Political Correction

The Far-Right Funding Behind The Alleged Phone Buggers' Collegiate Network

January 27, 2010 12:14 pm ET

On January 27, 2010, Talking Points Memo reported that three of the four men arrested for allegedly attempting to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu's office were involved with conservative student newspapers.  All three of those conservative papers were supported by the conservative Collegiate Network, administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Below, Media Matters Action Network exposes the funding behind the organizations that spawned the three alleged felons.

Alleged Phone Buggers Were Involved With The Conservative Collegiate Network

Talking Points Memo:

Three of the four young men charged in the alleged bugging attempt at Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office Monday were involved in the well-funded, opportunity-rich world of conservative campus journalism in recent years, a link that provides potential clues about how the men knew each other and why they came to hatch the alleged plot.

James O'Keefe, Joseph Basel, and Stan Dai each founded or lead the alternative conservative newspapers on their respective college campuses.

[...]

Fostering the growth of alternative media on campus -- publications that are more often National Review-style opinion journals than reporting-intensive newspapers -- has been a tactic of the conservative movement for decades. The Collegiate Network, for example, was founded in 1979 and supports over 100 papers per year. CampusReform.org, the campus component of the Leadership Institute, employs 16 staffers. [Talking Points Memo, 1/26/10]

Bai, Basel, And O'Keefe Were All Involved With Collegiate Network Student Papers.  Talking Points Memo reported that three of the four men arrested for allegedly attempting to wiretap Sen. Mary Landrieu's office were involved with conservative student newspapers.  Stan Dai served as editor-in-chief of George Washington University's GW Patriot, TPM added that, "[James]O'Keefe founded The Centurion at Rutgers and [Joseph] Basel launched The Counterweight at the University of Minnesota-Morris." All three papers are supported by the Collegiate Network. [Talking Points Memo, 1/26/10; Collegiate Network, accessed 1/27/10]

What Is The Collegiate Network?

The Collegiate Network Supports "Independent College Newspapers." According to the Collegiate Network's website, "For more than 25 years, the Collegiate Network has supported independent college newspapers that serve to focus public awareness on the politicization of American college and university classrooms, curricula, student life, and the resulting decline of educational standards. Each year over 100 papers across the country enjoy the benefits of a membership with the Collegiate Network, and the number continues to grow. CN member papers have earned reputations for both in-depth reporting and witty commentary. They serve to raise the level of discourse on the campus and provide an outlet for students to keep university faculty and administrations honest. Many prominent journalists have got their start by working for a CN paper." [Collegiate Network, accessed 1/27/10]

The Collegiate Network Is "Administered" By The Conservative Intercollegiate Studies Institute. According to the Collegiate Network's website, the organization is "administered by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute." ISI "works "to educate for liberty" - to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty. To accomplish this goal, ISI seeks to enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles - limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, market economy, and moral norms." [Collegiate Network, accessed 1/27/10; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, accessed 1/27/10]

Who Funds The Collegiate Network?

                Funding Organizations

        Amount Donated (Since 1995)

Sarah Scaife Foundation

$2,285,000

John M. Olin Foundation

$1,640,000

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

$1,475,000

Scaife Family Foundation

$600,000

Carthage Foundation

$580,000

F.M. Kirby Foundation

$260,000

Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation

$30,000

JM Foundation

$15,000

Armstrong Foundation 

$5,000

[Conservative Transparency, accessed 1/27/10]

Who Funds The Intercollegiate Studies Institute?

                Funding Organizations

            Amount Donated (Since 1985)

Sarah Scaife Foundation

$6,625,000

John M. Olin Foundation

$3,602,600

John Templeton Foundation

$2,904,090

Allegheny Foundation 

$2,693,500

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

$1,967,100

Philip M. McKenna Foundation

$1,720,500

Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation

$1,525,000

Earhart Foundation

$1,286,100

F.M. Kirby Foundation

$1,270,000

Roe Foundation

$455,000

Carthage Foundation

$436,300

Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation

$425,000

Jaquelin Hume Foundation

$385,000

Castle Rock Foundation

$350,000

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation

$335,000

William H. Donner Foundation

$285,000

Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation

$281,250

Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation

$195,000

JM Foundation

$133,000

William E. Simon Foundation

$80,500

Armstrong Foundation

$55,000

Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation

$55,000

Brady Education Foundation

$50,000

Scaife Family Foundation

$50,000

Randolph Foundation

$20,000

Rodney Fund

$10,000

Ruth and Lovett Peters Foundation

$4,000

Gilder Foundation

$2,000

[Conservative Transparency, accessed 1/27/10]

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