North Carolina Funders of Heartland Institute Exposed

Desmogblog.com has released a series of documents from the conservative Heartland Institute that exposes their 2012 climate skeptics program and their major donors, many of whom had requested anonymity. This is a rare window into the world of the most conservative policy thinkers in our country.

According to the documents, Heartland views itself as playing a leading role in preventing “the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming.” A new program for 2012 focuses on creating K-12 curriculum because “principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective.” The Charles Koch Foundation, a major supporter of efforts to kill national climate policy, gave $200,000 to Heartland in 2011. Heartland is looking for an increase in 2012 and access to the Koch’s “network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests.”

The Heartland fundraising strategy exposes donors, many that requested anonymity.  While the US Chamber of Commerce is a supporter, you’d expect that. Here’s a few more unexpected donors:

In North Carolina, the chairman of BB&T is a donor as is GlaxoSmithKline headquartered in RTP. John Allison, Chairman of BB&T and a Wake Forest University Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Business School contributed $16,000 to Heartland in 2010, $0 in 2011 and Heartland is looking to Allison for $25,000 this year.

GlaxoSmithKline gave a total of $50,000 in 2010/2011, and according to the New York Times, a spokesperson for the company said the funding was for Medical News a monthly newsletter for Heartland Institute members. The Heartland Institute’s “Consumers for Health Care Choices” program states “We believe Obamacare …… ought to be repealed and replaced.” Other pharmaceutical companies also contributed to Heartland over the past two years – Eli Lilly (25k in 2010), Pfizer ($130k in 2010), PhRMA (20k in 2010).

The Heartland Institute works on a variety of issues from the environment to education, health care, to the federal budget. These documents are worth a read for progressive activists as we gear up for this year’s election and the policy issues that will be debated alongside.

Oh and here’s Heartland’s lame response to the documents being released by Desmogblog.com



  1. Chris McKinley

    February 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    While there should be no issue with political discourse and debate among opposing sides (that’s the great thing about our country), the circumstances of this posting calls into question NC Policy Watch’s overall integrity.

    The actions by which this information was obtained was clearly dishonest and most likely criminal. This posting is just as bad because it glorifies that improper action. Do anything and say anything in the name of the cause is not honorable nor is it supported by a majority of people, regardless of their stance on the issue.

    This posting is clearly an attempt to either somehow create some form of slander or suggested target list for some form of intimidation, whatever that may be. For Ms. Finaldi to suggest that this would be “useful” is more telling of her moral stance than what the issues are behind the political debate.

    I am sure there are donor’s to the NC Justice Center who do so under a request of anonymity and I bet that you would defend that right with all your might. Reveling in this type of wrongful activity as this posting does just reveals how petty & hypocritical this progressive blog site can be.

    Perhaps NC Justice Center would post the names of every one of their individual and corporate donor on your web site. I bet many would object just as they most likely do with this posting’s intention. I would not be surprised if some of your supporters felt that this should not have been posted. But then again I may be wrong.

  2. Lisa Finaldi

    February 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm


    It is not clear whether there was any criminal act in gaining access to this information – we do not know and I did not speculate. I did not glorify anyone’s actions – but provided the information based on the NYT story of today. What is immoral and criminal is the continuous efforts by organizations with the backing of some deep pockets to create confusion about whether climate change is real and use the doubt they have spun to stop all meaningful policy around global warming. We have lost years in tackling this issue because of the climate skeptics.

  3. david esmay

    February 16, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    The Koch brothers spent $500,000, alot of it going to Richard Muller, in a effort to deny the role of industry and greenhouse gases on global warning and failed. What’s criminal is the fact that organizations like Heartland and the Heritage foundation spread lies and misinformation about changes in the environment, the role of the EPA, and the responsibility we all share to protect the planet. The repacious greed of those behind these organizations has blinded them to the disastrous results pollution has and will continue have on all of our lives.

  4. Frank Burns

    February 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    There has been no increase in warming since 1998 while CO2 levels are rising. Many wise scientists do not agree with this theory. If you look at the money that our government continues to throw at scientists to continue to research this flawed theory, it dwarfs anything that Heritage foundation contributes to skeptics. I think we should quit wasting time and effort on global warming.

  5. Frank Burns

    February 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    The left got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. Fraudulent document.


  6. gregflynn

    February 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    1998 was a temperature anomaly “warmed by the strongest El Niño of the past century”. According to NASA and James Hansen, et al when one accounts for the Southern Oscillation (El Nino-La Nina cycle) the underlying global warming trend continues unabated.

  7. Frank Burns

    February 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Greg, Can you ask Mr. Hanson why he keeps adjusting the past years temperatures downward?


  8. Lisa Finaldi

    February 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Here is a rather lengthy list of statements by scientific societies, national science academies and the intergovernmental panel on climate change showing there is consensus that it is happening.


  9. Frank Burns

    February 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    If science depended on consensus, we would have never paid Galileo any attention. But since it seems to matter to you, not all scientist agree with this theory.


  10. gregflynn

    February 19, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Ask Hanson yourself. While you’re at it, ask NASA why they faked the moon landings.

    From a recent science column: “Gingrich’s Limbaugh troubles spell out climate divide”, Dan Vergano, USA TODAY

    What do those scientists and those studies that people are ignoring have to say? Well, a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences two years ago found that more than 97% of working climate scientists agreed that the globe was warming. Burning fossil fuels is the likely leading reason for the rise, they agreed, an increase of about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in average global surface temperatures over a century, according to the U.S. National Academy of Science. That’s just how it looks, whether we like it or not.

    “The science doesn’t matter because the science isn’t the real issue,” [Robert] Brulle adds. “It’s about politics and money.” All we have with climate change, he suggests, is politicians taking sides in an economic debate over whether we should spend money to address climate change, or not (with one side very strongly opposed), and hiding behind a smokescreen of debate about settled science to avoid making those issues clear.

  11. chris mckinley

    February 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    And so as I said in my original posting:

    From today 2-23-2012

    (Reuters) – The prestigious Pacific Institute climate research group has opened an investigation of its president and founder, Peter Gleick, after he admitted fraudulently obtaining documents from global warming skeptics challenging his work.

    The Oakland-based institute revealed its inquiry into the widening controversy in a terse statement posted on Wednesday on its website, hours after the San Francisco Chronicle said it was discontinuing an online blog that Gleick had been writing for the newspaper.

    “The Board of Directors of the Pacific Institute is deeply concerned and is actively reviewing information about the recent events involving its president … and documents pertaining to the Heartland Institute,” the board statement said.

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