Thursday, February 16, 2012

Will the Real Anonymous Donor Please Stand Up

In the hoo hah about the Heartland Institute document leak, one of the most interesting questions is who is the real anonymous donor,

Anonymous Donor: We expect the Anonymous Donor to contribute $1,250,000 in 2012 in gifts for budgeted projects, 28 percent more than he contributed in 2011, but still less than he contributed in any other year since 2004. He already pledged to give $1 million in January.
obviously someone that Joe Bast, the Heartland Instutite President holds close. While lots of people think the Kochs, Eli has another candidate, John Menard, Jr., owner of a large chain of home improvement stores.

Why Menard, well, Menard is real rich which is a good start. In reading the HI proposed budget and other documents, "Operation Angry Badger" stood out
A research and education project built to take advantage of the public interest in Wisconsin’s Act 10 generated by recall elections that could take place. Publications Dept. budget includes printing and mailing three reports and brochures.

$60,000 Design and place ads in 10 small newspapers reporting teacher salaries and benefits, 10 @ $6,000.
$31,500 HL staff will create and launch blogs allowing volunteers and allies to post information about Act 10 that their local newspapers aren’t covering.
with an additional $205,000 to publish and distribute "The Benefits of Wisconsin’s Act 10", "Are Wisconsin’s Teachers Underpaid?". Act 10 is the antiunion law that touched off massive protests and the recall election for Gov. Walker. Now others are following the idea that this campaign will invalidate Heartland's IRS status, but Eli went looking for someone with lots of $$, an anti-union, bias, a tendency to stay in the shadows and a backer of Scott. Out popped John Menard. Just sayin it's a possibility


Steve Bloom said...

I still prefer Barre Seid, who has a history with Bast (the latter havibng acted as one of Seid's proxies in the college takeover attempt) and whose proxy just went on the HI board in January. Seid also has a history anonymously funding propaganda campaigns, having apparently been the deep pockets behind the $17M production and national distribution of an Islamophobic "documentary" in 2008.

But JM says he thinks AD might be more than one person, although he didn't say why he thought that might be.

Anonymous said...

All your anonymous doner belong to us !

Anonymous said...

In DC's comments, there's a good case made that its Barre Seid:

- Specific association with Joe Bast. (Apart from being a known recipient of Seid Foundation largesse in the past, Bast was one of Seid’s chosen goons in the attempted takeover of Shimer College — Chicago’s stubbornly and still very much independent Great Books college — in 2009-2010)
- A fetish for anonymity in general, even when donating to organizations that are already known recipients of Seid Foundation grants. At Shimer, too, Seid was known as the “Anonymous Donor” (with caps).

turboblocke said...

That's an odd looking link from anonymous with the double "v" to make the W at the beginning.
I'm not going there.

bigcitylib said...

AT DC they make a good case that its Barre Seid:

-Specific association with Joe Bast. (Apart from being a known recipient of Seid Foundation largesse in the past, Bast was one of Seid’s chosen goons in the attempted takeover of Shimer College — Chicago’s stubbornly and still very much independent Great Books college — in 2009-2010)

- A fetish for anonymity in general, even when donating to organizations that are already known recipients of Seid Foundation grants. At Shimer, too, Seid was known as the “Anonymous Donor” (with caps).

Anonymous said...

Save Big Money At Menards!

By shopping at dumpsters and junk piles.

J Bowers said...

I see, at Lucia's, Mosher has asked for crowdsourcing on anything Peter Gleick's written, to compare with the alleged fake document. He finds the use of parentheses unusual. Strange how I find six uses of them in Heartland Replies to Nature, by....

Anonymous said...


VVhat's vvrong vvith double v's?

Hank Roberts said...

"http://vvattsupwiththat" sez it's Russell's new parody site; not sure who Russell is, I've seen the name around associated with fancy photoshopping parody images about climate for a while, and also in posts at climate sites. But ... woof.

KAP said...

Page 21 of the fundraising plan lists specific projects funded by the Anonymous Donor, and Operation Angry Badger is not among them. So I think your thesis is shaky.

J Bowers said...

And Sphaerica turns up another parenthesis riddled piece by Bast.

Anonymous said...

And there goes Pielke:

Should I not have asked him the question? I think that in all fairness if I was going to link to the speculation from my blog (which I did) it was at the same time only fair to offer Peter the chance to respond. Should I have not given him that chance? "

Pielke never considers that:
a) maybe linking willy-nilly to speculation about a specific individual is not so nice
b) that perhaps asking someone in a public forum (eg twitter) is not the only way to ask a question: he could have, if he was being honest about his motives, let Gleick know privately that people were speculating, and offer to let Gleick respond publicly... but by making it public to start, that instantly tars Gleick, and limits his options.


(but, then, as we all know, Pielke is the sort of person who will call in an undergrad to give bad answers to statistical questions. Or make up a fictional undergrad to do the same. I don't know which is worse. Or if Pielke ever ended up admitting his error...)

John Mashey said...

I do not understand KAP's comment, unless KAP doesn't understand the charity business. It clearly says that $100K is pledged for Angry Badger, and maybe more will come from A.D.

I'm a 10-year Trustee of a 501(c)(3) ~same size. I've seen this sort of thing many a time. Somebody (in this case Bast) has discussed projects with the major donor he's worked with for years.
The money is pledged ... although when A.D. is revealed, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Meanwhile, I observe that badgers eat rabbits, and I'd guess that WI might have a lot of angry badgers not appreciating Chicago folks messing in their politics. They may not recognize friend from foe, so bunnies might be wise to stay away fro a while.

J Bowers said...

Heartland Senior Fellow, Ross Kaminsky, directly points the finger at Peter Gleick for the alleged theft of the documents in a post at the American Spectator. Heartland's cage has been so rattled they've completely lost the plot. Apparently, Heartland Insider got the documents over a few sessions, not one.

The irony is that, by attacking Peter Gleick in this way, they're fulfiiling precisely what the disputed document said they should do with regards to "alarmist" Forbes contributors.

Anonymous said...

IANAL, but...

Don't Ross Kaminsky's words consitute libel?

Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq.

logicman said...

Does John Menard Jr. like what Heartland has to say on taxes, perhaps?

Hank Roberts said...

> Wisconsin

Alas, I miss Paul Wellstone.

Anonymous said...

Don't Ross Kaminsky's words consitute libel?

Oh, libel doesn't matter, see the leaked document "Minutes of Jan 17 meeting":

"It was agreed that a policy would be purchased no less than two weeks following the meeting provided a policy could be found that covered libel/slander/defamation. It was also agreed that two possible leads for lower-cost insurance would be pursued."


Hank Roberts said...

PS, if you have money in a credit union in the US, contact them about the Credit Union National Association, which donated upwards of $25,000/year to Heartland, per their 2010 Fundraising Plan pdf file, p. 23.

search "FIRE" "CFIRE"

It's mentioned in a press release for a new hire last fall

"The Heartland Institute ... Center on Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate..... promote market-based solutions ... risk-based pricing.... Lehmann replaces Arin Greenwood, who left Heartland for a position as an editor for The Huffington Post...."

Hm. Risk? What risk?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Barre Seid is almost certainly it...

In one of the packets (budget?) there is a resume for a VP from an executive at Trippe Manufacturing, which coincidentally is owned by Barre Seid. Hmmm.... I made the connection on reading the first couple of paragraphs of this.

Steve Bloom said...

I noted that in the first comment of this thread, RN, and also that the guy went onto the HI board. It is much more than coincidence that the henchman came on at the same time that the AD vastly ramped up his support.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so Heartland Institute is still taking blood money from a convicted tax fraud and duty evasion corporation on two continents, a company called RJ Reynolds.

This addictive product they sell, is directly responsible for the death of 5,000,000 people annually.

Youtube video link:

I thus would rate Heartland Institute standards of openness , honesty and integrity, as far to low to rate!

J Bowers said...

Daily Kos proposes Seid as well..

John Mashey said...

It will not be long before A.D. is confirmed in MSM .... and this is not merely embarrassing.

Chicago, 1929: St. Valenine's Day Massacre.
"Public outrage over The St. Valentine's Day Massacre marked the beginning of the end to Capone's influence in Chicago. ... The massacre also brought the belated attention of the federal government to bear on Capone and his criminal activities."

It was rumored Capone did some Bad Things on occasion, but tax evasion put him behind bars...

Chicago: 2012...

John Mashey said...

Well, OK, maybe not massacre,
but St. Valentines' Day Expose.

Ross Kaminsky said...

Any of you want to apologize to me yet? Didn't think so...little honor among members of the alarmist rent-seeking cult. What you guys won't do, like Gleick, out of frustration to be losing to real science and economic rationality.

But really, how many of you people who would spend your time slamming Heartland will write word one about Gleick's crime, now that you know I was right?

Anonymous said...

Ross, why apologize for someone who so willingly distorts climate science?

Especially since you guys maliciously and deliberately spread false and overhyped claims about the UEA e-mails. While you are out complaining about a crime by Peter Gleick, you lauded the UEA hacker.

At least Gleick admitted, where's your UEA "whistleblower"?