Monthly Notes

Briefly Noted: January 2013


President Obama’s cultivation of Chicago-based media mogul Fred Eychaner led to major contributions to the President’s re-election campaign, Bloomberg News reports. Eychaner was invited to the White House seven times in the last four years and appointed a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Eychaner became the top individual Democratic campaign contributor this past election cycle, shelling out $14 million to the party, its candidates, and affiliated organizations. Eychaner was also the most generous donor to Priorities USA, writing $3.5 million in checks to the pro-Obama Super PAC that produced a campaign ad blaming GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a woman’s death from cancer.

While lawmakers debated making Michigan the nation’s 24th right-to-work state last month, union members physically attacked a temporary office set up by good government group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) outside the Michigan legislature in Lansing. The irate unionists tore down a large tent that AFP was using while women, children, and elderly people were still inside. Video captured one activist repeatedly punching conservative comedian-activist Steven Crowder for trying to interview union members at the site. Crowder suffered a chipped tooth in the attack. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) later signed the legislation aimed at breaking the labor movement’s death grip on Michigan’s near-comatose economy. Teamster boss James R. Hoffa is threatening to bring “civil war” to Michigan in order to roll back the new law. (For more on Michigan, see this month’s Labor Watch.)

The star-studded 12-12-12 concert for Hurricane Sandy relief held on Dec. 12, 2012, was organized by the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation, a left-wing charity that promotes wealth redistribution, according to the Washington Free Beacon website. The group has taken in at least $50 million from George Soros’s philanthropies and given hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN. The concert included performances from Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, and Kanye West.

The Left’s all-out assault on electoral integrity this past election cycle was largely funded by SEIU, the nation’s most radical labor union, and by the Michigan-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Kellogg funneled a staggering $5.2 million in grants to the Applied Research Center (ARC), which churned out a steady stream of propaganda aimed at convincing Americans it’s somehow racist to require photo ID from a voter, Media Trackers Ohio reports. ARC also took in more than $200,000 in 2011 from SEIU for what was described on disclosure forms as “consulting.” Since 2005 ARC has accepted grants from the extremist Tides Foundation ($1.1 million), Ford Foundation ($1.1 million), and George Soros’s Open Society Institute ($715,000).

The terrorist-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations launched a public relations campaign promoting the idea that jihad doesn’t mean Islamic holy war, but instead a “concerted effort … with the purpose of getting to a better place,” the Daily Caller news website reports. “It is [public] education about what we believe,” according to Ahmed Rehab, Chicago-based founder of the project and CAIR’s strategic communications chief. CAIR was declared an unindicted co-conspirator in a high-profile case in which the Holy Land Foundation was convicted of providing material support for a terrorist organization.

Tea Party movement-backed Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is taking over as president of the Heritage Foundation in the spring. He will replace Heritage co-founder Ed Feulner, who is retiring. DeMint said he is leaving public office in order to help the conservative movement regain the upper hand in the war of ideas. “This is an urgent time because we saw in the last election we were not able to communicate conservative ideas that win elections,” said DeMint, a market researcher before he entered public life. DeMint founded the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee that has raised more than $25 million to help elect eight limited-government GOP candidates to the Senate in 2010 and 2012.

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