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Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

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Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

FEP Wants Steelworker Choice, Management Won’t Bend

There’s an uncomfortable feeling in the room when you ask the leadership of a heavily unionized company if they’d do their workforce the courtesy of letting them decide whether or not they’d actually still like to stay with their Big Labor representation.

That what happened as the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project broached the popular idea when I attended the annual shareholder meeting of U.S. Steel on April 24 in Pittsburgh.

According to government labor data crunched by the Center for Union Facts, there may be only seven percent of unionized workers who actually voted to recognize the union that takes their dues and negotiates wages and benefits for them with management. Most workers – like those who work for U.S. Steel and are members of the United Steelworkers Union – were compelled to be in the union when they began their careers with the company.

But workers want control over their representation. Around 70 percent of union members surveyed for a study by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Lloyd Corder said they “think that they should have the right to vote regularly on which union represented them.”

I specifically asked if U.S. Steel was willing to experiment with the idea of workers exploring new opportunities for representation since they are planning to re-open a steel plant in western Illinois.  I asked:

Trump Administration changes in trade policy emboldened you to restart part of your Granite City Works and rehire hundreds of laid-off workers. Local 1899 just elected officers. But, rather than returning to business as usual, isn’t this a golden opportunity to let workers determine if they want to chart a new course?

How about giving at least the Granite City workers the ability to decide if they want to continue under the United Steelworkers Union or choose another manner of representation?

To read the entire question as presented for delivery, click here.

On the issue of when (or whether) his steelworkers ever got to actually decide on renewing their representation, U.S. Steel Chairman David S. Sutherland admitted: “whether that’s ever happened, to be honest, I don’t know.”

Don’t be too hard on him for not knowing – the company’s director of human resources was also stumped.

U.S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt praised the company’s “great relationship” with the United Steelworkers Union, declaring that they are “completely aligned” with the union on issues such as trade and safety.

Ultimately, however, Sutherland said it was “not our position to be commenting” on the FEP’s question. Why not? U.S. Steel’s employees are its lifeblood. Just because they are represented by the union doesn’t mean management must take a hands-off approach. If Professor Corder’s survey is correct, it suggests that employees are begging for the chance to take matters back into their own hands.

Reforms such as the “Employee Rights Act,” which I brought up at the meeting, aren’t union-killing weapons. Employees are free to vote for organized representation. This particular piece of legislation would require elections for a union to be recertified when the number of employees in the bargaining group that authorized it dips below 50 percent. A good union will be recertified. One that is inattentive or not working in the best interests of its members may be rejected. And change may come in the form of another union – not necessarily no collective representation whatsoever.

The moment was there, but the corporate leadership of U.S. Steel did not have the steel in their spines to buck the union and give their workers a choice.

Free Enterprise Project’s Shareholder Season Surprise Featured in Wall Street Journal

On Wednesday, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project will present Proposal #4 – “Political Lobbying and Contributions” – at General Electric’s annual shareholder meeting in Imperial, Pennsylvania.

While the content of the proposal is not new, it is making a lot of waves this shareholder season. The unique and innovative way FEP outmaneuvered prolific leftist investor groups caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. The distinguished newspaper recently published an article about what the FEP did.

As the Journal reports in “Gadfly Pushes Conservative Spin to Shareholder Resolutions”:

Justin Danhof, a conservative shareholder advocate, is harnessing a regulatory “first-come, first-served” provision to sideline left-leaning investors from proxy ballots by lodging nearly identical proposals, but getting them in first. The tactic is helping Mr. Danhof promote and engage with company management on conservative social-policy issues.

General Electric Proposal #4 asks for an annual report disclosing company policies and procedures for direct and indirect lobbying in addition to grassroots lobbying communications, payments for such lobbying and a description of the decision-making process for authorizing such payments. It’s standard language the left has used after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case to try to force the disclosure of and then embark upon the certain demonization of a company’s support for free-market organizations.

It’s a common proposal meant to attack corporate support for groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But FEP’s proposal specifically states that “the company’s membership in groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should be applauded and endorsed by shareholders.”

While this proposal was almost identical to the one submitted by the New York State Common Retirement Fund, a $209 billion government entity largely controlled by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the Journal noted that “[t]he statement supporting the two resolutions were polar opposites.”

The key difference is that the FEP proposal was filed two days before the Fund’s. The Journal explained:

A company can ask the Securities and Exchange Commission to exclude a resolution from its ballot if it is “substantially duplicative” of a proposal submitted earlier by another shareholder. That was the case with GE, which petitioned the regulator to exclude the state’s proposal.

“I knew the liberals were going to file their resolution blasting membership [in certain trade and lobby groups]…so I filed a resolution with the same language,” Justin – FEP’s director – told the Journal.

So that’s why, instead of asking General Electric to “fully evaluate the potential use of corporate assets” – as the Fund’s proposal advocated – shareholders are instead asked to vote on a proposal that “supports the company’s free speech rights and freedom of association with groups that advance economic liberty.” It also urges the company to “stand up for those rights.”

The left is fit to be tied.

Until FEP came on the scene, leftist investors dominated the world of political shareholder activism. And they are not adapting well to the fact that they now have competition. DeNapoli, for example, told the Journal: “It’s questionable whether these shadow proposals share the same sincerity and concern for managing risk to investors’ portfolios or are merely cynical attempts to sideline legitimate shareholder proposals.”

The same FEP proposal will be presented at the virtual shareholder meeting of Duke Energy on May 3. Beating a proposal from Mercy Investment Services and the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the sisters have already declared they will not support the proposal identical to their own because “the philosophy of the [National] Center is quite different from ours.”

Why did Justin go to all this effort to craft a proposal for the FEP that both companies and the left will oppose? The supporting statement to be read at the General Electric meeting on Wednesday provides insight on the reasoning:

The New York Comptroller is part of a broad network of liberal groups attempting to use American corporations to silence speech and defund advocates of free enterprise. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, this network has filed hundreds of resolutions complaining about an alleged lack of transparency and accountability in corporate lobbying and political activity. However, such groups never express concern about the billions of corporate dollars that go to fund liberal causes and politicians. Herein lies the hypocrisy of the proposal. This liberal network abhors corporate speech when it is perceived to skew to the political right. Yet it remains silent when speech supports favored leftist causes.

The As You Sow network has tried to co-opt GE’s investors into its anti-free speech effort in prior years, and its proposals received nearly 30 percent support. That’s appallingly high. Many investors were perhaps misled by As You Sow’s apparent calls for transparency and accountability. We hope investors now understand this network’s extremely partisan nature and deceptive tactics.

Perhaps.

To read the entire Wall Street Journal article about Justin and the FEP’s “first come-first served” strategy for success, click here (warning – this article is behind a paywall).

Fox News Covers Free Enterprise Project’s Request for an Audit of the NY Times Best Sellers List

A request from the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP) for the New York Times to audit the method it uses to determine best-selling books was covered by Fox News.

At the recent annual shareholder meeting of the Times, FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. asked corporate leaders of the alleged “paper of record” to perform an audit out of concern that the paper’s best-seller list intentionally overlooks items from conservative authors.

As Fox News reported:

Danhof says he accused the Times of refusing to explain its policies for selecting best-sellers and issuing simple, blanket statements when called out for bias against conservative authors. He says he offered several examples of conservative authors and publishing companies who have been left off or dropped down the prestigious best-seller list.

For example, Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life was not on the Times list of best-selling books despite recently appearing fifth on Amazon’s list. Earlier, Mark Levin accused the paper of not accurately reporting his book sales. Publisher Regnery is also so fed up with suspected bias at the Times that it will no longer use the paper’s best-seller status in the marketing of their books that actually do make the list.

Fox News noted that “Danhof said that when he suggested an independent audit, the Sulzbergers said it was an interesting idea and something to think about before moving on.” The report added that “[t]he New York Times did not respond to multiple requests for comment and confirmation.”

FEP’s press release reported:

Times Chairman Arthur Sulzberger avoided the questioned and claimed that the company must protect the process to avoid a situation in which authors might game the system to get on the list. His son, Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, took the façade a step further and claimed that there is simply no bias in the process and that many liberals have also complained about their books not being on the list.

In the release, Justin commented:

Since the Sulzbergers clearly weren’t answering my question, I interjected and noted that I was providing them a very simple process by which they could prove that the company isn’t biased against conservative authors. If they were to agree to an independent audit, and the audit uncovered exactly what the two were claiming, they would be able to point to direct, objective evidence that the company’s liberal stance doesn’t influence the best-seller decision-making process.

In advocating for the best-seller list audit at the meeting, Justin reminded the Sulzbergers and other corporate leaders, as well as assembled shareholders, that “[w]ithout transparency, those denials are meaningless.”

To read the complete Fox News story, click here.

Russian Influence May Taint Fracking Debate

There’s new information indicating a possible link between American environmental groups opposed to fracking for natural gas and funding from Russia.

A new report published by The Daily Signal suggests there are charities funneling money from the Putin government to the Sierra Club Foundation (SCF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) that may, among other things, help promote anti-fracking efforts in New York that would benefit Russian interests.

National Center Senior Fellow Dr. Bonner Cohen, who was quoted in the article, noted:

The Sierra Club Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council and other advocacy groups may have their own “green” reasons for opposing America’s realizing the energy potential of its abundant fossil fuels. At the same time, these groups know full well that they receive funding from the Sea Change Foundation and the Energy Foundation, both of which, according to a congressional report, are funded by Russian interests via a Bermuda-based shell company.

[These groups and Russian interests] have a common interest in demonizing fracking and related technologies that have tilted global energy markets in America’s favor.

Just as the shale revolution has been an economic godsend to millions of Americans, providing them with affordable electricity and transportation fuel, it has been a nightmare for Russia and environmental activists.

The Sea Change Foundation and Energy Foundation are reported to have donated millions of dollars to the SCF and NRDC. According to the Daily Signal article, Sea Change receives money from a shadowy Bermuda-based company called Klein, Ltd. According to a 2014 report issued by the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, Klein “was set up for the sole purpose of funneling anonymous donations to Sea Change.” The group has acknowledged receiving “general support” from Klein.

It was also reported that the Energy Foundation received approximately $64 million from Sea Change between 2010 and 2015. The Senate report called the foundation a “pass through” for making donations to American green groups.

The NRDC and SCF have both opposed and continue to fight against domestic extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing. As the American natural gas boom continues, a loser in the marketplace is Russia – which has been an importer of natural gas into places such as Massachusetts, among other places. The United States is now a natural gas exporter in part because of increased production due to fracking.

Former CIA analyst and current Virginia Tech instructor Ken Stiles said: “Follow the money trail, and this ban on fracking could be viewed as an example of successful Russian espionage.”

Klein, Ltd. was allegedly set up by the law firm of Wakefield Quin. Another group investigating special interest involvement in the fracking debate, the Energy Policy Alliance, claims the law firm can be linked to figures in the Russian government and energy industry. A Wakefield Quin lawyer denied any Klein ties to Russia. The NRDC, SCF and the Sea Change and Energy Foundations refused or were unavailable for comment for the Daily Signal article.

If this is proven to be an effort by the Putin government to influence American energy policy by leveraging the power of green groups, Stiles said the revelation “would certainly impact the debate” on fracking. “It’s either a lack of due diligence or incompetence, or they may actually know something about a particular donor, but they don’t want to ask that question. I tend to think the issue is more that they are just not looking the gift horse in the mouth, and they are just taking the money.”

Putting it in a historical perspective, particularly with the past KGB history of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bonner added:

Putin, let’s not forget, is an old hand at using Western pressure groups to serve the Kremlin’s purposes.

When, in the 1980s, the old Soviet Union was manipulating self-styled “peace groups” in Western Europe and the U.S. in an effort to divide NATO and isolate the U.S., Putin was a mid-level KGB agent in East Germany.

Though that effort ultimately failed, Putin learned his lesson well. Then it was U.S. missiles to defend Western Europe that had to be demonized; today, it is U.S. oil and natural gas that are portrayed as a threat. In both cases, money changed hands, and scare tactics were the order of the day.

To read Kevin Mooney’s Daily Signal article, “The Connection Between Russia and Two Green Groups Fighting Fracking in U.S.,” in its entirety, click here.

 

 

 

Earth Day Organizers Ignore Free-Market Successes

Today is Earth Day. Most observances will be used by organizers to promote a bigger government that puts more control of property and production into the hands of bureaucrats.

In an interview with Bill Sayre’s “Common Sense Radio” on WDEV-Radio Vermont, National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith promoted the much more successful alternative of “free market environmentalism.”

R.J., who headed a local chapter of the Audubon Society in New Jersey at the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, said his belief in the importance of private conservation efforts were galvanized after seeing the environmental activists of that era. Those radicals – who, by no coincidence, made Earth Day the same day as former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin’s birthday – insisted that capitalism was destroying the environment.

By ignoring free-market approaches to environmental stewardship, R.J. realized, these people are “lead[ing] us down a very wrong road.”

Unfortunately, for the most past, this mindset has not changed among the green establishment.

In defining free market environmentalism, which R.J. explained a long tradition around the world of successfully preserving the environment while also allowing for multiple uses of it, he said:

It is the use of institutions of a free society – particularly of property rights, but also of markets and prices – to protect the environment instead of the use of government force and socialist ownership.

Making a strong case for the important of private property rights, R.J. added:

People who own things have extraordinary incentives to husband them, take care of them, to manage them well, to use them sustainably so they have them today, tomorrow, ten years from now. And have them to pass down to their children and their childrens’ children.

To make his point, R.J. suggested people consider how they treat their own car as opposed to a rental, or how much they might put themselves at risk to save a house they owned versus one they leased.

When it comes to the bigger picture of management of the Earth, it’s not much different. R.J. and Sayre discussed – with plenty of examples – how private stewardship has produced better results for the environment in cases of:

  • Forestry
  • Hunting and fishing
  • Wildlife habitats

One example of how private conservation efforts provide a public good with an uncoerced private expense is when duck clubs create preserves for their members that benefit many more animals than ducks:

The duck club isn’t buying up and saving all that land because it wants to hunt these [other animals]. It wants to hunt the ducks that come through. And, in the process of doing so, they are saving all that habitat at private expense. All the other species, who are essentially free riders because [the duck club] doesn’t care that [they are also using the land]. And they take great pride in the fact that they have all these species that are thriving successfully on their own land.

This has also allowed for the rehabilitation of many species threatened with extinction. With the government, conservation efforts usually come with the heavy hand of stringent restrictions, heavy-handed enforcement and no multiple uses of land.

To listen to R.J. entire “Common Sense Radio” interview on Earth Day, click below.

Black Conservatives Address Starbucks Controversy

Starbucks, one of the most high-profile liberal corporations in the world, is being called racist after two black men were arrested in one of the company’s Philadelphia shops.

According to news reports, the two men were denied access to the bathroom because they had not made a purchase. There to meet another person who had not yet arrived and still refusing to make a purchase, the manager (who has since left her job at Starbucks) called the police because she considered them to be trespassing.

Ensuing protests and media coverage led to the coffee chain to close over 8,000 locations nationwide to train more than 175,000 employees “to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”

Project 21 members are reacting to the incident and the training sessions. Those sessions, by the way, will be overseen by the liberal groups such as the NAACP and former Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder.

On the April 18 edition of “The Ingraham Angle” on the Fox News Channel, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper  – responding to host Laura Ingraham’s assertion that the entire Starbucks workforce was being implicated as offenders because of the actions of a now-former co-worker that the company’s actions could also “end up doing the opposite of what we want to do” regarding race relations, Horace said:

Racial separatists are doing everything they can to exploit anything that they find. This is an example of the emperor’s new clothes. We don’t have to have real, conscious misbehavior. We have unconscious bias. We have implicit bias.

Noting that Project 21 intends to cite this behavior to the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a demand to enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a means of stopping companies from penalizing employees without proof of bias, Horace said: “This absolutely must not be able to occur.”

Talk radio host Jamila Bey, who was there to debate Horace and had already spoke out in defense of the men who were arrested, conceded that Horace “makes a really great point.” She suggested “mystery shoppers” as an alternative to throwing all Starbucks employees under the bus.

Warning against jumping to conclusions on what happened in Philadelphia and the proclivity of radicals to escalate single issues into enormous crises, Horace noted:

We don’t have evidence of what actually happened…

But before we could get any of the information, people have rushed to condemn one of the most liberal, left-leaning corporations in the country… And yet we’re supposed to believe that – without any information – let’s just assume evil racism is at work.

This is dangerous. It’s a poison. And it is dividing our country. I absolutely think that we overreacted in this situation, and we ought to have waited for the information to come out.

Project 21 member Derryck Green, who holds a doctorate in theology and spiritual leadership, said:

In 2015, Starbucks corporate leadership took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, virtue-signaling the company’s plan to encourage its employees to initiate and discuss racial issues with customers.

In 2018, Starbucks plans to close more than 8,000 of its stores to subject its employees to a racial sensitivity program designed to address “implicit bias” in its workforce to prevent further “discrimination.”

It makes one wonder why the Starbucks leadership would encourage its employees to discuss such a charged issue about which they now have determined they are so inadequately informed.

I’m being sarcastic, but what is worse:

  • Starbucks virtue-signaling about race during the administration of the nation’s first black president – when Black Lives Matter had a certain social currency it didn’t deserve or earn?
  • Starbucks virtue-signaling in defense of two black men (at the expense of one of its employees) who violated a store policy prohibiting people from using the restrooms without paying for the goods or services the company provides?

This incident isn’t racist. The manager – who is no longer with the company – has gone on record saying loitering was an ongoing issue at this Starbucks store to the point that she’d been harassed when asking a previous non-paying person to leave.

The idea that blacks must be held to different – and lower – standards than everyone else is insulting and patronizing. These two men were held to a standard and policy that didn’t take race into consideration. The manager should be applauded – and defended – by her employer; not demonized and forced into leaving and hiding.

Shame on Starbucks.

Character Takes a Backseat to Policy in Modern Politics

Making a case for the appeal of politicians without the most sterling character wasn’t the easiest assignment, but it’s what InsideSources wanted.

David Almasi

David Almasi

In my latest commentary – “Character Is Valued, but Policy Is Now Priority” – I argue:

In our increasingly polarized political environment, character is becoming a want instead of a need.

Consider that Roy Moore, a deeply flawed and scandal-plagued candidate, almost won an open Senate seat in Alabama last year. He got a lot of devout Christian votes, I contend, because his opponent, now U.S. Senator Doug Jones – was too liberal for them:

They considered the alternative. Within four months, the newly elected Jones has already been denounced by the Alabama state senate for voting against a proposed ban on abortions after five months of pregnancy. His first Senate speech called for greater restrictions on guns. Values voters undoubtedly held their noses as they voted for Moore over Jones.

People certainly must desire a more moral candidate. When they feel an existential threat, however, polls show they are willing to hold their nose and vote for the person they know will look out for them:

Evangelical Christians may desire candidates with moral character, but they ultimately want someone who will fight for them. A 2015 poll by the Barna Group, a Christian-oriented research organization, found evangelicals placed policy positions over character by a margin of 58 percent to 46 percent. The economy was as important to them as abortion.

More importantly, values voters want someone fighting for them. A 2016 Barna poll found 87 percent of evangelicals “frustrated” with the government. A 2015 poll by LifeWay Research found 82 percent of evangelicals feared increasing anti-Christian intolerance.

Today’s political environment is not “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” There’s a 24/7 news cycle that’s very rough on candidates. There’s also plenty of opposition research and negative campaigning. It’s a different environment than even a few years ago. Slime and muck can be used to make even the most pious candidate seem tainted.

As a bonus, the InsideSources commentary even includes an insight into my own criteria for picking presidential candidates – and my wife’s as well.

To read the commentary in its entirety, click here.

Remembering Ken Boehm, the Original Happy Warrior

The conservative movement has lost one of its most effective warriors: Ken Boehm, chairman emeritus of the National Legal and Policy Center.

All of us at the National Center for Public Policy Research join Ken’s family and colleagues at the National Legal and Policy Center in mourning his loss.

Ken fought cancer for eight years and, although the disease ultimately took his life, it never defeated him.

Ken was the original happy warrior. He absolutely loved what he did and you could tell.

You couldn’t talk to Ken for more than a few minutes without feeling better about the future. None of this changed while he was fighting cancer.

Ken was an incredible investigator and, although his life was short, he packed more than a lifetime into it.

It was Ken who exposed the Boeing Tanker Deal as corrupt. The ensuing scandal led to the resignation of Boeing’s CEO and the imprisonment of two other company officials. It also resulted in saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

There are few people I’ve enjoyed working with more than Ken.

He was generous with his time and eager to share his knowledge to advance the conservative cause. Ken taught my staff how to file Freedom of Information Act requests and guided them through every step of the process. Under Ken’s and Peter’s leadership, the National Legal and Policy Center always put the interests of the conservative movement above their own.

Ken was – like my late wife – one of those rare individuals who exemplified one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite quotes: “There’s no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”

That’s what has made his group dollar-for-dollar one of the most effective organizations in the conservative movement.

Ken made the world a better place. He was a role model of what a conservative leader ought to be.

He was a friend, a mentor, and a trusted ally who I will greatly miss. I know, however, that his passing is the beginning and not the end:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would not have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14: 1-3

My prayers are with Ken’s family, including his daughter, Christine, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Silicon Valley Subterfuge Against Conservatives Exposed Before This Week

While most people experienced Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s deer-in-the-headlights response to questioning only this week – when the tech billionaire faced Capitol Hill lawmakers about the lack of privacy and political bias on the social media platform he developed – it was nothing new to the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP).

Almost two years ago, FEP Director Justin Danhof, Esq. got an even more pronounced reaction when he engaged in the same kind of questioning at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting. In fact, and since it was on Zuckerberg’s turf, he actually refused to directly answer Justin’s inquiry altogether.

So we had little sympathy for Facebook’s founder this week as he was being questioned by Senator Ted Cruz about evident anti-conservative bias on the part of the company.

In 2016, Justin – a veteran of over 100 corporate shareholder meetings across America – called the Facebook meeting “amateur hour.” From the inability to start the meeting on time to Zuckerberg’s ducking of Justin’s question, the meeting was simply not up to par.

Back then, long before this week’s hearings, Justin declared:

Despite the company’s protestations, it is quite clear that it continues to mistreat conservative groups and individuals. Most conservatives have known for years that Facebook is biased against them, but the evidence was largely anecdotal.

Given less time than most companies allow to ask questions (shareholder meetings are pretty much the only opportunity for investors to interact with company leaders), Justin asked:

Whether you’re willing to admit the company has a bias problem or if you think bias is merely a matter of perception, the fact is that perception is very often reality. Facebook has an extra duty to overcome this problem now that the company has been called out by former employees for targeting conservatives.

My question is this: what affirmative steps are in place to increase transparency regarding Facebook’s news section and its removal of pages and posts, and what do you have to say to the conservative individuals and groups who have been harmed – and continue to be harmed – by the company’s biased actions?

Instead of answering Justin, or – as he did on Capitol Hill – suggest that his “team” would follow-up, Zuckerberg gave his now-famous blank stare, said nothing and had an underling make an excuse. Justin noted:

When I confronted Zuckerberg over Facebook’s mistreatment of conservatives, he sat mute and deferred to another company executive. That gentleman claimed that Facebook’s own internal investigation had exonerated the company, saying that there is no bias against conservatives on the company’s platforms. In his next breath, though, he admitted that Facebook is making changes to its trending news platforms. Why is Facebook making changes if there is nothing wrong?

During Senator Cruz’s questioning of Zuckerberg, it was admitted that Silicon Valley is very liberal. Zuckerberg replied: “I understand where that concern is coming from, because Facebook and the tech industry are located in Silicon Valley, which is an extremely left-leaning place.”

That’s not news. And neither is the intolerance to other points of view. Justin revealed this last year at the shareholder meeting of Alphabet – the parent company of Google.

At that 2017 shareholder meeting, Justin confronted Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt about perceived anti-conservative bias. Schmidt arrogantly responded: “The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking. And you’ll also find that all other companies in our industry agree with us.”

That was on June 7, 2017. On August 7, 2017, the company founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science fired software engineer James Damore for posting a memo questioning the scientific appropriateness of expecting equality of skills among the genders in the hi-tech field.

Ironically, Damore’s memo was titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.”

After that shareholder meeting, Justin commented:

I left today’s meeting with the feeling that Alphabet and Google are companies of, by and for liberals. It is hard to see how a conservative viewpoint would ever have a place in that corporate atmosphere.

Carson Criticized for Attempting to Drain HUD’s Swamp

“Swamp creatures are terrified of what Ben Carson is doing to clean up HUD. Let’s all hope he keeps at it.”

In a new Daily Caller commentary, Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper describes the new mindset that Dr. Ben Carson is bringing to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – and why the left is so angry about it.

As Horace explained:

Liberals love HUD because it hands out billions of dollars in the name of social justice. Not coincidentally, the money is often hard to account for, which is why it often ends up in the pocket of corrupt officials…

This level of institutional corruption is the very essence of the swamp. And indeed, the swamp dwellers are fighting to keep things the way they were.

Then Ben Carson moved in and started turning things around.

In particular, the Trump Administration is seeking a dramatic decrease in HUD grants by delegating more responsibility to state and local governments – among other things. HUD’s new chief financial officer is a former partner with a major accounting firm. And that person is tasked with strengthening the place while rooting out waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

This change obviously hasn’t gone over well with the Washington establishment. Horace wrote:

From the standpoint of swamp dwellers, accountable and lower HUD budgets are intolerable. However, Ben Carson is a very smart black conservative leader who understands the importance of applying conservative principles to our nation’s housing and urban planning needs. Nevertheless, the stakes are high. If he succeeds as an administrator in whipping HUD into shape, the progressive left will be humiliated. It’s no surprise that the mainstream media, leftist elected officials, and progressive, George Soros-funded groups attack HUD and Carson almost daily.

This is why those who appeared to look the other way on past HUD abuses are now fixating on things such as Dr. Carson’s proposed office renovations.

To read Horace’s commentary – “Swamp Creatures are TERRIFIED of What Ben Carson is Doing to Clean Up HUD” – in its entirety, click here.

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The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors.