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5,940 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Read and find out. Insert "No-fishing zones" for "Campaign Finance Reform". SAME EXACT THING!

Note: This is from WSJ.COM (The Wall Street Journal). It's a restricted site so I'm posting the entire article. I not as concerned about McCain-Feingold as I am about PEW's ability to encourage the banning of sportfishing along significant portions of the entire US Coast.

John Fund On The Trail

How liberal foundations fooled Congress into passing McCain-Feingold.

March 21, 2005

If a political gaffe consists of inadvertently revealing the truth, then Sean Treglia, a former program officer for the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts, has just ripped the curtain off of the "good government" groups that foisted the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill on the country in 2002. The bill's restrictions on political speech have the potential for great mischief; just last month a member of the Federal Election Commission warned they could limit the activities of bloggers and other Internet commentators.

What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."

The truth was far different. Mr. Treglia admits that campaign-finance supporters had to try to hoodwink Congress because "they had lost legitimacy inside Washington because they didn't have a constituency that would punish Congress if they didn't vote for reform."

So instead, according to Mr. Treglia, liberal reform groups created a Potemkin movement. A study last month by the Political Money Line, a nonpartisan Web site dealing with campaign funding issues, found that of the $140 million spent to directly promote liberal campaign reform in the last decade, a full $123 million came from just eight liberal foundations. Many are the same foundations that provide much of the money for such left-wing groups as People for the American Way and the Earth Action Network. The "movement" behind campaign-finance reform resembled many corporate campaigns pushing legislation. It consisted largely of "Astroturf" rather than true "grass-roots" support.

But the results were spectacular. Not only did the effort succeed in bulldozing Congress and President Bush, but it might have played a role in persuading the Supreme Court, which had previously ruled against broad restrictions on political speech, to declare McCain-Feingold constitutional in 2003 on a 5-4 vote. "You will see that almost half the footnotes relied on by the Supreme Court in upholding the law are research funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts," Mr. Treglia boasted.

Reporters are used to attempts to hoodwink officials into thinking an issue is genuinely popular, and they frequently expose them. But when "good government" groups like the Center for Public Integrity engage in the same tactics, journalists usually ignore it. Perhaps that's because Washington media types overwhelmingly wanted McCain-Feingold to pass.

It will be interesting to see if, in light of Mr. Treglia's comments, reporters continue to do so. The tape of his remarks, which Post editorial writer Ryan Sager unearthed, could provide material for a dozen stories on how campaign finance reform was really passed. The editors of Political Money Line note that while the 10-year lobbying effort to pass campaign-finance reform was a small effort as lobbying campaigns go, it succeeded in changing the fundamental rules of American politics.

The foundation blueprint may also be a model for future campaigns, as more nonprofit 501(c)3 groups (which rarely make lists of their donors public) get involved in the Social Security and legal reform debates. "We can watch the lighted [disclosed] money avenues, provide a roadmap of routes, and report on traffic patterns," says Kent Cooper of Political Money Line. "But it may be harder when most of the traffic is shifting to the unlit avenues used by 501(c) organizations."

In his recorded comments, Mr. Treglia expressed satisfaction at how the Pew Charitable Trusts were able to avoid public scrutiny of the $40 million the foundation poured into the campaign. "The strategy was designed not to hide Pew's involvement . . . but most of Pew's funding," he said. "I advised Pew that Pew that Pew should be in the background. And by law, the grantees always have to disclose. But I always encouraged the grantees never to mention Pew."

He acknowledged that this created an appearance problem. "Did we push the envelope? Yeah. Were we encouraged internally to push the envelope? Yeah. . . . We stayed with the letter, if not the spirit, of the law." But the subterfuge was indeed necessary. "If Congress thought this was a Pew effort, it'd be worthless," he confessed. Hence the need "to convey the impression that this was something coming naturally from beyond the Beltway."

The efforts of Pew and the other liberal foundations, which include George Soros's Open Society Institute and the Carnegie Corp., were aided by the news media's complicity. The American Prospect, a liberal magazine, put out a special issue on campaign finance reform in 2000 that was paid for by a $132,000 Carnegie grant--a fact the magazine failed to disclose.

National Public Radio openly accepted $1.2 million from liberal foundations to provide such items as "coverage of financial influence in political decision-making." Its campaign finance reporter, Peter Overby, is a former editor of the magazine put out by Common Cause, a major supporter of McCain-Feingold. No one suggests there was direct collusion between NPR and campaign finance lobbies. With the money and personnel available to NPR, there didn't need to be. Sympathetic stories on the need for campaign finance reform flowed naturally. Sounds like the kind of "faux news" that liberals are complaining the Bush administration was guilty of engineering when it put out video press releases or provided conservative commentator Armstrong Williams with a grant.

The media simply didn't think the involvement of liberal foundations in bankrolling campaign finance reform was a story. Mr. Treglia admits that "we had a scare" after George Will "stumbled across a report that we had done and attacked it in his column." But he said nothing came of it. "Journalists didn't care. . . . There was a panic there for a couple weeks, because we thought the story was going to begin to gather steam, and no one picked it up." And they easily could have. Mr. Treglia admitted that despite all the efforts to hide the attempt to deceive Congress about the true origins of the campaign finance reform lobby, "if any reporter wanted to know, they could have sat down and connected the dots. But they didn't."

Mr. Treglia isn't talking to reporters about his remarks at USC. But he has released a statement saying "it is incorrect to suggest that [Pew] would attempt to deceive or mislead about its funding efforts. I regret that my comments have led to any confusion." Rebecca Remel, Pew's president and CEO, says that "any assertion that we tried to hide our support of campaign finance reform grantees is false." No doubt Pew did comply with the technical requirements of the law, but it also certainly didn't follow the kind of transparency standards it demands of politicians or corporations.

The successful stealth campaign by the eight liberal foundations means we now have to live in the Brave New World of McCain-Feingold. Bradley Smith, a Federal Election Commission member, made news this month by warning that bloggers could face federal regulation because a federal judge had thrown out their legal exemption from campaign finance regulations. The Internet has been burning up with concern that bloggers could be hauled into court for, as Mr. Smith puts it, "any decision by an individual to put a link [to a political candidate] on their home page, set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done." Mr. Smith warns that "it's very likely that the Internet is going to be regulated" by the FEC unless "Congress is willing to stand up and say, 'Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear.' "

McCain-Feingold did little in last year's elections to limit the influence of money in politics, but a great deal to benefit incumbents and harm true grass-roots politics. Its ban on using soft money to run issue ads in the 60 days before an election mean that such ads will run earlier, make campaigns longer and allow incumbents to avoid criticism of their voting records. David Mason, who serves with Mr. Smith on the FEC, says that the incredible complexity of the bill is likely to lead to "invidious enforcement, singling out disfavored groups or causes" and "subjecting regulated groups to harassment by political opponents."

The next time Congress debates further "reform" of the rules for conducting elections, it would behoove all of us to learn who is really behind the effort, and what their true motives might be.

[ 03-22-2005, 07:30 PM: Message edited by: egghead ]

10,023 Posts
I prefered this headline:

Conflict of Interest Means Pew Research Is Criminally Biased


Startling news this morning from The New York Post's editorial page, supplemented by extensive detail from the Wall Street Journal's John Fund. In essence: Congress was duped into passing the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform (CFR) bill by what appears to be money-laundering on the part of 8 liberal foundations, who supplied nearly all of the money to create the illusion of a national grass-roots campaign demanding CFR.

Same old story on their part, donate millions to established non profits, colleges, or research/think tanks etc. in order to influence their opinion. This classic Pew stlye, sounds framiliar doesn't it? Hell they are even bragging they influenced the Supreme Court!

"You will see that almost half the footnotes relied on by the Supreme Court in upholding the law are research funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts."

5,940 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Conflict of Interest Means Pew Research Is Criminally Biased

<In the voice of a Pew-funded university-research marine biologists>
How could you say that? The $150,000 grant and the hint of a fellowship at the Pew marine lab in Miami had absolutely nothing to do with my publishing a paper on the wonders marine reserves!

10,023 Posts

Conflict of Interest Means Pew Research Is Criminally Biased

How do they do it????...Check out their resources...

In 2003, with approximately $4.1 billion in dedicated assets, the Trusts committed more than $143 million to 151 nonprofit organizations.

Money talks.

782 Posts
The tip of the iceberg. He will have a $35-40 million budget every year like clockwork to influence decisions.

You haven't seen anything yet. The power struggle has just begun.

Joshua S. Reichert, PhD
Director, Policy Initiatives and the Environment Program

Joshua Reichert is a social anthropologist with broad experience in environmental protection, international development and indigenous affairs. Prior to joining the Trusts in 1990, he held a variety of positions in both non-profit and governmental organizations including the National Security Archive in Washington D.C., Conservation International, the Veatch Foundation in New York, the Inter-American Foundation in Washington D.C., and the United Farmworkers of America.

Josh is the author of approximately 50 publications and has co-produced various films on the marine environment. His work has appeared in over 100 newspapers throughout the United States. He received a B.S. from the University of California at Davis and Masters and Ph.D degrees in social anthropology from Princeton University.

The environment program, under Josh's direction, promotes policies that protect the global atmosphere, conserve marine fisheries, and preserve large intact wilderness and forest ecosystems in North America. Josh also oversees our Improving Elections work.


Guest Column by Joshua Reichert

On several occasions articles have appeared in Commercial Fisheries News regarding the marine work of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Given the strong interest that we and the readers of Commercial Fisheries News have in both fish and fishermen, we thought it would be helpful to provide some information about the Trusts and our work in the marine environment.
The Pew Charitable Trusts were established in 1948 by four children of Joseph N. Pew, the founder of the Sun Oil Company. The programs of the Trusts encompass six different thematic areas including health, education, public policy, religion, culture, and the environment.
Initially, a significant portion of the Trusts' assets were invested in stock of the Sun Oil Company. Over time, however, the Trusts' shares in the Sun Oil Company were sold as part of an ongoing effort to diversify holdings. Like many foundations in the United States, the assets of the Trusts are now invested in many economic sectors.
The environmental investments of the Trusts are limited predominantly to the United States and Canada and focus on achieving three goals: protecting wilderness and old-growth forests; reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming; and restoring a healthy balance to the nation's marine environment in ways that will protect our ocean resources as well as the livelihoods of those who depend on them.
Why oceans?

Why our interest in the sea? First, because oceans cover over 70% of the surface of the Earth and are vital to our survival. They play a critical role in regulating the global climate, produce over 50% of the oxygen we breathe, and help to process, transform, and detoxify a large number of pollutants produced by human society.
More than 80% of all life on Earth is found in the sea. Over half of the world's population live within 60 kilometers of the coast and the figure is expected to increase to as much as 75% within the next several decades. Roughly 16% of the animal protein consumed in the world comes from fish, and tens of millions of people are dependent, either directly or indirectly, on fishing for their livelihood.
By all indications the oceans are in trouble. For generations, Americans have become increasingly concerned with damage to those things with which we are most familiar - the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land around us.
We have paid far less attention to the sea despite its importance to our lives. We are only now beginning to realize what a mistake this has been.
For too long we have used the oceans as a garbage dump. We have destroyed roughly half of the world's wetlands that serve as nurseries for fish and help cleanse many of the pollutants we generate. Over two-thirds of the world's fisheries are fully exploited, overfished, or depleted. Numerous species of marine mammals, including all six species of sea turtles found in US waters, are threatened with extinction. And the vast majority of the world's coral reefs are at risk from pollution, destructive fishing practices, and global warming.
The Pew Trusts focus on a wide variety of problems affecting the sea, including pollution, the spread of invasive species, the destruction of coastal habitat, etc.
Our primary emphasis is on fishing, however, simply because unsustainable fishing practices have the biggest negative impact on the marine environment globally. Although the task of reducing the scope and severity of a number of problems related to fishing, such as excess capacity, overfishing, bycatch, and the use of particularly destructive gear types, is far from simple, these problems are fixable.
Moreover, targeted efforts to address them now rather than letting them grow worse will provide huge benefits to fish, as well as to the men and women who catch them and consumers.
No fish, no fishermen

Needless to say, declining fish populations spell trouble for fishermen, their families, and the broader communities where they live. We do not want to see the kinds of fishery collapses in the future that we have had in recent years - collapses due entirely to the failure to properly manage these fisheries in ways that will ensure an abundance of fish, a healthy marine environment, and jobs for fishermen.
The collapse of the cod fishery in Nova Scotia and the closure of Georges Bank, some of the most productive fishing grounds in the world, have brought terrible hardship to many fishing communities. There is no reason why this should happen in the future.
Reversing the current situation will not be pain free. It will require reductions in fishing effort in some parts of the country, and with some stocks. It also will require changes in fishing practices that are particularly destructive to the marine environment.
A future with no fish is also one with no fishermen. We care about both. This is the simple reason behind our efforts to help restore a healthy balance to the marine environment. Allowing the current situation to deteriorate further would be a tragedy not only for the marine environment which provides a wide array of important services for the nation as a whole, but for the many people who depend on the sea directly and indirectly for a living.

Joshua Reichert directs the Environment Program of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Extinction, survival or recovery of large predatory fishes

We conclude that management of multi-species fisheries needs to be tailored to the most sensitive, rather than the more robust species. This requires reductions in fishing effort, reduction in bycatch mortality and protection of key areas to initiate recovery of severely depleted communities.

"PEW and Reichert?s relationship with Greenpeace is rock solid. Reichert is a frequent co-author of articles with John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA."

Grants Overview 2002

Oil Money Gone Good?
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