By Jim Lakely
Yesterday, the boss addressed an article in a recent edition of The Economist
reporting wishing for the downfall of The Heartland Institute. Definitely check it out — especially for the part in which the esteemed international publication acknowledged Heartland’s important and influential position in the climate debate.
On the heels of that Economist story came a piece at the Huffington Post by Daniel Souweine, the campaign director for Forecast The Facts — a recently cooked-up astroturf outfit that has engaged in a social media and letter-writing campaign against some of Heartland’s corporate donors.
The title of Souweine’s piece is, “The People-Power-Inflicted Downfall of Heartland.” Hate to break it to you, Dan, but there is no “downfall.” While you and your leftist activist buddies have been exchanging high fives and taking a “victory” lap, Heartland has been keepin’ on keepin’ on — and better than ever.
Below is what I wrote in the comment section below Souweine’s piece. The response to my dousing of rain on their parade brought predictably lame counter-comments — which have added amusement to my weekend. Anyway, on to what I wrote:
The big trouble with your piece, Daniel, is that its overall theme – that Heartland is in “decline” and has brought about its own “downfall” – is simply not true. Or, to borrow from Mark Twain: Reports of Heartland’s demise are greatly exaggerated.
As Mr. Bast explains in his blog post, the idea Heartland lost nearly $1 million in donations is false: “Most of the donors who have said they won’t continue to support us have agreed to fund new or existing groups that will continue our work; some already contributed this year before their announcements; and others had indicated they would not fund us even before the billboard controversy. We have now raised considerably more from current and new donors than we may have lost due to the controversy.”
So not only is Heartland not “down” a net $1 million, Heartland is not even at a net “zero” after spinning off its dedicated insurance projects. We’re up in funds, overall. Heartland has already doubled the number of individual donors since Peter Gleick’s Fakegate scandal, and we expect that number to continue to rise steeply throughout 2012.
In short, exactly the opposite of what leftist activists intended – let alone claim to have achieved – has actually occurred. If you think 2012 marks the “demise” of The Heartland Institute, I suggest you check back with us in five, 10 or 20 years. We’ll still be here, fighting for smaller government, individual liberty and free markets – just as we have for the last 28 years.
And I’m betting Forecast the Facts won’t exist anymore in three years. Any takers?
We might have more to say about this, and in greater detail, at a later date. But know this: The leftist “victory” over Heartland is all in their heads.
If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donatation to The Heartland Institute, visit this site.