“This is an electrifying figure that amplifies the national investments of Democracy Alliance partners in infrastructure strategies like America Votes, Progress Now, State Voices, 501c(3) and 501c(4) funding streams, and others,” an Oct. 21 COS memoasserted.
John Stocks, chairman of the Democracy Alliance board and a founder of COS, is executive director of National Education Association, the largest labor union in America. Anna Burger, another COS leader, was secretary-treasurer of Service Employees International Union when COS launched in 2006.
“Committee on States membership in 2014 consists of 21 national donors and institutional partners,” the COS memo said, without specifying how many of its institutional partners are labor unions. COS follows the Democracy Alliance model of recommending donors to left-wing groups instead of distributing donations itself.
“Together we are building a progressive future, one that is sustainable, state-focused and dedicated to winning electoral and policy victories,” the COS memo published by the Free Beacon concluded.
The public union business model hinges on unsustainable government spending. This is why NEA, SEIU, AFT, AFSCME and AFL-CIO savage prominent limited-government advocates Charles and David Koch in an attempt to discredit causes the billionaire brothers support.
With that in mind, who is behind the Democracy Alliance project helping union bosses prop up “progressive” groups? In addition to Stocks and Burger, leaders of COS include:
Rob Stein, Democracy Alliance founder, former Democratic National Committee adviser, and chief of staff for President Clinton’s 1992 transition team
Michael Vachon, an adviser to and personal spokesman for left-wing hedge fund billionaire George Soros, whose net worth is approximately $24 billion
Pat Stryker, a Stryker Corporation heiress whose net worth is an estimated $2.1 billion
Anne Bartley, wife of SEIU executive Larry McNeil and an heiress to the Rockefeller family fortune
Alida Messinger, ex-wife of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and also a Rockefeller heiress
Lynde Uihlein, an heiress to the Schlitz Brewing Co. and Allen-Bradley Co. fortunes
John Hunting, whose father was a founder of Steelcase, Inc. and who said in a 2010 interview, “I believe that it is immoral to hoard money when global warming is on the verge of destroying the eco-systems we depend on.”
Douglas Phelps, president of U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Environment America and advisory board chairman of leftist charity Fund for the Public Interest
Colorado lobbyist Ted Trimpa and former Colorado State University president Al Yates, who worked with Stryker and other wealthy donors to develop “The Colorado Model,” on which COS is based
NEA, AFSCME and AFL-CIO failed to respond to requests for comment on how the activities of COS are different from or preferable to the work of union-maligned donors to free-market groups.
An appendix to the Oct. 21 COS memo listed investments by COS partners as shown in the following table, noting most state figures “include large contributions by our labor union allies.”
Estimated 2013/14 Investment
$6 million +
$6 million +
COS indicated “donor alliances” are being coordinated in Georgia, New Hampshire and Montana, as well.