January 2, 2014

WALL STREET JOURNAL: The Rope to Hang Them: John Podesta’s corporate donors are hoping to buy political protection.

President Obama is calling in the political cavalry, notably John Podesta, who was Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff before he became America’s most powerful unelected liberal by founding the Center for American Progress. So it’s instructive to inspect the list of corporate donors that Mr. Podesta’s think tank released last month.

Mr. Podesta founded the alternative to the Heritage Foundation in 2003, but it has long resisted disclosing its donor list. The motivation to do so now seems to be that it would be embarrassing to keep mum amid the current Democratic political campaign against businesses that give to conservative candidates or causes. All the more so with Mr. Podesta in the West Wing. . . .

Whatever the motive, the list of 58 corporate donors is revealing about the ways of the modern regulatory state. It certainly blows apart the myth that corporate America is “conservative” in any modern political sense of that word. It’s more accurate to say that Fortune FT.T +8.00% 500 CEOs think they must buy political protection from the left. So it’s no surprise to see the list is heavily weighted toward the most politicized parts of the economy.

Health insurers are there in force (eight), befitting their new role as public health utilities. That includes the insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, whose silence amid the make-it-up-as-you-go start of the ObamaCare shows it is now essentially a business partner of the Obama Administration.

Also Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, Apple, General Electric, Google, Facebook. Keep this in mind.