individualism rather than classes; government performance in terms of accountability to society; economic growth and tax policy; and international rivalries and global cooperation with respect to security, trade and commerce, and the rule of law.

Former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich and former U.S. Secretary of State (and corporate insider) George Schultz are research fellows at Hoover. Other Hoover scholars include national security and Pentagon officials like William Perry, Richard Allen, and Bobby Inman. "Honorary Fellows" include Ronald Reagan, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Margaret Thatcher.

Like other ultraconservative think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Hudson Institute (see the separate profiles for these organizations), the Hoover Institution is funded by the ultraconservative foundations such as John M. Olin, Lilly, Smith Richardson, Carthage, and Scaife.

Hoover's "board of overseers" includes the Archer Daniels Midland chairman Dwayne Andreas, Texas oilman Robert Bass, Seattle television personality Jean Enersen, Herbert Hoover III, David Packard of military and electronics giant Hewlitt-Packard, former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Mellon oil heir and ultraconservative philanthropist Richard M. Scaife, and free-market guru and former U.S. Treasury Secretary William E. Simon. Source
A number of Hoover Institution fellows had connections to or held positions in the Bush administration and other Republican administrations. High-profile conservatives Edwin Meese, Condoleezza Rice, George Shultz, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Amy Zegart are all Hoover Institution fellows.

The Hoover Institution Press also publishes the bimonthly periodical Policy Review, which it acquired from the Heritage Foundation in 2001. Source
American Enterprise Institute:

Founded by William J. Baroody and Milton Friedman in 1943. Source
The American Enterprise Institute is a think-tank founded in 1943 which promotes "free markets, free trade, a vigilant defense, and individual freedom and responsibility." AEI is "dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of a free [sic] society-limited government, competitive private enterprise, vital cultural and political institutions, and vigilant defense-through rigorous inquiry, debate, and writing."

AEI is governed by 26 trustees including corporate and Pentagon insider Dick Cheney and executives from major corporations including State Farm Insurance, Motorola, American Express, Enron, Alcoa, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and Dow Chemical. AEI officers include Samuel P. Huntington (Harvard professor, member of National Security Council, architect of forced urbanization in Vietnam, author of Trilateral Commission report on "excess democracy"), former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and economist Murray L. Weidenbaum, architect of deregulation under Reagan.

AEI and the Brookings Institution operate a Joint Center for Regulatory Studies (JCRS) with the purpose of holding lawmakers and regulators "accountable for their decisions by providing thoughtful, objective analyses of existing regulatory programs and new regulatory proposals." The JCRS pushes for cost-benefit analysis of regulations, which fits with AEI's ultimate goal of deregulation. Source
Among the better known figures based at the institute are several former George W. Bush administration officials and advisors who were key promoters of the “war on terror” policies put in place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including John Bolton, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, John Yoo, and David Frum. President Bush highlighted the enormous influence the institute had in his administration during a January 2003 speech at an AEI dinner celebrating neoconservative forefather Irving Kristol. After commending AEI for having "some of the finest minds in our nation," the president said, "You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds."

Founded in 1943, AEI is one of the oldest policy institutes in Washington. AEI traces its origins to a New York City-based business association called the American Enterprise Association (AEA), which was founded in 1938 and soon after World War II opened a Washington office to lobby against government intervention in the domestic economy. AEA, which brought together some of the country's largest corporate firms, substituted "institute" for "association" and became one of the nation's first policy think tanks. Lewis Brown, president of Johns-Manville Corp., was the principal figure behind AEA, which from its beginning had a strong pro-business posture. Like the AEA, AEI is dedicated to the "maintenance of the system of free, competitive enterprise."18

One of the institute's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill was Gerald Ford, who as a congressional representative praised the institute in 1950, beginning what AEI describes as a "long and happy relationship with the president-to-be." A key figure in AEI's early history was William Baroody, who joined AEI as president in 1954 and was responsible for bringing some of the country's most conservative economists into the institute, including Milton Friedman and Paul McCracken.

With the emergence of several new conservative think tanks, including the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute, AEI's influence appeared to diminish. Despite this, President Ronald Reagan in 1988 acknowledged the institute's pervasive influence in spearheading the "Reagan Revolution." According to Reagan, "The American Enterprise Institute stands at the center of a revolution in ideas of which I, too, have been a part. AEI's remarkably distinguished body of work is testimony to the triumph of the think tank. For today the most important American scholarship comes out of our think tanks—and none has been more influential than the American Enterprise Institute."

AEI headquarters are located in a building on Washington's 17th Street that is a warren of right-wing operations. Before it shuttered most of its operations in 2006, the Project for the New American Century had its offices there. Several PNAC principals, including Gerecht, Bruce Jackson, Gary Schmitt, and Tom Donnelly, moved from PNAC to AEI. Also located in the same building are the offices of the Weekly Standard, which often serves as a favored outlet for AEI scholars. The Philanthropy Roundtable, the rightist association of foundations that split off from the Council of Foundations in the early 1980s, also found a home in the AEI building.

The membership of AEI's board of trustees reveals the institute's strong ties to the corporate community. Members include Bruce Kovner (Caxton Associates), John Faraci (International Paper), Raymond Gilmartin (formerly of Merck), Harvey Golub (formerly of American Express), Roger Hertog (formerly of Alliance Capital Management), Mel Sembler (Sembler Company), William Stavropoulos (Dow Chemical), and Wilson Taylor (CIGNA), among many others.33 Over the past several decades, AEI's board of trustees has included representatives of scores of the nation's top corporations, including Rockwell, Amoco, Hewlett Packard, Exxon Mobil, Texas Instruments, Eli Lilly, and Citicorp. Former board members include Dick Cheney (whose wife Lynne is an AEI fellow), then at Halliburton, and Kenneth Lay of Enron.

Among the many corporate contributors to AEI is the Walton Family Foundation, which was founded by the same family that started Wal-Mart. According to the New York Times, Wal-Mart "has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the Manhattan Institute.”

Major donors include the heavy hitters of the conservative foundation world: the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Olin Foundation, the Scaife Foundation, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, as well as smaller right-wing foundations such as Carthage, Earhart, and Castle Rock.

According to People for the American Way, corporate donors to AEI have included the General Electric Foundation, Amoco, Kraft, Ford Motor Company Fund, General Motors Foundation, Eastman Kodak Foundation, Metropolitan Life Foundation, Procter & Gamble Fund, Shell Companies Foundation, Chrysler Corporation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, General Mills Foundation, Pillsbury Company Foundation, Prudential Foundation, American Express Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Corning Glass Works Foundation, Morgan Guarantee Trust, Alcoa Foundation, and PPG Industries. Source
The Cato Institute:
The Cato Institute is a think tank dedicated to "promoting public policy based on individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace." It was founded in 1977 by petroleum millionaire and libertarian Charles Koch and Edward Crane of the Alliance Capital Management.

Cato sponsors an annual monetary conference, which has been attended by Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan and others from the regional Federal reserve Banks, U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, International Monetary Fund first deputy managing director Stanley Fischer, and Harvard professor Jeffrey Sachs, author of "shock therapy" economic restructuring programs.

Cato opposes laws discriminating against gays. It promotes the legalization of drugs, and opposes censorship of pornography. Cato's opposition to government intervention led it to oppose U.S. military action in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia. But libertarian positions on various issues does not mean that the Cato Institute does not support corporate power. In the absence of civil authority, eliminating government regulation and government programs simply means that corporate power is unchecked.

Most of the funding comes from conservative foundations such as Sarah Scaife and John M. Olin. Source
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remains president and CEO, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the second largest privately held company by revenue in the United States.

Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard was a core member of Cato's founding group and coined the institute's name. Rothbard served on its board until leaving in 1981.

Still, some critics have accused Cato of being too tied to corporate funders, especially during the 1990s. Such critics report that Cato received funding from Philip Morris and other tobacco companies during this period and that at one point Rupert Murdoch served on the boards of directors of both Cato and Philip Morris. Source
In 2010, the Cato Institute reported support by some 60 plus foundations including:

Atlantic Philanthropies
Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation
Earhart Foundation
JM Foundation, founded by businessman Jeremiah Milbank
John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.
Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Castle Rock Foundation (formerly known as The Coors Foundation)
Scaife Foundations (Sarah Mellon Scaife, Carthage)
Ford Foundation
Ploughshares Fund
Marijuana Policy Project                                                                                                Source

Koch Industries denies funding tea parties, but official filings say otherwise


The battle for control over a prominent libertarian organization in Washington has cast a spotlight on its highly unusual structure, which allows the nonprofit research institution to be controlled by shareholders.

The Cato Institute, one of the largest think tanks in Washington, is governed by four people, each with a 25 percent stake in the organization. That stake can be bought and sold for cash under an arrangement, only legal in a handful of states, that is frowned upon by the Internal Revenue Service.

Charles and David Koch, billionaire brothers who own a large energy conglomerate, filed suit on Thursday seeking an option to increase their 50 percent stake in Cato, a large research organization that espouses free-market economics and limited government.

Although they don’t receive dividends like shareholders of a for-profit company, the structure gives the Koch brothers power to appoint half of Cato’s board. In most nonprofits, new directors are elected by the organization’s membership or the current board members. Source

Ludwig von Mises Institute:
Founded by Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr. in 1982 after serving as Ron Paul's Chief of Staff for 4 years. The Institute's stated goal is to "undermine statism*** in all its forms". Rockwell credits Rothbard with convincing him to reject statism completely:

"It was clear to me at the time that Murray Rothbard was Mises's successor, and I followed his writings carefully. I first met him in 1975, and knew immediately that he was a kindred spirit.... I cannot remember the day that I finally came around to the position that the state is unnecessary and destructive by its nature – that it cannot improve on, and indeed only destroys, the social and economic system that grows out of property rights, exchange, and natural social authority – but I do know that it was Rothbard who finally convinced me to take this last step." Source
Many readers may be surprised to learn the extent to which the Graduate Institute and then Mises himself in the years immediately after he came to United States were kept afloat financially through generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, for the first years of Mises’s life in the United States, before his appointment as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University (NYU) in 1945, he was almost totally dependent on annual research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. Even after he finally landed the position at NYU, where he remained only a visiting professor until his retirement in 1969, his salary was paid for not by NYU, but from funds contributed by generous private supporters. Source
Hayek’s teacher Wieser had been the main contact of the Rockefeller Foundation among the academic economists in Vienna. After 1926, when he succeeded Wieser as the main contact of the Rockefeller Foundation in Vienna, Mises had the opportunity to provide or withhold material benefits. Source
Project for New American Century:
The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle. Source
Project for The New American Century info and sources
Mont Pelerin Society:

Founded in 1947 in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland by Frederich von Hayek. The stated objective of the Mont Pelerin Society is to strengthen the principles and practices of the free society by encouraging market-oriented economic systems with minimal and dispersed government as opposed to government regulation of industry.

In 1947, 39 scholars, mostly economists, with some historians and philosophers, were invited by Professor Friedrich Hayek to meet at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and discuss the state, and possible fate of classical liberalism and to combat the "state ascendancy and Marxist or Keynesian planning [that was]sweeping the globe". Invitees included Henry Simons (who would later train Milton Friedman, a future president of the society, at the University of Chicago); the American former-Fabian socialist Walter Lippmann; Viennese Aristotelian Society leader Karl Popper; fellow Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises; Sir John Clapham, a senior official of the Bank of England who from 1940-6 was the president of the British Royal Society; Otto von Habsburg, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne; and Max von Thurn und Taxis, Bavaria-based head of the 400-year-old Venetian Thurn und Taxis family.

Milton Friedman was president of the Mont Pelerin Society from 1970-1972. Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation, was president of the Mont Pelerin Society from 1996-1998 and is currently the Senior Vice President.

The American membership of the MPS has included, besides Milton and Rose Friedman and the late journalist Walter Lippmann [CFR], influential conservatives affiliated with the Heritage Foundation: Michael Novak [CFR/American Enterprise Institute], Thomas Sowell [Hoover Institution] and Deepak Lal [Cato Institute]. Anther member of the Mont Pelerin Society is former CNP member Dr. John A. Howard, president of The Rockford Institute, Senior Fellow of the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society and a member of The Bohemian Club.

Over a dozen of the scholars who could not previously get a job, a review, or a book deal would go on to win the "Nobel Prize in Economics" (this "epic" story will be told separately). More importantly, the Mont Pelerin Society would itself beget 500 foundations and organizations in nearly 80 countries... again with strategic contributions from Mr. Anonymous.

Initiated at Mont Pelerin and copying the FEE, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was created in London in 1955. Serving as a conduit for both cash and "ideas", the IEA set about the task of "rejuvenating" the dead and decaying British Tories. By 1985, the "Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher, would positively gush on the occasion of the Institute's 30th Anniversary: "You created the atmosphere which made our victory possible... May I say how thankful we are to those who joined your great endeavor. They were the few, but they were right, and they saved Britain." With that, the IEA begat the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which in turn created a network of over 50 "think-tanks" in more than 30 countries.

And what were the scale of these efforts? John Blundell, the head of the IEA, in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, and Atlas in 1990, would identify a rare failure in the Society's efforts. Shaking his head at the abortive attempt to subsidize academic "Chairs of Free Enterprise" in dozens of countries throughout the world, Blundell complained about wasting, "hundreds of millions, perhaps one billion dollars". This was just one initiative among many.

William Volker Fund:
The William Volker Fund was a charitable foundation established in 1932 by Kansas City, Missouri, businessman and home-furnishings mogul William Volker.

In 1932, Volker set aside half of his fortune into the William Volker Charities Fund. The fund’s articles of incorporation claimed it would “care for the sick, aged and helpless”; “provide means and facilities for the physical, mental, moral and spiritual betterment of persons”; “improve living and working conditions”; and provide “education and educational facilities” (209-210). 
When William Volker died in 1947, his nephew Harold W. Luhnow took control of William Volker & Co. and also became the head of the William Volker Charities Fund’s board of directors. Under the Luhnow’s administration the fund shifted its focus away from charities in the Kansas City area and began pursuing a number of strategies for increasing the acceptance of Old Right and Austrian economics thought in the United States. Source
When William Volker died in 1947, his will added $15 million of his assets to the already sizable William Volker Charities Fund. Luhnow took primary control of the trust. He also took control the William Volker & Co. In 1952, Luhnow moved the headquarters of the fund and the company to Burlingame, California.

Luhnow used Volker Fund assets to support bringing schools associated wit the Austrian School of economics to U.S. institutions. He "paid [Ludwig von] Mises's salary at New York University; he paid F. A. Hayek's salary at the University of Chicago; he funded lectures that Milton and Rose Friedman turned into Capitalism and Freedom and he approved the grant that enabled Murray Rothbard to write Man, Economy and State. As early as 1946, Luhnow earmarked Volker Fund money to support Leonard Read and agreed to fund the establishment the Foundation for Economic Education, which became the first major post-war libertarian think-tank. By the late 1950s, Luhnow had led the Fund to provide critical support for a host of political groups, including the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Institute for Humane Studies. In the 1960s Luhnow's leadership of the Fund became more and more erratic until he eventually fired most of its staff and much of the Volker Fund's remaining assets were given to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Source
The William Volker Fund also launched a number of Libertarian think tanks, foremost among them the “Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace.”

“In addition to its own activities, the Volker Fund helped fund the formation of various complementary institutions, including the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists (ISI), which was later renamed Intercollegiate Studies Institute; the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE); the Earhart Foundation; and the Relm Foundation. According to observers such as John Blundell of the Mont Pelerin Society, the William Volker Fund’s strategic successor on its expiration was the F.A. Harper’s Institute for Humane Studies. In 1963, most the Volker Fund’s activities were transferred to a new Center for American Studies (CAS), which proved short-lived and closed late in 1964. A decade later, the Volker Fund’s remaining money, amounting to about seven million dollars, went to the Hoover Institution. The Fund’s files have disappeared.” (William Volker Fund)

The official story is that Hoover Institution was founded by Herbert Hoover with $50K, although $7 million in funding would later arrive from the Volker Fund. What is also usually not mentioned is that (1) the Hoover Institution was heavily involved with the Eugenics societies of that day and (2) Herbert Hoover’s implementation of free market, laissez faire ‘do nothing’ economics prolonged the misery of the Great Depression.

“In 1919 the Hoover Institution was founded at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California with a donation of $50,000 from Herbert Hoover… Herbert Hoover founded the Hoover Institution at the suggestion of three men, Andrew Dickson White, (S&B 1853), Daniel Coit Gilman, (S&B 1852) and Ray Lyman Wilbur, president of Stanford… In 1921 the Second International Congress of Eugenics is held in New York City. The sponsoring committee includes Herbert Hoover and the presidents of Clark University, Smith College and the Carnegie Institute of Washington (Rockefeller)… Among the notables in attendance were future President Herbert Hoover, Alexander Graham Bell, (the Congress’s honorary president), conservationist and future Governor of Pennsylvania, Gifford Pinchot, (S&B 1889) and Leonard Darwin, son of Charles Darwin.” (“The History of Health”) Source




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