Attention All Democratic Congressional Chiefs of Staff

My name is Chris Bowers. I write for www.MyDD.com, and I live in Philadelphia (PA-02, Chaka Fattah, to be precise). I want you to know how concerned I am about an upcoming event that all Senate and House Democratic Chiefs of Staff have been invited to attend: the 2005 Chief of Staff Retreat hosted by the Mercatus Center to be held February 4-5 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. I am writing this to urge you to not attend this event.

It is important that you realize who funds the Mercatus Center. Since 1985, the Mercatus Center has received 513 grants totaling $45,347,884. Their top donors have been as follows:

Nine of these twelve are the top nine donors to the conservative think tank apparatus. The other three are "conservative angel"Barre Seid, big-time conservative donor Jacquelin Hume, and the Walton family of Wal-Mart infamy. Together, these twelve sources of funding make up over 95% of the Mercatus Center's funding since it was founded in 1985. Several of the smaller donors not listed here are also uber-conservative "angels."

Quite frankly, I believe that attending this retreat would be tantamount to your boss becoming a member of the Fainthearted Faction. If you need an explanation of this term, please click here. Believe me when I tell you that this is not a label you want to give to your boss.

I believe that it is absolutely essential that not a single Democratic Chief of Staff attend this retreat. If you have already reserved a place, cancel it. Under no circumstances should Democrats be associating with, and buttered up by, conservative influence peddlers such as the Mercatus Center. This is especially true at a time when we have become an opposition party and the President is gearing up a campaign to destroy Social Security. We are never going to take our country back if our main influences are the Koch family, the Olin foundation, and the Scaife family.

If you are not attending this retreat, please tell your colleagues why and urge them to do likewise.

In solidarity,
Chris Bowers
Christopher_j_bowers@yahoo.com

P.S.: I urge anyone who reads this to contact the chief of staff of your local Democratic congressman and/or Senator and urge them not to attend. Also, I have already contacted Harry Reid's chief of staff, and it went very well. There is no need to contact him further.

There is No Crisis

I wrote recently that the time for talk on Social Security is over. In keeping with the promise of action and the power of the netroots, tonight BlogPac is unveiling its first major action to fight Bush's attempt to destroy the most successful program in the history of the United States. This action will be centered around the newly launched website, There Is No Crisis, and will begin by contacting over 30,000 journalists on the eve of Bush's corporate fueled inauguration. I am asking you to join us in this fight, which will be waged relentlessly from this moment forward.

Dave Johnson describes There Is No Crisisas follows:

ThereIsNoCrisis.com is intended as a fact repository and an initiator of action on this issue. It will help you with letters to editors, FAQs, links to articles, and, of course, a blog. The site will be promoted through a press and media campaign, including radio ads (which you can hear on the site(...) I'm asking my readers to send an e-mail to your list, asking people to visit ThereIsNoCrisis.com. The site will also feature, among other things, rapid response, fact-checking, Google-bombing, links to allied organizations, printable resources, fainthearted faction updates, and new ads when they are ready.

The time for talk is indeed over, and I am asking you to join BlogPac in the fight to save Social Security from lying, rampaging conservatives. Please, send an e-mail to your list, asking people to visit ThereIsNoCrisis.com. There will be lots more to come on this soon.

On social Security, The Time For Talk Is Over

Among bloggers, no one is taking more direct action on Social Security than the esteemed Josh Marshall. Many others are chipping in when we can, including Atrios with a Wall of Shame, and Steve Soto with a more comprehensive plan of action. However, as much blog action as we are taking, and as much of a line in the sand our Congressional leaders are threatening to take, the Republican attack is far more comprehensive. We are going to have to step things up. I discuss possible Democratic activism on Social Security in the extended entry.

There's more...

In Search of a Grand Unified Theory for the Left

Sometimes I feel like we are facing our own split between quantum mechanics and special relativity. On the one hand, I am a big believer in the power of grassroots organizing, but on the other hand I also recognize the need of a Democratic intellectual infrastructure that can compete with the conservative influence peddlers of the Republican Noise Machine. Consider, for example, two major initiatives currently taking place on the left.

There's more...

Protest Democratic Participation in The Republican noise Machine, Philadelphia February 4-5

I'm not going to let this happen in my city without making some noise.

Mercatus Institute Funding

According to a September article in Harper's magazine, Tentacles of Rage, the top conservative donors to the Republican noise machine are as follows:

2 BILLION ASSETS CONSERVATIVE FOUNDATIONS (200I ASSETS)

				  (in $ Millions)
The Bradley Foundation			584 
Smith Richardson Foundation			494 
Scaife Family (Four Foundations)		478.4
Earhart Foundation				84
John M. Olin Foundation 			71
Koch Family (Three Foundations) 		68
Castle Rock (Coors) Foundation		50
JM Foundation				25 
Philip M. McKenna Foundation		17.4
Since 1985, the Mercatus Institute has received 513 grants totaling $45,347,884. Their top donors have been as follows:

The top twelve donors to the Mercatus Institute include the entire top nine conservative donors. The other three are "conservative angel"Barre Seid, big-time conservative donor Jacquelin Hume, and the Walton family. Together, these twelve sources of funding make up over 95% of the Mercatus Institute's funding since it was founded in 1985. Several of the smaller donors not listed here are also uber-conservative donors.

I am writing this so that there can be no mistake about the Mercatus Institute. It is not partially funded by right-wing donations, it is entirely funded by all of the most active conservative donors. The Mercatus Institute is part of the Republican Noise Machine. Why this is a problem and what I plan to do about it is in the extended entry.

There's more...

Diaries

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