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If only the local “libertarian-free market” think tanks had the courage to embrace the entire libertarian agenda rather than simply using the label as a convenient cover for what almost always ends up being a defense of far right conservatism.

For instance, national Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson was in Durham yesterday and had this to say according to the Durham Herald-Sun:

“I am the only candidate who does not want to bomb Iran,” he said. “I am the only candidate who would get out of Afghanistan tomorrow. I am the only candidate who believes that marriage equality is a guaranteed Constitutional right. I am the only candidate who wants to end our drug wars now and legalize marijuana now.”

For some reason, however, neither the Lockers or the Civitasers or Americans for the Prosperous has yet to offer up any glowing reports on this comment or the general Libertarian support of keeping government at bay when it comes to private, personal behavior (much less some sort of effort to favorably contrast President Obama and Governor Romney on these issues).  

Meanwhile the partisan propaganda from the these folks just keeps on coming and coming and coming and coming and coming.

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Somehow I recently got on to an email list for national Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and yesterday I received a fundraising message from the campaign that indicates there is a rather nasty split on the American political right.

This is an excerpt from the message:

“Friends,

Your voting rights are under attack – by Mitt Romney and the national Republicans. 

Mitt Romney doesn’t want Gov. Gary Johnson on the ballot.  It’s just that simple.  Read More

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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