Fol­low­ing the Oba­macare money trail

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

If you be­lieve the White House, there are 30 mil­lion Amer­i­cans who sup­port a gov­ern­ment health care takeover. But if you look at the fund­ing be­hind the Oba­macare cam­paign, it‘s the same few left­ist bil­lion­aires, union bosses and par­ti­san com­mu­nity or­ga­niz­ers push­ing the so­cial­ized medicine agenda. Let’s con­nect the dots.

On June 18, a na­tional “grass­roots” coali­tion called Health Care for Amer­ica Now (HCAN) will march on Capi­tol Hill to de­mand uni­ver­sal health care. The ground troops won’t have to march very far. HCAN, you see, is no heart­land net­work. It is head­quar­tered at 1825 K Street in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. — smack dab in the mid­dle of Belt­way lobby land.

In fact, 1825 K Street is Ground Zero for a plethora of “pro­gres­sive” groups sub­si­dized by anti-war, anti-Repub­li­can, Big Nanny spe­cial in­ter­ests. Around Wash­ing­ton, the of­fice com­plex is known as “The Other K Street.” The Wash­ing­ton Post noted in 2007 that “its most prom­i­nent ten­ants form an ab­bre­vi­ated who’s who of well-funded al­lies of the Demo­cratic Party. [. . .] Big money from unions such as the Ser­vice Em­ploy­ees In­ter­na­tional Union (SEIU) and the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of State, County and Mu­nic­i­pal Em­ploy­ees, as well as the In­ter­net-fu­eled MoveOn, has pro­vided groups like those at 1825 K Street the where­withal to mount huge cam­paigns.”

MoveOn, of course, is the recre­ational po­lit­i­cal ve­hi­cle of rad­i­cal lib­eral su­gar daddy Ge­orge Soros. The mag­nate’s fi­nan­cial fin­ger­prints are all over the HCAN coali­tion, which in­cludes MoveOn, the action fund of the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress (a Soros think tank) and the Cam­paign for Amer­ica’s Fu­ture (a prow­el­fare state lob­by­ing out­fit).

HCAN has a $40 mil­lion bud­get, with $10 mil­lion pitched in by The At­lantic Phi­lan­thropies — a Ber­muda-based or­ga­ni­za­tion fronted by Soros acolyte Gara La­Marche. Also in the money mix: no­to­ri­ous Demo­cratic donors Herb and Mar­ion San­dler, the left-wing moguls who made bil­lions sell­ing sub­prime mortgages and helped Soros fund his vast net­work of left-wing ac­tivist satel­lites. By their side is bil­lion­aire Peter Lewis of Pro­gres­sive In­sur­ance, whose “Pro­gres­sive Fu­ture” youth group has dis­patched clue­less vol­un­teers armed with clip­boards and lit­er­a­ture bash­ing Rush Lim­baugh and Fox News to scare up sup­port for Oba­macare.

And two more left-wing heavy­weights join­ing the HCAN pa­rade: the cor­rup­tion­plagued SEIU (which has bat­tled nu­mer­ous em­bez­zle­ment scan­dals among its chap­ters across the coun­try while cru­sad­ing for con­sumer and pa­tients’ rights) and Mr. Obama’s old chums at fraud-rid­dled ACORN, the As­so­ci­a­tion of Com­mu­nity Or­ga­ni­za­tions for Re­form Now.

ACORN and HCAN are linked by left-wing phi­lan­thropist Drum­mond Pike, who heads the non­profit Tides Foun­da­tion/Tides Cen­ter. As the tax dis­claimer for HCAN dis­closes, “HCAN is re­lated to Health Care for Amer­ica Ed­u­ca­tion Fund, a project of The Tides Cen­ter, a sec­tion 501(c)(3) pub­lic char­ity.” For decades, the Tides Cen­ter and its par­ent or­ga­ni­za­tion, the Tides Foun­da­tion, have seeded some of the coun­try’s most rad­i­cal ac­tivist groups of the left, in­clud­ing the com­mu­nist­friendly United for Peace and Jus­tice, the ji­hadist-friendly Na­tional Lawyers Guild and the griev­ance-mon­ger­ing Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions.

Mr. Pike is the same phi­lan­thropist who as­sisted ACORN founder Wade Rathke af­ter his brother, Dale, was caught em­bez­zling nearly $1 mil­lion from the group. Wade Rathke sits on the Tides Foun­da­tion board of direc­tors. In a con­spir­acy to cover up Dale Rathke’s mas­sive theft of funds, Mr. Pike vol­un­teered to buy a prom­is­sory note worth $800,000 to cover the debt. Th­ese are the pop­ulist do-good­ers sup­pos­edly looking out for you and your health.

Why do they want Oba­macare? An in­ter­nal ACORN memo I ob­tained from Au­gust 2008 makes the mo­tives clear: “Over our 38 years, health care or­ga­niz­ing has never been a ma­jor fo­cus ei­ther na­tion­ally or lo­cally for ACORN,” wrote ACORN Philadel­phia re­gional di­rec­tor Craig Rob­bins. “But in­creas­ingly, ACORN offices around the coun­try are do­ing work on health care.” The goal: “Build­ing ACORN Power.”

The memo out­lines the ACORN/HCAN part­ner­ship and their strat­egy of op­pos­ing any pro­grams that rely on “un­reg­u­lated pri­vate in­sur­ance” — and then par­lay­ing po­lit­i­cal victory on gov­ern­ment-run health care “to move our ACORN agenda (or at least part of it) with key elect­eds that we might oth­er­wise not be able to pull off.”

The ob­jec­tive, in other words, is to pig­gy­back and ex­ploit Oba­macare to im­prove and pro­tect their po­lit­i­cal health. The “grass­roots” move­ment is not about rep­re­sent­ing Main Street. It’s about ped­dling in­flu­ence and power at 1825 K Street.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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