Corporate Tea: Who’s Who

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    This is not a tea party – it’s a corporate riot.  

    The media’s myth of the Tea Party as some sort of grassroots “people’s revolution” continues to fall apart as it becomes clearer and clearer that an election that was supposed to be driven by angry housewives and farmers is actually being purchased by very well-heeled corporate interests.  The real story continues to unfold – with many players hiding in the shadows behind tax laws and the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, allowing untold millions to be anonymously donated.  

    Who’s who?  To help you keep track of the eager prospective purchasers of a Republican House and Senate, here are just some of the key players, from A-Z – follow the money:

    American Crossroads & American Crossroads GPS:  This is one GPS leading you in the WRONG direction.  Karl Rove’s new enterprise (after his last one, the Bush presidency, was such a smashing success) now aims to spend a total of $65 million on this election.  Oh, by the way, as Greg Sargent and Kos point out, much of the what they say about Democrats in their ads has been documented as factually incorrect.  Big money plus big lies – a match made in Hell!

    Americans for Prosperity: AFP and its ugly sister foundation are planning to raise and spend $45 million this season to elect Republicans. SourceWatch reminds us: “Americans for Prosperity created an offshoot front group called Patients United Now, which organized what is estimated to be in excess of three hundred rallies against health-care reform. Patients United Now also helped organize “Kill the Bill” protests outside the Capitol, in March 2010, where Democratic supporters of health-care reform alleged that they were spat on and cursed at.”  You know, those spontaneous, grassroots health care protests, not?

    Freedom Works:  Dick Armey’s dick army gets funding from corporate interests like Koch to give Tea Party groups training, endorsements, the works, as it has from the start.

    Koch Industries: The New Yorker did a full length story in August on how the Koch brothers, owners of this oil conglomerate, created both Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which conveniently implement their financial interests – as do the network of climate denial organizations and outlets that cast doubt on climate change in order to protect the stock prices of companies like, um – Koch Industries!

    NewsCorp:  Yes, you know about Rupert Murdock and Fox News, but here’s your friendly reminder that they recently donated $1 million to the Republican Governor’s Association and an additional $1 million to the Chamber of Commerce, making “fair and balanced” a serious contender for most ironic phrase of all time…

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce:  Corporate America’s best friend is pledging to spend $75 million as a 501(c)(6) not required to disclose its donors. ThinkProgress, which broke the story of alleged foreign donors to the Chamber, has followed up with more evidence that money from places like Bahrain is fueling the Chamber’s vast war chest.

    For more info, see People for the American Way’s detailed guide to the Tea Party’s corporate sponsors and keep your eye on Kos, which is tracking this motley crew on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis.  

    And just remember, next time you hear the Republicans or the media talk about how the “people” are going to sweep right wingers into office, give them an earful about the fat cats hiding behind said people.  This is some mighty expensive tea, folks.