Saturday, February 26, 2005

Is the privatization scheme just a junk mail operation?

Is the privatization scheme just a junk mail operation?
Submitted by Matt Stoller on Fri, 2005-02-25 12:58.
A few weeks ago, we commissioned a research report on the funders of the Social Security privatization scheme. Our researcher went through the public tax records of every group involved in this right-wing scheme, and is writing a report on who's doing this and who's funding it. We're releasing the first installment today, on USA Next.
It appears that USA Next, the front group for Social Security privatization, was really just a junk mail and spam operation in disguise to benefit Richard Viguerie in the 1990s. It appears that it engaged mostly in scaring up donations from conservative activists before becoming a corporate shell for pharmaceutical industry and energy industry money and lobbying.
- "The United Seniors Association burst onto the political scene full grown from Richard Viguerie's head in 1992 with a piece of "fright mail" headlined "All the Social Security Trust Fund Money Is Gone!" and requesting a donation to support United Senior's efforts to "insure the rights and benefits of America's seniors are protected." It raised millions in its first year of operation, only to plow that money back into Viguerie's direct mail operations, renting mailing lists, paying "letter writers, printers, mailers and other subcontractors, always including Mr. Viguerie himself." Paying for direct mail was literally United Seniors' charitable purpose.....