Sources and Uses of Political Money

Rob Stein’s Slide Show

The presentation itself, a collection of about 40 slides titled ”The Conservative Message Machine’s Money Matrix,” essentially makes the case that a handful of families — Scaife, Bradley, Olin, Coors and others — laid the foundation for a $300 million-per-year network of policy centers, advocacy groups and media outlets that now wield great influence over the national agenda. The network, as Stein diagrams it, includes scores of powerful organizations — most of them with bland names like the State Policy Network and the Leadership Institute — that he says train young leaders and lawmakers and promote policy ideas on the national and local level. These groups are, in turn, linked to a massive message apparatus, into which Stein lumps everything from Fox News and the Wall Street Journal op-ed page to Pat Robertson’s ”700 Club.” And all of this, he contends, is underwritten by some 200 ”anchor donors.” ”This is perhaps the most potent, independent institutionalized apparatus ever assembled in a democracy to promote one belief system,” he said.

”We will only succeed if we build an entrepreneurial culture in Democratic politics,” Rosenberg said. ”What we are is this beleaguered group of badly funded, nonscalable nonprofits. You know, Luke Skywalker was able to kill the Death Star with his beleaguered band of warriors, but I’m not sure that that’s the model we should shoot for — shoot the thing down the middle of the tube and hope it blows up the Death Star. We need to build our own answer to the Death Star.” 


(full NYTs article: Wiring the Left)

Axis of (right-wing) Ideology report (press release)
details the effective philanthropic strategies that 79 conservative foundations have used to support the activities of 350 public policy-oriented right-wing think tanks at the federal, state, and local levels. Executive  Summary.

George Bush’s back-door political machine

Mar. 18, 2004  

Describes the 350 tax-exempt, ostensibly non-partisan right-wing organizations, funded largely by the 9 super-rich families identified by Rob Stein.

Impact Conservative Philanthropy on Public School Reform

Nov. 2004  Julia Andrews, Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership