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Many of the Washington interest groups that are seeking to shape final health-care legislation in the coming weeks operate with opaque financing, often receiving hidden support from insurers, drugmakers or unions. The groups, some newly formed and others reappearing with different sponsors, have spent months staging noisy protests, organizing letter-writing campaigns and contributing to a record $200 million advertising blitz on health-care reform…
The Institute for Liberty, for example, was a one-man conservative interest group with a Virginia post office box and less than $25,000 in revenue in 2008. Now, the organization has a Web site, a downtown Washington office and a $1 million advocacy campaign opposing President Obama’s health-care plans.
Andrew Langer, the group’s president, said the organization receives no funding from health-care firms but declined to provide details. “This year has been really serendipitous for us,” he said. “But we don’t talk about specific donors.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”