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The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions - Andy Kroll, Mother Jones

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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 04:33 PM
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The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions - Andy Kroll, Mother Jones

The Right-Wing Network Behind the War on Unions
Inspired by Ronald Reagan and funded by the right's richest donors, a web of free-market think tanks has fueled the nationwide attack on workers' rights.
By Andy Kroll

Mon Apr. 25, 2011 12:01 AM PDT


From New Hampshire to Alaska, Republican lawmakers are waging war on organized labor. They're pushing bills to curb, if not eliminate, collective bargaining for public workers; make it harder for unions to collect member dues; and, in some states, allow workers to opt out of joining unions entirely but still enjoy union-won benefits. All told, it's one of the largest assaults on American unions in recent history.

Behind the onslaught is a well-funded network of conservative think tanks that you've probably never heard of. Conceived by the same conservative ideologues who helped found the Heritage Foundation, the State Policy Network (SPN) is a little-known umbrella group with deep ties to the national conservative movement. Its mission is simple: to back a constellation of state-level think tanks loosely modeled after Heritage that promote free-market principles and rail against unions, regulation, and tax increases. By blasting out policy recommendations and shaping lawmakers' positions through briefings and private meetings, these think tanks cultivate cozy relationships with GOP politicians. And there's a long tradition of revolving door relationships between SPN staffers and state governments. While they bill themselves as independent think tanks, SPN's members frequently gather to swap ideas. "We're all comrades in arms," the network's board chairman told the National Review in 2007.

Occasionally, SPN think tanks boast of their clout. Such was the case when the Tennessee Center for Policy Research bragged on its website recently that it "leads the charge against teachers' union" and "laid the groundwork" for the bills now in the Tennessee legislature to restrict, and possibly eradicate, bargaining for public school teachers. More often, though, the fingerprints of SPN's members are less apparent.

Founded in 1992 by businessman and Reagan administration insider Thomas Roewho also served on the Heritage Foundation's board of trustees for two decadesthe group has grown to include 59 "freedom centers," or affiliated think tanks, in all 50 states. SPN's board includes officials from Heritage and right-wing charities such as the Adolph Coors and Jacqueline Hume foundations. Likewise, its deep-pocketed donors include all the usual heavy-hitting conservative benefactors: the Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation, which funds the Cato Institute and Heritage; the Castle Rock Foundation, a charity started with money from the conservative Coors Foundation; and the Bradley Foundation, a $540 million charity devoted to funding conservative causes. SPN uses their contributions to dole out annual grants to member groups, ranging from a few thousand dollars to $260,000, according to 2009 records.

more...

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/state-policy-ne...
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Stuart G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 05:07 PM
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1. These are the assholes who are going at us state by state..
They have been planning this attack for years..Now it is on...and it is us or them..pretty simple..
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