Reid, ‘watchdogs’ silent as wealthy liberal donors plot at private Chicago summit
The hypocrisy of good-government “watchdogs” and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) is front and center in the aftermath of a private meeting of a shadowy collection of the country’s richest men and women Sunday at a ritzy Chicago hotel, where they plotted and coordinated how they were going use their money to transform America.
If this meeting was hosted by the Koch brothers, Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch, then the liberal media would go bananas trying to whip up the American people into a panic.
These two brothers, who have done nothing illegal, merely used money they earned from their private businesses to participate in the political process, supporting causes and candidates working to make government smaller, less intrusive in personal lives and businesses and less able to pick the marketplace’s winners and losers.
The meeting Sunday was held by the Democracy Alliance. The group was founded in 2005, with the stated purpose of pooling funds from wealthy liberals.
Joining these progressive mandarins, was President Barack Obama’s professional wife, the Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett. Jarrett is a long-time mentress to the president and it is prudent to treat her as the vicarious presence of Obama—a lesson now-former White House aides learned the hard way.
Human Events put in calls to leading watchdog critics of the Koch’s, including their loudest and most strident critic: Reid. As of press time, Reid is silent on Democracy Alliance’s use of concentrated wealth to hotwire the system for their advantage.
Speaking from the Senate floor March 4 about the Koch brothers, as he has done more than a dozen times, he seemed to be isolating on the Koch’s as enemies of the state.
“Like most shrewd businessmen, the oil baron Koch brothers are very good at protecting and growing their prodigious fortune. There’s nothing un-American about that,” he said. “But what is un-American is when shadowy billionaires pour unlimited money into our democracy to rig the system to benefit themselves and the wealthiest one percent.”
Of course, Reid could have been speaking about Democracy Alliance, but he was not.
Human Events called Reid’s office and asked the whether he or any member of his staff attended the meeting through his press assistant Hannah Leveridge, who identified herself as a simple receptionist taking a message. No response, even after a follow up call.
Human Events called the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and left a detailed message requesting comment on the role of money in politics and for a compare and contrast between the Koch brothers and Democracy Alliance with DSCC press secretary Justin Barasky. No response.
In an interview published in the April 15 edition of the New York Times, former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg said he would spend $50 million to restrict gun rights.
To Democracy Alliance, Bloomberg is small potatoes.
DA has funded liberal groups to the tune of $500 million, so far as it approaches its second decade.
One of the real ballers behind DA is New York City hedge fund billionaire Thomas F. Steyer, who told the Washington Post in an April 23 interview that he will spend more than $100 million, $50 million from under his mattress and $50 million from his like-minded friends, to foist his extreme environment agenda on the rest of America.
Steyer is the sugar daddy of the movement to stop the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline, a movement that has become its own industry and whose creation of middle-class jobs for environment activists and lawyers may well rival the 20,000 jobs the Keystone project is slated to need for completion.
Where is the outrage from Reid about the corrosive influence of these two billionaires, who literally are promising to spend their way to political victory?
Steyer has issued an ultimatum to President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party that he will not give them his $100 million if the president approves Keystone.
Where is the outrage that a hedge fund billionaire is ordering the president and his party around like a corrupt political machine boss? There was none. None from the mainstream media and certainly none from the president, who sent his closest courtier to make nice-nice.
A search of the Common Cause site for the term “Koch” turns up nine pages of ominous reports and articles about the threat of the Koch brothers. A search for the same term on the People for the American Way website yields eight pages of similarly ominous sounding articles. A similar search on CREW’s website yielded 10 pages of such articles.
Human Events put in calls to Common Cause, but there was no reply to the voice message, and more importantly, nothing posted on its site about the DA meeting.
There was an April 18 press release: “Secret, Outside Money Will Dominate N.H. Senate Contest Unless Candidates Adopt ‘People’s Pledge,’” but it was a hit piece on former Massachusetts senator Scott P. Brown, now running for Senate in New Hampshire.
Human Events spoke at length Monday morning with Derrick Crowe, the communications director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, requesting comment from CREW about the difference between the Kochs and Democracy Alliance, and how private money is a problem in politics.
Crowe said the Melanie Sloan, the executive director, would have to comment and she was traveling.
In an afternoon conversation, Crowe told Human Events Sloan was still traveling and could not yet comment. Still nothing.
Human Events spoke with Bernardita M. Yunis-Varas, a spokeswoman for People for the American Way Monday morning and after a thorough conversation, with a detailed request for comment on how PFAW feels about money in politics, the Koch brothers and Democracy Alliance, Yunis-Varas promised that a subject matter expert would return the call and participate in an interview.
Well, at least Yunis-Varas kept us from staying up all night with her email: “Thank you for reaching out to our media department. Unfortunately, we have to decline. Thanks and good luck!”
The lesson in all of this, of course is the silence that screams hypocrisy.
It should be also noted that while the millionaires and billionaires supporting the Democracy Alliance want to increase the power of government, which they control, over the lives and businesses of regular Americans, the Koch brothers are contributing to make government smaller, less in their control and less in control of us. #bigdifference