Commentary Magazine


Topic: American Federation of State

Fox Uncovers Anti-Tea-Party Slush-Fund Scam

Fox News persists on covering news others don’t. It seems the “not really a news outlet” has uncovered  a major scam by the Vast Leftwing Conspiracy:

A seemingly grassroots organization that’s mounted an online campaign to counter the tea party movement is actually the front end of an elaborate scheme that funnels funds — including sizable labor union contributions — through the offices of a prominent Democratic party lawyer. A Web site popped up in January dedicated to preventing the tea party’s “radical” and “dangerous” ideas from “gaining legislative traction,” targeting GOP candidates in Illinois for the firing squad.

But how does this happen? It apparently is legal, albeit deceitful:

Here’s how it works: What appears like a local groundswell is in fact the creation of two men — Craig Varoga and George Rakis, Democratic Party strategists who have set up a number of so-called 527 groups, the non-profit election organizations that hammer on contentious issues (think Swift Boats, for example).

Varoga and Rakis keep a central mailing address in Washington, pulling in soft money contributions from unions and other well-padded sources to engage in what amounts to a legal laundering system. The money — tens of millions of dollars — gets circulated around to different states by the 527s, which pay for TV ads, Internet campaigns and lobbyist salaries, all while keeping the hands of the unions clean — for the most part.

Fox has the list of donors, which comprises a set of interlocking slush-type funds that pay for the anti–Tea Party campaign. The largest of these is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME,) which has kicked in a total of $9.9M in a single year to two funds that provide the cash for the non-grassroots movement. Yes — government workers’ money is being used to fend off Tea Party protesters.–

It seems that the Tea Party movement, once defamed and derided, now poses a threat to the liberal establishment, so much so that they are collecting millions to undermine it. Conservatives shouldn’t object to political speech — which this is. But there is certainly grounds to object to the chicanery, the lack of transparency, and the pretense that the opponents of the Tea Parties are themselves grassroots activists. They aren’t — this is Big Labor and assorted liberal-interest groups once again doing the bidding of the Democratic party. And if not for Fox, no one would be any the wiser.

Fox News persists on covering news others don’t. It seems the “not really a news outlet” has uncovered  a major scam by the Vast Leftwing Conspiracy:

A seemingly grassroots organization that’s mounted an online campaign to counter the tea party movement is actually the front end of an elaborate scheme that funnels funds — including sizable labor union contributions — through the offices of a prominent Democratic party lawyer. A Web site popped up in January dedicated to preventing the tea party’s “radical” and “dangerous” ideas from “gaining legislative traction,” targeting GOP candidates in Illinois for the firing squad.

But how does this happen? It apparently is legal, albeit deceitful:

Here’s how it works: What appears like a local groundswell is in fact the creation of two men — Craig Varoga and George Rakis, Democratic Party strategists who have set up a number of so-called 527 groups, the non-profit election organizations that hammer on contentious issues (think Swift Boats, for example).

Varoga and Rakis keep a central mailing address in Washington, pulling in soft money contributions from unions and other well-padded sources to engage in what amounts to a legal laundering system. The money — tens of millions of dollars — gets circulated around to different states by the 527s, which pay for TV ads, Internet campaigns and lobbyist salaries, all while keeping the hands of the unions clean — for the most part.

Fox has the list of donors, which comprises a set of interlocking slush-type funds that pay for the anti–Tea Party campaign. The largest of these is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME,) which has kicked in a total of $9.9M in a single year to two funds that provide the cash for the non-grassroots movement. Yes — government workers’ money is being used to fend off Tea Party protesters.–

It seems that the Tea Party movement, once defamed and derided, now poses a threat to the liberal establishment, so much so that they are collecting millions to undermine it. Conservatives shouldn’t object to political speech — which this is. But there is certainly grounds to object to the chicanery, the lack of transparency, and the pretense that the opponents of the Tea Parties are themselves grassroots activists. They aren’t — this is Big Labor and assorted liberal-interest groups once again doing the bidding of the Democratic party. And if not for Fox, no one would be any the wiser.

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