22 Feb 19
A billboard appeared in New York City’s Times Square on Wednesday attacking New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for opposing the now-scuttled deal between Amazon and state officials. The sponsor: a corporate-backed and billionaire-founded nonprofit called Job Creators Network (JCN). “25,000 Lost NYC Jobs,” laments the electronic billboard, which allegedly cost $4,000. After criticism from Ocasio-Cortez, JCN put up two more billboards attacking her. Check out the sign in Times Sq.! ⁦Thanks to @JobCreatorsUSA⁩!— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 20, 2019 Although JCN, a nonprofit that seeks to “educate Americans on the vital role of free enterprise and entrepreneurship,” claims on its website to be on the side of Main Street, it’s in fact a front group for the interests of wealthy business executives. The nonprofit is linked to and funded by several wealthy corporate leaders who are also Republican political megadonors and oppose workers’ rights, including collective bargaining. A deleted page on the group’s website showed dozens of CEOs who partnered with JCN. Ocasio-Cortez was right when she tweeted on Thursday that two of the biggest funders of JCN are Home Depot co-founder and billionaire Bernie Marcus and Donald Trump megadonor and billionaire Robert Mercer.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 21, 2019 The most prominent conservative donors in the U.S., the Koch brothers, are also tied to JCN through their political nonprofits, and their North Carolina ally, Art Pope, is a major donor. Charles and David Koch are lifelong libertarians, each worth $52 billion, who created a massive right-wing political network over the last few decades. They and their allies fiercely oppose government spending and regulation, and have been key funders of climate disinformation and anti-clean energy campaigns as well as political campaigns, ad campaigns on corporate tax cuts, and ideological free-market higher education programs. Koch Industries, which Charles Koch leads, is a large, private conglomerate that owns an oil extraction and refining subsidiary as well as a chemical manufacturer. The company is one of the nation’s biggest air and water polluters. Koch businesses have paid close to $750,000 in fines, most of it due to environmental violations, but also for workplace safety, employment discrimination, and labor violations. The billboard attacks Ocasio-Cortez for her alleged role in the Amazon deal collapsing, but JCN supporters, such as Charles Koch, are also strong opponents of her Green New Deal plan, despite it promising to create millions of new jobs. Marcus recently went on Fox to rail against socialism and another of Ocasio-Cortez’s policy proposals, a 70 percent income tax on the richest Americans. ‘The Voice of Main Street?’ JCN claims in bold on its website, “We are the voice of Main Street.” But a modicum of research shows that’s not the case. Chris Kromm, executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, North Carolina, and an expert on Pope’s political influence, explained to Sludge that JCN emerged around the time that the anti-corporate movement Occupy Wall Street was taking place. “Corporate America was watching with fear as protestors and the media talked about stagnating wages, persistent poverty and the growing chasm between the one percent and the 99 percent,” said Kromm. “In this climate, the Job Creators Network was part of an ideological counter-offensive aiming to extol the virtues of ‘free enterprise and entrepreneurship,’ which in practice meant pushing propaganda in favor of cutting business taxes, and bashing regulations and unions. Now, with left-wing populism having entered the Democratic Party mainstream and policies such as a wealth tax or Medicare for All exciting voters, including many Republicans, JCN is back to fight the forces seeking to reduce economic inequality. JCN has two nonprofits: a 501(c)(4) entity called Job Creators Network, Inc. (sometimes referred to in tax filings as Job Creators Action Fund), and a 501(c)(3) charity, Job Creators Network Foundation. In its first iteration, JCN was called Job Creators Alliance. The Kochs’ premier political nonprofit, Americans for Prosperity, is a partner of JCN, along with the Libre Initiative, another Koch-backed political entity. Americans for Prosperity and Libre are also listed as partners of the linked JCN Foundation, as is the Koch-backed Generation Opportunity, which is now part of Americans for Prosperity. While the Charles Koch Foundation does not appear to have donated to the JCN groups, an Americans for Prosperity founding board member and close Koch ally, Art Pope of North Carolina, has. Another conservative JCN donor from North Carolina is businessman Robert Luddy, whose donations to state politicians and outside political spending groups often mirror those of Pope. Between 2016 and 2017, JCN’s revenue exploded from $2.7 million to $11.1 million. It’s unclear where much of the 2017 revenue came from, as some foundations and trade associations have not yet made their 2017 tax forms available to the public, and any donations to JCN that came directly from individuals or for-profit businesses don’t need to be made public. But we do know the sources of some $8.3 million given to JCN groups since 2011, when Marcus and pizza magnate Herman Cain founded the organization: Bernie Marcus (currently worth $5.4 billion): $2.9 million through his Marcus Foundation (2011-15). Marcus has donated millions to help Trump.Retail Industry Leaders Association: $3.4 million (2011-13, 2015-16). This trade association represents a variety of retail businesses, and executives from Home Depot, Target, Dollar General, and other big businesses are on its board.Robert Mercer (worth over $1 billion) and Rebekah Mercer: $300,000 through the Mercer Family Foundation (2013-14, 2016), which is directed by Rebekah Mercer, Robert Mercer’s daughter, who is less media-averse than her father. A former hedge fund CEO and GOP megadonor, the senior Mercer invested millions in the right-wing website Breitbart News, which has promoted JCN in the past.Philip Anschutz (currently worth $10.9 billion): $300,000 through The Anschutz Foundation (2014-16). Anschutz has had business ventures in several areas, including entertainment and the oil and gas industry.Donors Trust: $125,000 (2012). This donor-advised fund, which the Kochs use heavily, acts as a middleman between donor and grantee and offers its clients the option of donating anonymously to the charities of their choice.Art Pope: $108,000 through the John William Pope Foundation (2011, 2013). In addition to helping found Americans for Prosperity, Pope is a powerful and prolific GOP donor in North Carolina, where he helped elect Republican majorities in the state legislature and helped racially gerrymander state legislative and congressional districts.Robert Luddy: $33,000 (2012-13) through the Luddy Charitable Foundation. Pope ally Luddy is a manufacturing CEO and private school network owner.Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation: $25,000 (2011). The Bradley family is major donor to conservative think tanks and political networks. The foundation also funded political front groups of JCN contractor Rick Berman, according to the Center for Media and Democracy.Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund: $20,000 (2015 fiscal year). Fidelity is another donor-advised fund that masks the identities of its clients. Other donors include the John Dawson Foundation ($50,000 in 2011), the Lazof Family Foundation ($10,000 from 2012-13), the Devine Family Foundation ($5,000 in 2015), the Dea Family Foundation ($2,500 in 2013), and the William E. Simon Foundation ($1,000 in 2012). Derek Seidman of LittleSis mapped the connections between JCN donors and Trump on Thursday. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has also donated tens of thousands of dollars to the 60 Plus Association, a Koch-backed political group, as well as to other Koch-linked political groups, including Americans for Job Security. No Amazon executives appear on the list of RILA board members, and the company is not among RILA’s premier members. RILA opposed Amazon on tax issues a few years ago. Now, it seems, the trade group has changed its tune. Amazon joined Home Depot and Target in an effort to get approval to reject certain rewards credit cards. Last year, Amazon’s general counsel spoke on a panel at a RILA-sponsored conference. Standing out among JCN’s partner organizations, most of which are chambers of commerce and industry lobbying groups, is the conservative student group Turning Point USA, which received funding from some of the same foundations that finance JCN. Both Marcus and Luddy have donated to TPUSA. Recent Contractors In 2017, JCN paid the firm of conservative political consultant Rick Berman, whom Mother Jones referred to as an “astroturf pioneer” regarding his use of front groups for corporate interests, over $2.5 million, nearly the group’s entire revenue for the previous year, for TK. JCN also paid Berman’s firm $8,000 for newspaper ads supporting four Republican House candidates in November 2018. Also contracting with JCN in 2017 was Rigel Strategies, a TK that a Mercer- and Marcus-funded pro-Ted Cruz super PAC paid close to $7.5 million in the 2016 election. JCN paid Rigel Strategies nearly $2 million for advertising that year. Rigel states on its website that it worked on JCN’s pro-corporate tax cuts campaign. As MapLight’s Andrew Perez pointed out on Twitter, Cavalry LLC, an “issue management firm” founded in 2015 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) former chief of staff, earned $420,000 from JCN for consulting. A screenshot from JCN’s 2017 990 tax form showing its five highest-paid contractors. On the JCN board sits former Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andy Puzder, who abandoned his nomination to be Trump’s labor secretary after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced. At the time, Puzder, who was worth $45 million in mid-2017, according to Forbes, supports states lowering their minimum wage amounts. Stephen Moore, a fellow at the heavily Koch-funded Heritage Foundation, is also a board member. Related: Koch Brothers’ New Super PAC Spends $4 Million on Midterms Without Disclosing Donors Koch and Adelson Come to the Rescue of Trump Devotee Ron DeSantis in Florida Charles Koch Is Funding Rightwing, Pro-Trump Media, New Disclosure Reveals Sludge is relentlessly following the money. We are 100% ad-free and independent. Can you make a small donation to support our investigative journalism? Donate $5 Or, Donate Crypto
22 Feb 19

The START clinic at CU Anschutz and ResponderStrong are pleased to bring Rich Goerling of Mindful Badge to Denver for a 1.5 day mindfulness in peer support training April 19-20. This event is open to peers from all branches. Please follow this link for more details:

22 Feb 19
Ozone Market Reports

Ozone Market Reports projects that the Sports Gun market size will grow from USD XX Million in 2017 to USD XX Million by 2023, at an estimated CAGR of XX%. The base year considered for the study is 2017, and the market size is projected from 2018 to 2023. Sports guns are non-lethal weapons that […]

21 Feb 19

I recently went to the movies with a friend. We walked into the movie theater and I identified where we should sit while my friend identified another spot. They wanted to to sit in the front row in front of the middle walkway. I wanted to sit further up and on the isle. “Let’s sit […]

20 Feb 19

The 10 richest football club owners have been revealed – and there are five Premier League chiefs on the list. Surprisingly, however, Manchester City ’s Sheikh Mansour is NOT the wealthiest. But the money invested into the EPL giants has been huge. So much so, in fact, that by January 2018, they had a bigger […]

18 Feb 19
They Call Me Shida

Brands are continuously experimenting with new ways to stay relevant and authentic with their target audience. In today’s technologically driven economy much of these branding strategies include mobile and social media efforts to become embedded in the audience’s cultural world. As defined by Nicholas Carah, “a brand is – in a larger sense – a […]

18 Feb 19
Emerging Media

This week’s readings explored emerging media psychology through algorithms, branding, politics and sentiments. But what is media psychology? According to the American Psychological Association, “media psychology focuses on the psychology behind media and technology use and impact.” Its focus is the relationship between media and human behavior.  Media psychology is an essential area of mass communication research because we are all influenced by […]

18 Feb 19
Georgetown Gazette

Mike Roth Anschutz Entertainment Group The 2019 Amgen Tour of California will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history and will include a Men’s Stage 2 that begins in Rancho Cordova and finishes in South Lake Tahoe on May 13. The route will start at sea level and gain an elevation of […]

18 Feb 19
Site Title

February 18, 2019: The global electronic cartography system sales market is subject to witness a substantial growth over the forecast period due to the shifting focus towards modernization of marine navigation technology to carry out efficient marine operation, and increasing demand for electronic navigation. Factors responsible for the robust growth in the electronic cartography system sales market, in […]

18 Feb 19
Erin Hill

Although Instagram is not commonly studied in research, it has been a popular topic of debate. The possibility to manipulate photos using retouching or reshaping techniques has many critics concerned about potential negative effects to adolescent girls’ ideology of body image by normalizing an unrealistic appearance. Kleemans et al. (2016) examines the effects manipulated photos […]

16 Feb 19
Lindsey's Thoughts

Coachella may seem like a dream. It seems to have everything: the biggest names in music, fireworks, and white kids wearing bindis and headdresses without being called out for their blatant cultural appropriation. Well, it also has a founder and co-owner named Philip Anschutz. Anschutz has donated large amounts of money to multiple organizations; ones […]

15 Feb 19
World Site News

ANI | Updated: Feb 15, 2019 12:38 IST Washington D.C [USA], Feb 15 (ANI): Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have now said that there is a largely hidden part of the human genome that has a huge impact to the severity of autism symptoms.The discovery could lead to new insights into…

15 Feb 19
The Siasat Daily

Washington: Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have now said that there is a largely hidden part of the human genome that has a huge impact to the severity of autism symptoms. The discovery could lead to new insights into the disorder and eventually to clinical therapies for the condition. Researchers found […]

15 Feb 19
The Biotechnology Times

CU Anschutz researchers link a complex unexamined gene family with autism severity AURORA, Colo. (Feb. 15, 2019) – Scientists at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have implicated a largely hidden part of the human genome in the severity of autism symptoms, a discovery that could lead to new insights into the disorder and […]