The Heritage Foundation, in the spotlight because of its questionable “research” on immigration, receives millions of dollars from right-leaning foundations each year.
The map below shows major funding sources:
Not surprisingly, wealthy conservative stalwarts are at the center. Charles Koch, Richard DeVos, Art Pope, Richard Mellon Scaife, Todd Herrick and Peter Coors all head foundations that have given generously to Heritage activities. Scaife is also vice chairman, and Herrick is a trustee.
Expand the map another dimension, and you see the business affiliations of major funders:
Two companies shown in the map, Amway and MillerCoors, lobbied Washington last year on immigration issues, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
We’re not suggesting a direct line between the businesses and the immigration report.
Nevertheless, when a think tank’s research is warped by politics or outright prejudice, the influence of funders should also be questioned.
Heritage listed assets of $143 million in its 2011 tax returns. Its revenues topped $72 million, with nearly $66 million in contributions and grants. (The organization does not name contributors in its public returns; Muckety tracks funding by examining the returns of major foundations, which must list grants.)
Now, former Sen. Jim DeMint having assumed the presidency just a month ago, Heritage is feeling the heat from both the left and the right.
Politico reports that Heritage has shifted into damage control mode, and is considering hiring an outside PR firm.