quinta-feira, 26 de janeiro de 2012

Tea Party


Na última semana tive a oportunidade de ler o livro "Tea Party - Conheça a ala conservadora radical do Partido Republicano" de Kate Zernike e publicado pela editora Aletheia. Na realidade, trata-se de uma excelente oportunidade para conhecer melhor o interior deste movimento que tem vindo a abalar o sistema político e social norte-americano. O livro revela-nos as suas origens, pontos que defende e o papel que poderá desempenhar no futuro da política americana, e consequentemente mundial, mas ficou a faltar no meu espírito um maior desenvolvimento da tão falada ligação deste movimento com grupos de lobbying representantes das grandes "corporations". 
Inúmeros relatórios ligam o Movimento Tea Party a inúmeros benefícios na casa dos milhões de dólares provenientes de fundações  de cariz conservador originárias de famílias norte-americanas milionárias e dos seus interesses empresariais. A título de exemplo, deixo aqui algumas linhas que facilmente podemos aceder na Internet e que nos poderão dar uma perspectiva diferente desta organização e até que ponto grandes grupos empresariais se colaram a este movimento (até ver de origem popular...).

In an article in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker magazine, author Jane Mayer links the billionaire brothers David Koch and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries to tea party movement funding. Mayer writes,

The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections represents a political triumph for the Kochs. By giving money to “educate”, fund, and organize Tea Party protesters, they have helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement. Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist and a historian, who once worked at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a Dallas-based think tank that the Kochs fund, said, “The problem with the whole libertarian movement is that it’s been all chiefs and no Indians. There haven’t been any actual people, like voters, who give a crap about it. So the problem for the Kochs has been trying to create a movement.” With the emergence of the Tea Party, he said, “everyone suddenly sees that for the first time there are Indians out there - people who can provide real ideological power.” The Kochs, he said, are “trying to shape and control and channel the populist uprising into their own policies.

Is appears that money to organize and implement the Movement flows primarily through two conservative groups: Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks.
In an April 9, 2009 article on ThinkProgress.org, Lee Fang reports that the principal organizers of Tea Party events are Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works, two "lobbyist-run think tanks" that are "well funded" and that provide the logistics and organizing for the Tea Party movement from coast to coast. Media Matters reported that David Koch of Koch Industries was a co-founder of Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), the predecessor of FreedomWorks. David Koch was chairman of the board of directors of CSE. CSE received substantial funding from David Koch of Koch Industries, which is the largest privately-held energy company in the country, and the conservative Koch Family Foundations, which make substantial annual donations to conservative think tanks, advocacy groups, etc. Media Matters reported that the Koch family has given more than $12 million to CSE (predecessor of FreedomWorks) between 1985 and 2002.

Koch Industries has denied specifically funding Freedomworks or tea parties directly, however. The company's director of communications wrote ""Koch companies value free speech and believe it is good to have more Americans engaged in key policy issues. That said, Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch and David Koch have no ties to and have never given money to FreedomWorks. In addition, no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties." Koch's director of communications did affirm, however, that the company funds Americans for Prosperity (AFP). TPM's Lee Fang reports that "AFP was founded in part by the company's Executive Vice President, David Koch. He is currently the chairman of the board of the "Americans for Prosperity Foundation."
Media Matters also lists the Sarah Scaife Foundation as having given a total of $2.96 million in funding to FreedomWorks. The Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil, and banking fortune.
The Claude R. Lambe Foundation, also controlled by the Koch family, has donated more than $3 million to Americans for Prosperity.

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