Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Gives GOP Governors Association $1 Million
For anybody still harboring the belief that the Tea Party movement is a grassroots insurgency, you may want to look at where two of the movement’s biggest backers are throwing their cash. Politico’s Ben Smith reports that News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, and David Koch, the oil magnate who chairs the board of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation (the Koch-funded astroturf powerhouse behind a lot of Tea Party organizing), each threw a cool $1 million at the Republican Governors Association — hardly a rogue operation, and very much a part of the Republican establishment.
A certain amount of the credit for the take goes to Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the RGA’s chairman, who has proven to be quite deft at straddling the line between the Tea Party movement and the regular G.O.P. (Barbour is the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.)
Barbour has been vociferous both in defense of Tea Partiers and in opposition to President Obama’s moratorium on deep-water oil-drilling in the Gulf of Mexico following the environmental disaster that followed the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Both Koch, the executive vice president of Koch Industries, and Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., share an agenda for the deregulation of virtually all industry, and both have been instrumental in rallying the ground troops of the Tea Party movement to their cause.
Here’s how News Corp. spokesperson Jack Horner explained the company’s support for the RGA to Smith:
News Corporation believes in the power of free markets, and the RGA’s pro-business agenda supports our priorities at this most critical time for our economy.
In related news, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation has made a $4.1 million ad buy in 11 states focusing on “free market” issues in the mid-term elections, according to Mike Memoli and Tom Hamburger of the Los Angeles Times. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, calls it “he biggest ad buy I am aware of this summer.”
The takeaway: Whether it takes the form of a purported anti-government insurgency, or a vestige of the political establishment, any organization that promotes the economic hegemony of large corporations will be richly rewarded.