ALEC: Not the only corporate mouthpiece under fire
Here’s an encouraging development to ponder on a dreary Wednesday: Yet another corporate front group masquerading as a “think tank” is under heavy fire. This time it’s the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based group of market-fundamentalist Hooverites.
Recently, these knuckleheads took their absurd global warming denial activities to a new and embarrassing level by launching a billboard campaign that attempted to link people who care about the planet’s health and survival to Ted Kaczinski, the “Unabomber.”
Happily, as this story points out, this was singularly dumb move:
The Heartland Institute’s failed billboard campaign attacking the existence of climate change is driving a surge of corporate donors to abandon the group and prompting a mutiny among its Washington-based staff, which is decamping for less volatile surroundings, according to sources.
At the center of the retreat is a contingent of insurance companies and trade groups that donated more than $1 million over the last two years to the libertarian group’s Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate in Washington, D.C., for programs related to federal insurance reform.
The center’s efforts, which are often entwined with environmental policies, were damaged beyond repair by the increasingly strident campaign against climate change science coming from Heartland’s Chicago headquarters, according to industry sources.
Growing unease among insurers crystallized late last week when Heartland purchased the first billboard in a campaign that likened climate advocacy to murder, terrorism and despotism. The electronic highway-side ad displayed a picture of Ted Kaczynski, who killed three people, next to the words “I still believe in Global Warming. Do you?”
“It was disgusting. It was revolting,” Brad Kading, president of the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, said of the ad in an interview over the weekend. ‘It was a terrible mistake.’”