Emboldened by its success in bullying some corporate donors to quit a group pushing voter identification laws opposed by Democrats, the left is now ganging up on Fortune 500 firms that contribute to Chicago’s Heartland Institute in a bid to kill it for being a global warming skeptic.
A coalition of groups that include Greenpeace and the Sierra Club has taken credit for winning the defection of Eli Lilly, BB&T Bank, PepsiCo, General Motors, State Farm and USAA from Heartland.
“All corporations should immediately pull their funding from the Heartland Institute in light of Heartland’s ongoing and extreme support of climate change denial,” said the coalition. Their effort began after a global warming promoter obtained internal Heartland donor documents while posing as somebody else. It kicked into high gear with Heartland rented a billboard that compared climate change advocates to the Unabomber. The group pulled the billboard, conceding that it was “over the top.”
In an exclusive and lengthy statement to Secrets, Heartland said that it “has long been a prime target of the environmental left for committing the ‘sin’ of highlighting observable climate data that has proved inconvenient to the narrative of global warming alarmism.”
It said that “some donors” have jumped ship this year. “We’re sorry to see them go,” said the statement. The group said that the internal emails improperly obtained by warming activist Peter Gleick provided a list of donors that the liberals have been “haranguing.” Gleick quit his global warming group in the scandal.
Heartland, which also works on tax policy, health care and education, said that the corporate defections won’t kill it, explaining that the donations make up for just one-third of its budget and that no corporation contribution covers more than 5 percent of its budget. The bulk of donations comes from supporting foundations and 1,800 individuals, “many of whom have told us they are now motivated to increase their donations this year.”