The number of anti-science decisions the federal government has made in recent years is staggering: axing the...
Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Lewis Powell Memo, a document that set the stage for the creation of the echo chamber that protects corporate interests ahead of the public interest. A corporate lawyer and well-known tobacco industry defender at the time, Lewis Powell wrote this influential memo to a friend at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce laying out a strategy to develop a long-term campaign to set up corporate front groups and think tanks to manufacture the appearance of credibility for corporate interests.
The echo chamber that the right wing constructed over the past four decades since Powell’s infamous memo has played a central role in blocking action on climate change and a host of other public health and environmental threats. This unethical corporate propaganda mill capitalizes on the dark side of social sciences, preying upon people’s biases and encouraging them to support and defend corporate interests above their own.
Charlie Cray from Greenpeace USA has written an excellent overview of the significance of the Lewis Powell memo, and with the kind permission of Greenpeace, we share Charlie’s piece in full below. Please read it, share it widely, and help to shine a bright spotlight on this document. If more people understood the roots of this corporate propaganda campaign, perhaps they would become immune to its influence.
The Lewis Powell Memo - Corporate Blueprint To Dominate Democracy
by Charlie Cray, Greenpeace USA
Lord Christopher Monckton, infamous for his “Hitler Youth” comments at the Copenhagen climate summit, is among the guest speakers at this week’s Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, DC. Organized by FreedomWorks, the sister organization of Americans for Prosperity, the Tax Day Tea Party at the Washington Monument will also feature appearances from FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey and President Matt Kibbe, right wing publisher Andrew Breitbart, Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson.
With a cast of characters this deep, sparks are sure to fly.
Lord Monckton has continued the crazed rampage he started at the Americans For Prosperity event at the Copenhagen climate summit, where he repeatedly called American college students advocating for clean energy the “Hitler Youth” and “Nazis.” Monckton took it way too far when he told Jewish student Ben Wessel, whose grandparents escaped the Holocaust, “I am not going to shake the hand of Hitler youth.”
Despite extensive video evidence, Monckton went on to lie to the Associated Press, claiming that he never uttered those words. More recently, Monckton called President Obama a “monster” during his speech at a GOP fundraiser in Wisconsin, which followed another of his paid appearances for Americans for Prosperity.
An organization called “Americans for Prosperity” has been working overtime to fight government action on climate change and greenhouse gas reduction strategies. You might remember their State-by-State grassroots “Hot Air Tour”.
The Hot Air tour’s tagline was “Exposing the Ballooning Costs of Global Warming Hysteria.” More recently the AFP ran a $140,000 TV ad campaign in Viriginia promising to “expose the hypocrisy and outrageous economic costs of so-called global warming regulations, taxes, and green energy plans.”
So who’s behind the AFP? And why are they so bent on seeing further delay in government action on an issue that the top scientists at the nation’s best institutes are saying needs to be dealt with now?
Our research team at DeSmog has put together a briefing note on the AFP, their history and most importantly who funds them.
AFP, and its former incarnation the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation, are the third largest recipient of funding from the Koch Family of Foundations, which is run by the ultra-conservative oil baron Charles G. Koch. The Koch Family of Foundations has been a major funding source for many of the think tanks that are in the business of delaying action on climate change issues.
What follows is the information we’ve pulled together on the AFP and the Koch Family of Foundations.
You can find our permanent page on the AFP here: Americans for Prosperity - research and background information.