The Conservative Message Machine Money Matrix
, famously identified by Rob Stein and David Brock
, is the source of almost all funding behind the wingnut Schiavo push. A two-week old article from Jon Eisberg
identifies how the Philanthropy Roundtable
is involved with the case, among other familiar faces of uber-rich conservative donor fame: Schindler lawyer Pat Anderson "was paid directly" by the anti-abortion Life Legal Defense Foundation, which "has already spent over $300,000 on this case," according to the foundation's Web site. Much of the support for Life Legal Defense Foundation, in turn, comes from the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay rights group which collected more than $15 million in private donations in 2002 and admits to having spent money on the Schiavo case "in the six figures," according to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post. Mediatransparency.org states that between 1994 and 2002, the Alliance Defense Fund received $142,000 from Philanthropy Roundtable members that include the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
Wesley Smith and Rita Marker also work for organizations that get funding from Roundtable members. Smith is a paid senior fellow with the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that advocates the teaching of creationist "intelligent design" theory in public schools. Between 1993 and 1997, the Discovery Institute received $175,000 from the Bradley Foundation. Marker is executive director of the International Task Force on Euthanasia, which lobbies against physician-assisted suicide. In 2001, Marker's organization received $110,390 from the Randolph Foundation, an affiliate of the Smith Richardson family.
Roundtable members also played a role in financing the Bush v. Schiavo litigation.
The Family Research Council, which uses its annual $10 million budget to lobby for prayer in public schools and against gay marriage, filed an amicus curiae brief in Bush v. Schiavo supporting Gov. Bush, at the same time its former president, attorney Kenneth Connor, was representing the governor in that litigation. Between 1992 and 2000, the council received $215,000 from the Bradley Foundation.
Another amicus brief backing Bush was filed by a coalition of disability rights organizations that included the National Organization on Disability and the World Institute on Disability. The former received $810,000 between 1991 and 2002 from the Scaife Family Foundations, the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, and the JM Foundation; the latter received $20,000 in 1997 from the JM Foundation.
These connections may be just the tip of the iceberg. I'm no Woodward or Bernstein. I got this information using only the most rudimentary Google skills. I imagine that a thorough search by a seasoned investigator would yield quite a bit more.
Pardon my language, but these fuckers seem to be everywhere, funding every wingnut crusade imaginable. This is why Republicans in congress had to take the wildly unpopular stance
of intervening, overstepping their bounds, and damaging the Constitution. They had to become involved: all of the top donors and architects of their propaganda apparatus demanded it.
The real leaders of the Republican Party are not named DeLay, Bush, Hastert or Frist. They are named Scaife, Olin, Koch, McKenna, Bradley, Richardson, Smith and Coors. The public puppets simply had no choice but to dance when the real powers that be told them to do so. The Republican base had been funding this for years and they were not about to let it go by without at least a very public debacle in return for their investment.