Yesterday twelve new reports were jointly announced by CMD and ProgressNow research groups in a press release. The findings of these comprehensive reports expose the involvement of a nefarious network operating under the umbrella of the State Policy Network (SPN), an $83 million web of right-wing "think tanks" embedded in every state across the country. This network, operating under guidance from the Koch brothers, Charles and David, is responsible for many "spin-off" organizations and groups such as American's for Prosperity, American's for Tax Reform and the Tea Party. Through their joint efforts our public school systems, healthcare, rights to vote, tort "reforms" and other key initiatives are funded and the conservative position on each advanced. In effect this is a highly organized and influential network used to advance a political agenda expressing only one point of view. Additionally nearly every member of this Cabal operates as a non-profit entity with tax exempt status, allowing the millions spent to be recouped as tax deductible "contributions" and/or operations. The goal sought is to allow a minority to gain and exert control and power over the majority.
For three plus years now VLTP, CMD and several other research groups have reported that through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Koch brothers along with well known affluent and influential "families" such as the Waltons, (WalMart), Coors, Scaifes, DeVos' and Bradleys have funded numerous organizations, institutes, think tanks and foundations to coordinate and advance a RW agenda against American workers, consumers and voters. I have continuously referred to this network as "the Cabal". Websters defines a cabal thus:
"1 : the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also : a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues"Wikipedia provides perhaps the best description of a cabal - and it precisely describes this heretofore secret network...
"A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue. Cabals are sometimes secret societies composed of a few designing persons, and at other times are manifestations of emergent behavior in society or governance on the part of a community of persons who have well established public affiliation or kinship. The term can also be used to refer to the designs of such persons or to the practical consequences of their emergent behavior, and also holds a general meaning of intrigue and conspiracy. The use of this term usually carries strong connotations of shadowy corners, back rooms and insidious influence. The term is frequently used in conspiracy theories..."The founder of ALEC, Heritage Foundation, the Free Congress Foundation and co-founder of Christian Voice and the Moral Majority was Paul Weyrich who used initial funding provided by the Coors family to launch those RW organizations. Previously we reported on Weyrich's "manifesto" (written by Eric Heubeck) that was published by Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation in 2001, titled; The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement. This document provides a literal written road map used by ultra-Conservatives to subvert democracy and wrest it from the hands of Americans.
A read of this disgusting but important document reveals that this is indeed the path used over the past 13 years that has totally changed the political atmosphere of the U.S. Prophetically, Heubeck and Weyrich describe their methodology as "dominionism":
"According to TheocracyWatch, and the Anti-Defamation League, both Weyrich and his Free Congress Foundation were closely associated with Dominionism.TheocracyWatch listed both as leading examples of "dominionism in action," citing "a manifesto from Paul Weyrich's Free Congress Foundation", The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement "illuminates the tactics of the dominionist movement". TheocracyWatch, which calls it 'Paul Weyrich's Training Manual' and others consider this manifesto a virtual playbook for how the "theocratic right" in American politics can get and keep power. The Anti-Defamation League identified Weyrich and the Free Congress Foundation as part of an alliance of more than 50 of the most prominent conservative Christian leaders and organizations that threaten the separation of church and state. Weyrich continued to reject allegations that he advocated theocracy, saying, "[T]his statement is breathtaking in its bigotry", and dismissed the claim that the Christian right wished to transform America into a theocracy.Katherine Yurica wrote that Weyrich guided Eric Heubeck in writing The Integration of Theory and Practice, the Free Congress Foundation's strategic plan published in 2001 by the FCF, which she says calls for the use of deception, misinformation and divisiveness to allow conservative evangelical Christian Republicans to gain and keep control of seats of power in the government of the United States."The above treatise has been more successful than even Weyrich could have predicted. Today two key ALEC alumni sit atop the pinnacle of our House of Representatives - Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor. From positions of nearly unlimited legislative power, these two men ensure that the wishes of the Cabal are carried out at the federal level. Another 80 members of the House of Representatives are also ALEC alumni - as are 11 U,S, Senators.
We see the guidance of the Cabal in the behavior of ALEC affiliated lawmakers today on key initiatives: Senators - James Inhofe, Michael Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), James Inhofe (R-OK), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jerry Moran (R-KS),Jim Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Many of these Senators appear in the media daily, sent out to speak on behalf of the Cabal for or against issues important to Americans; healthcare, voter suppression, right to work, privatization of public schools and dozens more.
They represent the true face of disinformation. Nationally ALEC's membership of elected state lawmakers number nearly 2,000 today and are used to disseminate legislation written and then pursued by the Cabal state by state. Over the past decade or so ALEC's influence has spread from states through the federal level and internationally to foreign governments. Currently ALEC has more than 18 foreign elected officials holding full membership and sitting down alongside corporate representatives and state lawmakers to help craft legislation that later becomes the law in many U.S. states. Other devoted alumni now hold positions as Governors of many states: Ohio (Kasich), Wisconsin (Walker), Arizona (Brewer) and many former Governors were also alumni or acolytes of ALEC and the cabal, as reported in ALEC Alumni data compiled in 2002 :
Michigan Governor John Engler 1993 Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award Recipient, Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, 2000 Thomas Jefferson Freedom Award Recipient, Colorado Governor Bill Owens, New York Governor George Pataki, Connecticut Governor John Rowland, Past Governors: Idaho Governor Phil Batt, South Carolina Governor David Beasley, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, ALEC Founding Member/1996 ALEC Pioneer Award, Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.This alumni list reveals that the first Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge was in fact an ALEC alum - as was Andrew Card who served as the White House chief of staff for the first five years of George W. Bush's presidency. Additionally, as in Ohio, an active ALEC member, Representative Todd Snitchler was chosen by ALEC alum Governor Kasich as Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). In that capacity Snitchler immediately raised rates for electric power for two of ALEC's corporate members, American Electric Power (AEP) and Duke Energy - only to have to revoke the rate increases two months later. Just this week news from Ohio involving PUCO and AEP revealed the Commission refused to negotiate on behalf of an aluminum company with AEP to ease rates and keep the company in business. Snitchler's action caused the shuttering of Ormet Corp., an aluminum smelting giant along the Ohio River and the onetime largest customer of American Electric Power. About 1,000 workers — mostly unionized steelworkers — are out of work. This development comes as no surprise to most after Governor Kasich's pursuit of anti-union legislation a couple of years ago.
Two weeks ago in Nevada, ALEC's state Chair, Senator Barbara Cegasvke announcedshe will run for the office of Nevada's Secretary of State in next year's election. With appointments and election wins through the backing of the Cabal, it now has a sprinkling of hundreds of alumni or members serving as lawmakers, holding key cabinet positions, chairmanships of state departments and agencies. Each of these individuals pursue the mandates of the Cabal with regard to education, energy, state and federal regulations and contribute to the continued successes of this network.
Kudos to the hard work, research and connecting of the dots by CMD and ProgressNow's team of researchers. I know this report took a substantial amount of effort to ferret out the connections, track the exchange of money through tax exempt contributions and donations. What their work reveals - quite clearly now - is that in America a truly "shadow government" operated by a minority faction is secretly operating at all levels. Due to it's secrecy this Cabal has enjoyed success after success for two or more decades without the public ever knowing of it's existence. Now that this existence has been made public, I hope American's will realize how they have been duped by Cabal owned media outlets into accepting this network's deception and misinformation as fact - and will take the steps necessary in their communities and at the polls to free us all from their talon-like grip. The CMD/ProgressNow report findings clearly show the efforts of this network to permanently change important programs to all of us; education, healthcare, social security, medicare and operations such as the USPS - in search of control and through that control, enrichment of the families at the top of the SPN "food chain".