Ryan Sager’s column in the New York Post on (and his companion piece at Miscellaneous Objections) about the con job perpetrated on the nation called “campaign finance reform,” reveals that it was in fact a sham promulgated by the Pew Charitable Trusts and a few other left-wing foundations. The architect of the phony movement is caught on tape admitting that what appeared to be a groundswell movement to Congress was really smoke and mirrors orchestrated by monied interests.
Former Pew project manager Sean Treglia tells the whole story, and this section about how they nearly got caught:
Back to the videotape, where an unidentified (but apparently sympathetic) individual asks Treglia: “What would have happened had a major news organization gotten a hold of this at the wrong time?”
“We had a scare,” Treglia says. “As the debate was progressing and getting pretty close, George Will stumbled across a report that we had done and attacked it in his column. And a lot of his partisans were becoming aware of Pew’s role and were feeding him information. And he started to reference the fact that Pew had played a large role in this – that this was a liberal attempt to hoodwink Congress.”
“But you know what the good news is from my perspective?” Treglia says to the stunned crowd. “Journalists didn’t care . . . So no one followed up on the story. And so there was a panic there for a couple of weeks because we thought the story was going to begin to gather steam, and no one picked it up.”
Treglia’s right. While he admits Pew specifically instructed groups receiving its grants “never to mention Pew,” all these connections were disclosed (as legally required) in various tax forms and annual reports. “If any reporter wanted to know, they could have sat down and connected the dots,” he said. “But they didn’t.”Want to bet that wouldn’t happen today? Bloggers would have been all over that story.
Mark Tapscott of the Heritage Foundation sums it up well in the title to his story on the Treglia story, “Former Pew Executive Described $39 Million, Six-Year Strategy to “Create Impression of Groundswell of Support” for Campaign Finance Reform.” If you read Mark’s story you’ll also note that Pew-funded research is deeply embedded in the McCain-Feingold law.
You can see the full video of Treglia’s presentation here.. Alternate site.