The NH Union Leader Just Hired A Disciple Of The Koch Brothers To Run Its Editorial Page

››› ››› DANIEL ANGSTER

The New Hampshire Union Leader has hired Grant Bosse, a former researcher at a think tank funded by the Koch brothers, to be the new editor of the paper's editorial page. In his previous role as a columnist for New Hampshire's Concord Monitor, Bosse defended the Koch brothers and once wrote that progressives who believe the billionaire industrialists are trying to control the Republican Party subscribe to a "conspiracy theory."

Grant Bosse Has Been Named Editor Of The Union Leader Editorial Page

The Union Leader Announced Grant Bosse As Editor Of The Editorial Page. In a September 12 article in the Union Leader, Grant Bosse was introduced as the newspaper's new editorial page editor. [Union Leader, 9/12/15]

New Opinion Editor Grant Bosse Worked For A Koch-Sponsored Think Tank For Years

Grant Bosse Worked For The Koch-Funded Josiah Bartlett Center For Over Four Years. In a 2013 column for the Concord Monitor, in which he defended the Koch brothers as philanthropists and libertarians, Bosse wrote that he had worked for the Josiah Bartlett Center (JBC) for four years and falsely claimed that the JBC was not funded by the Kochs (emphasis added):

The anti-corporate paranoia that fuels Koch conspiracy theories came into bloom in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Fortunately for Democrats, OWS fizzled well before Election Day because it highlighted radical liberalism at its worst. The insidious notion that corporations are out to get us has crept into our culture, and it's got to stop.

Of course, I could be so wrapped up the Kochs' web that I don't even know it. I asked Charlie Arlinghaus, president of the Josiah Bartlett Center - where I worked for the past four years and where I'm currently helping research New Hampshire budget issues - if he was part of the vast, secret Koch Empire.

"They don't give us money, but I wish they would," Arlinghaus responded. [Concord Monitor, 3/17/13]

Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy (JBC) Has Significant Ties To Koch Brothers And American Legislative Exchange Council

The Josiah Bartlett Center For Public Policy Is Listed As A Member Of The State Policy Network. According to the State Policy Network (SPN) website, the Josiah Bartlett Center is an official member of the SPN. [SPN.org, Accessed 9/16/15; Media Matters, 1/6/14]

Center For Media And Democracy: State Policy Network (SPN) Members "Are Major Drivers Of The Right-Wing, ALEC-Backed Agenda In State Houses Nationwide." According to a report by the Center for Media and Democracy, SPN " 'think tanks' work together in coordinated efforts to push their agenda, often using the same cookie-cutter research and reports, all while claiming to be independent and creating state-focused solutions that purportedly advance the interests or traditions of the state." The report also states (emphasis added):

Although many of SPN's member organizations claim to be nonpartisan and independent, our in-depth investigation reveals that SPN and its member think tanks are major drivers of the right-wing, ALEC-backed agenda in state houses nationwide, with deep ties to the Koch brothers and the national right-wing network of funders, all while reporting little or no lobbying activities. Acknowledging the groups' political power and that their activities make them into something different than think tanks, conservative commentator Michelle Malkin called one SPN member a "do" tank. [Center for Media and Democracy, November 2013; Media Matters, 1/6/14]

JBC Received More Than $400K From The Koch Brothers-Funded Donors Capital Fund. According to Granite State Progress, a progressive NGO that tracks politics in New Hampshire, the JBC received large donations from the Donors Capital Fund, a monetary go-between for several big money conservative donors, including the Koch brothers:

Between 2008 and 2010, JBC received $425,364 from the Koch-funded Donors Capital Fund, which represented anywhere from 39-70% of the center's income for those years. JBC also received thousands from the Kochs' Claude R. Lambe Foundation. Meanwhile, JBC has supported policy proposals that would directly benefit the Koch brothers' political and corporate interests, including opposing pollution regulations and calling for lower corporate taxes. [Granite State Progress, October 2013; Media Matters, 1/6/14]

Donors Capital Fund Funded Special Projects At The JBC, Including Journalism Programs. Tax documents obtained by Granite State Progress expose the large sums granted to the JBC by Donors Capital Fund (click to enlarge):

Below shows Donors Capital Fund's itemized contributions to the Josiah Bartlett Center between 2009 and 2011. Donors has paid for Josiah Bartlett Center's direct mail programs, transparency project, and journalism project (likely the NH Watchdog).

[Granite State Progress October 2013; Media Matters, 1/6/14]

The JBC Acts As An "Academic Validator" And The New Hampshire Watchdog Acts As A "Media Amplifier." In describing the cooperation between ALEC and JBC, Granite State Progress showed how JBC supports ALEC-sponsored legislation to give it academic credibility. The same idea is then echoed by the New Hampshire Watchdog and SPN affiliates with hopes of getting the issue picked up by mainstream media. Granite State Progress gives an example of the cycle in New Hampshire (click to enlarge):

[Granite State Progress October 2013;Media Matters, 1/6/14]

The Guardian: SPN And ALEC Are Funded By The Searle Freedom Trust. The Guardian reported in December, 2013 that SPN members receive funding from tobacco giant Philip Morris and the billionaire Koch brothers, who are notorious for supporting the conservative agenda. From The Guardian's report:

The documents also cast light on the nexus of funding arrangements behind radical rightwing campaigns. The State Policy Network (SPN) has members in each of the 50 states and an annual warchest of $83m drawn from major corporate donors that include the energy tycoons the Koch brothers, the tobacco company Philip Morris, food giant Kraft and the multinational drugs company GlaxoSmithKline.

SPN gathered the grant proposals from the 34 states on 29 July. Ranging in size from requests of $25,000 to $65,000, the plans were submitted for funding to the Searle Freedom Trust, a private foundation that in 2011 donated almost $15m to largely rightwing causes.

The trust, founded in 1998, draws on the family fortune of the late Dan Searle of the GD Searle & Company empire - now part of Pfizer - which created NutraSweet. The trust is a major donor to such mainstays of the American right and the Tea Parties as Americans for Prosperity, the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), the Heartland Institute and the State Policy Network itself. [The Guardian, 12/5/13; Media Matters, 1/6/14]

Bosse Defended The Koch Brothers As A Columnist For The Concord Monitor

Bosse Wrote A Glowing Defense Of The Koch Brothers And Their Political Involvement. In an March 2013 column in the Concord Monitor, Bosse claimed that progressives believe a "conspiracy theory that the Koch brothers are secretly controlling the entire Republican Party." Bosse also defended ALEC's corporate-driven model legislation, saying the group provides "valuable" information to legislators.

Somehow the modern left has drawn itself deeper and deeper into a conspiracy theory that the Koch brothers are secretly controlling the entire Republican Party in an effort to bring about some sort of anarchist utopia. This despite thousands of articles about the Koch brothers' political activities and copious evidence that the Republican Party isn't that serious about sticking to the principles of limited government. It's the least effective, most well-publicized secret plan you've ever seen.

[...]

In New Hampshire, a group called Granite State Progress is currently obsessed with the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

ALEC invites members of state legislatures to go to conferences, eat hotel food, sit through PowerPoints, and share legislative ideas. They also publish model legislation based on successful bills. If the 50 states are laboratories of democracy, ALEC is where scientists compare their results. ALEC is the right-leaning counterpart to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which caters to state bureaucrats as well as elected officials. I attended three NCSL conferences during my two years working at the State House, one of which was quite informative.

Representatives should probably pay their own way to go to ALEC or NCSL events, but the information they provide is valuable. We should learn from what other states have tried. I've often argued against being early adopters. But the theory that the Koch brothers and evil corporations are using ALEC to take over the New Hampshire General Court is laughable. [Concord Monitor, 3/17/13]

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