Bobby Jindal: How the ‘Radical Left’ Uses Energy Costs to Control Americans

Kelsey Harkness /

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday accused the Obama administration of making energy more expensive with the goal of making Americans more dependent on government.

“The Left, they like to tell us they are the ones [who] are following science and we’re the science deniers,” Jindal said to a small group of reporters after delivering a speech at The Heritage Foundation to debut his energy jobs plan. “But I think overall, their approach to energy is telling.”

The Republican governor said the “radical” Left wants energy to be scarce and expensive because it empowers the federal government to be more involved in Americans’ lives.

Doing so, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said, essentially allows the Obama administration to decide what kind of car you drive, what kind of home you live in, what kind of education your children receive, what kind of health care insurance is adequate for you, and what size soda you can drink.

Right now, Jindal said,  America “is on the road to failure.” He said:

It’s war on coal today; it’s going to be a war on natural gas tomorrow—it’s a war on any natural energy source. [The Left] wants it to be scarce; they want it to be expensive. You can see it in their actions, you can see it in their policies.

Jindal, elected governor of Lousiana in 2008 after two terms in Congress, has presided over a state hit by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

The Left wants energy to be scarce and expensive. You can see it in their actions, you can see it in their policies. -@BobbyJindal

He cited what he called the Left’s “startling” views on natural gas.

“When [natural gas] was 13 dollars, boy they loved it. As soon as it became affordable, all of the sudden they decided they didn’t like it so much,”  Jindal said.

>>>  What Contributes to Gas Prices and Solutions to Help

Nicolas Loris, a Heritage economist who specializes in energy policy, agreed that some liberals initially supported natural gas “as a bridge fuel to take us to renewables.” But because the revolution in shale gas provided an abundance of cheap natural gas, he said, “that bridge became a lot longer than they anticipated.”

“While it may be bad news for other sources of energy,” Loris added, “the low-cost energy is great news for American families and businesses.”

>>> Commentary: Obama May Be Bypassing Congress on Climate

Jindal also cited regulations on carbon dioxide as proof of an “ideologically extreme” agenda by President Obama and other liberals. He said:

“For much of the Left, the whole debate about [carbon dioxide]  is really a Trojan horse because these are folks that never did want a free market. This was a group that was always looking for an excuse to impose more government regulation, more government oversight. … This is just their latest vehicle to do it.”

Jindal’s energy plan, co-authored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, is called “Organizing Around Abundance: Making America an Energy Superpower” and promises to usher in an “unprecedented” era of energy development and job growth.

Here are the main points:

1. Promote responsible development of domestic energy resources and construct infrastructure to transport it.

2. Encourage technological innovation of renewables and emerging energy without picking winners and losers. In other words:Stop giving taxpayer-funded handouts to politically preferred energy sources and technologies. Let the market work.

3. Unlock the economic potential of the manufacturing renaissance by putting America’s energy resources to work.

4. Eliminate burdensome regulations such as the Obama administration’s increased carbon dioxide restrictions on power plants.

5. Bolster national security by ending policies that ban the exporting of natural resources.

6. Pursue “no regrets” policies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions without punishing the U.S. economy by putting it at a disadvantage to those of other nations.

Loris gave points to the Jindal-Flores plan for building on “what we see and know to be successful” when it comes to American energy production.

“Free market policies that open access, remove handouts and peel back burdensome regulations will reward risk-taking, stimulate economic growth and provide Americans with affordable energy,” he said.

What the nation shouldn’t pursue, Loris added, is a policy of reducing carbon dioxide.

“That assumes carbon emissions are a problem,” he said.  Instead, “we can recognize that free markets that reward technological innovation can fuel the economy and reduce emissions.”

Watch this video for Jindal’s complete public remarks at The Heritage Foundation.

Do Women Really Earn 22 Percent Less Than Men? - Daily Signal

Do Women Really Earn 22 Percent Less Than Men?

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler /

The Census Bureau released updated data this week showing that the so-called “gender pay gap” between men and women reached a record low, with women earning 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.

But does this mean that a woman who performs the exact same job as a man gets paid 22 cents less on the dollar? Of course not. If companies behaved that way, they would face lawsuits. Their profits would also suffer: underpaid women would jump ship to competitors and overpaid men would drive up costs and reduce companies’ competitiveness.

Even within the government pay scale, women make only 89 cents on the dollar compared to men.

The pay gap results from the choices women make. Once factors such as career choice, education and experience, hours and work schedules, and career interruptions are taken into account, the so-called pay gap falls to about 5 cents. Other factors, such as the cost of fringe benefits, likely explain some or all of the remaining gap.

For example, even within the government’s General Schedule pay scale that effectively prohibits pay-based discrimination, women make only 89 cents on the dollar compared to men. Why? Well, women make up 75 percent of all federal social workers but only 17 percent of all federal engineers. However, federal social workers make an average of $79,569, while federal engineers make an average of $117,894.

Differences in career choices do significantly affect earnings differentials between men and women. But does that mean we should limit individual choices, forcing women into male-dominated professions and men into female-dominated professions?

Attempts to reduce the so-called remaining “pay gap” through legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act would unintentionally harm women by forcing one-size-fits all jobs upon employees, thus taking away some of the choices women make, and by potentially subjecting women to increased discrimination in the hiring process.

While it may be true that the average women earns less than the average man, most women don’t measure their worth by the size of their paycheck, but rather their ability to freely pursue their own choices and happiness.

5 Key Points Marco Rubio Made in His Big Defense Speech Today - Daily Signal

5 Key Points Marco Rubio Made in His Big Defense Speech Today

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon /

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., outlined his views on the role of America in the world, why we need American power, and his position on what the U.S. military should look like in a speech today.

Here is a brief recap of what Rubio said:

1. “Foreign policy is domestic policy.” “Never before have our people and our economy been so connected and dependent to the world. What happens across the planet can have a greater impact on your family than what happens down the street.”

2. Rubio’s Foreign Policy doctrine

  1. “In this globalized world, conflict breeds economic disruption.” “We must boldly oppose efforts by other nations to infringe upon the freedom of international waters, airspace, cyberspace, and outer space.”
  2. “We need to have moral clarity regarding what we stand for and why. This means reinforcing our alliances. It means resisting efforts by rising and resurgent powers to subjugate their neighbors. It means being unabashed in our support for the spread of economic and political freedom.”
  3. “We need American Strength.” “The world is at its safest when America is at its Strongest.”

3. America’s enemies are getting bolder and threats are rising. The lists includes nuclear proliferation to countries like North Korea and soon Iran, growing Russian and Chinese militaries, and terrorist groups like ISIL. More problematic, “our adversaries are emboldened by what they perceive as our diminished military presence.”

4. The military has been cut too much. The Defense Department has borne the brunt of spending reductions, even though Social Security and Medicare make up a greater portion of federal spending. As Rubio stated, “adding insult to injury, the savings found in the defense budget were redirected to already bloated domestic programs.” These cuts, 21 percent in four years, has resulted in “a perilous strategic weakness.”

5. Increase the defense budget. The senator would like a return to the former Secretary of Defense Robert Gate’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget as recommended by the bipartisan National Defense Panel. The increased budget would allow the military to invest in two “vital objectives for national defense: modernization and innovation.”

In short, Rubio’s remarks laid out a solid conservative plan for foreign policy and defense, one that acknowledges both the countries’ fiscal responsibilities as well as global realities. His plan is rooted in his belief that “America cannot avoid its role as a global leader.”

How Bobby Jindal’s 7-Year-Old Son Outsmarted Common Core - Daily Signal

How Bobby Jindal’s 7-Year-Old Son Outsmarted Common Core

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness /

Under the Common Core education standards, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s 7-year-old son was required to explain why 18 + 4 = 22. Speaking yesterday at The Heritage Foundation on his new energy plan, Jindal shared his son’s witty response.

>>> Jindal: Obama Is ‘Incompetent,’ ‘Ideologically Extreme’

>>> Gov. Bobby Jindal Says Americans Want a ‘Hostile Takeover’ of Washington

Mike Lee to Take Over Conservative Senate Group - Daily Signal

Mike Lee to Take Over Conservative Senate Group

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn /

In what is being billed as a reason for conservatives to be encouraged, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has been tapped to head the Senate Steering Committee, a conference of Republican lawmakers working to advance a conservative agenda.

Lee will take the helm from Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, chairman for the past two years.

In a prepared statement, Lee said:

The Senate Steering Committee will continue to develop and promote conservative solutions and facilitate vigorous discussion and debate on the issues that matter most to the country. I look forward to leading this effort and very much appreciate the support of my colleagues.

The Utah Republican will take over in January with the start of the 114th Congress.

“Mike Lee is a knowledgeable and principled movement conservative, and he has done a terrific job as vice chairman of the Steering Committee this Congress,” Toomey said. “I’m pleased to hand the gavel to him.”

Lee and Toomey both were elected to the Senate in 2010, when a wave of tea party conservatives won seats in both the House and the Senate. Since then, Republicans have billed the two as champions of the conservative movement.

“Conservatives all over America will cheer the selection of Mike Lee to lead the Senate Steering Committee,” said Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, a former senator from South Carolina who also chaired the Steering Committee.

DeMint added:

Mike is one of the most dedicated, sincere and passionate public servants I’ve ever had the honor of working with. He’s leading the fight for conservative reform within Congress and heading the steering committee will give him a platform to ensure conservative ideas are part of the national conversation.

The Senate Steering Committee, founded in 1974, serves as a forum for Senate conservatives to create, promote and advance a national agenda. In addition to DeMint, other former chairmen include Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama and former Sens. Phil Gramm of Texas and Jon Kyl of Arizona.

 

The Problems With the Census Bureau’s New Estimates on How Many Americans Have Health Insurance - Daily Signal

The Problems With the Census Bureau’s New Estimates on How Many Americans Have Health Insurance

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Edmund Haislmaier /

If you are looking for information on how Americans are engaging with the Affordable Care Act, the Census Bureau’s recently released latest annual estimates of health insurance coverage is probably not the place to look—at least for now.

The Census Bureau, which derives its information on healthcare from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement—the same survey where it asks how many toilets, computers, microwaves, etc., people have in their homes—does provide some useful insights.

It catalogues the demographic characteristics of the population based on participation in different types of health insurance coverage—government health care programs, private employer and individual plans, and the uninsured. It tells us young adults make up a disproportionate share of the uninsured and provides useful information on the relative availability of employer-sponsored coverage by industry and firm size.

But its hard numbers on enrollment and enrollment trends are not reliable for drawing “big picture” conclusions, especially regarding the ACA. Indeed, that unreliability is why this year the Census Bureau started using a new set of health coverage questions in the ASEC.

The redesigned questionnaire itself is one reason to be careful in drawing conclusions from this latest data. Census itself notes “the redesign of the health insurance section of the CPS ASEC, its estimates of health insurance coverage are not directly comparable to estimates from prior years of the survey.”

Even with revisions in its methodology, the ASEC is still a survey and not a comprehensive accounting of actual enrollments. Although the new version of the ASEC aims to be more accurate, surveys never can be as precise as real-world data. For instance, based on this survey Census estimates Medicare covered 49 million people in 2013. Yet, actual Medicare enrollment in 2013 was 52.2 million individuals.

Also, the survey is conducted in March and is designed to gather information about health insurance coverage the previous year. Consequently, it reflects the reality of 2013. But Obamacare changed dramatically in 2014, which means this survey doesn’t reflect enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges, expansion of Medicaid in half the states or changes in employment-based coverage as a result of businesses and workers responding to new incentives and disincentives in Obamacare.

With respect to the last point, it is important to rely on actual enrollment data—as opposed to surveys—when assessing Obama’s impact on health coverage. This is particularly important for its effects on private market coverage.

For instance, my colleague, Drew Gonshorowski, and I recently published a paper that analyzed enrollment data for private health insurance for the six-month period from last Oct. 1 to Mar. 31 of this year. Despite media reports of gains in enrollment of as many as 4 million people, we found a net increase of just 520,000 people with private insurance during that time after accounting for reduced enrollment in employer-sponsored group coverage.

 

This Makes No Sense: Democratic Senator Wants to Make International Religious Freedom Agency More Partisan - Daily Signal

This Makes No Sense: Democratic Senator Wants to Make International Religious Freedom Agency More Partisan

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Edmund Haislmaier / John G. Malcolm /

With large-scale attacks against Christians by groups such as ISIS in Iraq, Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al-Shabab in Somalia, religious intolerance has been much in the news lately. Christians, of course, are not the only religious group subjected to persecution. Whether it is Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims and Falun Gong in China, Baha’is and Jews in Iran, or Ahmadis and Hindus in Pakistan, religious intolerance around the world is rampant.

A small U.S. agency that monitors the state of religious freedom around the world and makes policy recommendations to the president, the secretary of state, and Congress is in danger of becoming more partisan and likely less effective, if the Senate adopts a bill that has been proposed by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.).

76 percent of the world’s population live in countries with  high or very high levels of restrictions on religion.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was established by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA), is an independent, bipartisan, governmental entity, comprised of nine private sector commissioners of different religious backgrounds with expertise in religious freedom, human rights, and international affairs, who are appointed by the President, the leaders of the President’s party in Congress, and the leaders of the other party. They are assisted by a staff of policy analysts with expertise in different regions of the world and an executive director. Throughout the year, USCIRF commissioners engage in fact-finding trips, contact in-country sources and non-governmental organizations, and then make recommendations, contained in an annual report, about which countries engage in “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom,” thereby warranting the designation “country of particular concern” (which might subject that country to sanctions under IRFA).

The cover of USCIRF 2014 Annual Report. (Photo: uscirf.gov)

The cover of USCIRF 2014 Annual Report. (Photo: uscirf.gov)

Sadly, they are kept busy. According to USCIRF’s 2014 Annual Report, “84 percent of the world’s population identifies with a specific religious group,” and, according to the latest Pew study, religious intolerance around the world is at a frighteningly-high level with 76 percent of the world’s population living in countries with high or very high levels of restrictions on religion.

USCIRF also serves as a watchdog, emphasizing the importance of religious freedom and urging the administration to take aggressive action to urge countries to respect this fundamental human right. When the commissioners believe that an administration has not been zealous enough in its actions, as they often have during both Republican and Democratic administrations, they have been forthright in their criticisms, and they are similarly forthright in their praise on those rarer occasions when they believe it is warranted.

The Durbin bill would politicize the agency by creating a majority staff director and a minority staff director, representing the Democratic and Republican parties.

While commissioners can, and do, disagree with each other, sometimes vigorously, about how to designate a particular country in their annual report, their disagreements do not tend to break down along the usual lines of Democrat versus Republican or liberal versus conservative. They tend to break down, as one might hope, along the lines of each commissioner’s views about whether the country in question has done a better job of respecting the rights of people in that country to freedom of religion or belief since the last reporting period or whether conditions in that country have remained the same or deteriorated since the last reporting period. I have some insight into this process, having served as the General Counsel at USCIRF for a year-and-a-half, including the period when USCIRF was last reauthorized.

The House of Representatives recently voted to reauthorize USCIRF for another five years, along with some minor adjustments that should help USCIRF better fulfill its mission. In the Senate, however, things have gotten bogged down. On July 30, Durbin introduced S. 2711, which would reauthorize USCIRF for only two years, as if the problem will be gone by then. Even worse, the Durbin bill would politicize the agency by creating a majority staff director and a minority staff director, representing the Democratic and Republican parties, who would be empowered to hire additional professional staff members. It is hard to fathom how hiring overtly partisan staff members will help USCIRF address what is, and should always be, a bipartisan, really a non-partisan, issue.

In 1998, IRFA was passed overwhelmingly in the House (375-41) and unanimously in the Senate (98-0) before being signed into law by President Clinton. Religious freedom was one of the principles upon which our country was founded. Presidents and secretaries of state of both parties have stated that concern for the rights of people around the world to believe, worship and live according to their convictions is a fundamental human right and an integral part of our foreign policy. That right is in peril today throughout much of the world. When it comes to reauthorizing a small agency that punches above its weight in terms of highlighting this important issue and pointing out injustices and instances of intolerance wherever they occur, and urging our government to take appropriate action to rectify those injustices, wouldn’t it be better to just leave politics and partisanship out of it?

What’s Behind the Assault on the First Amendment - Daily Signal

What’s Behind the Assault on the First Amendment

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Edmund Haislmaier / John G. Malcolm / David Azerrad /

Today, the Constitution turns 227 years old. To “celebrate” the occasion, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, tried to gut the First Amendment.

Last week, he and other Senate Democrats proposed an amendment, related to electoral fundraising and spending, that would have considerably restricted the free speech rights of Americans.

Thankfully, the proposed amendment did not even make it out of the Senate. Unfortunately, the pernicious logic behind it has become a staple of liberal discourse and will continue to threaten one of the cornerstones of our constitutional order.

>>> Read The Heritage Guide to the Constitution

We may all be equal at the ballot box, advocates of speech restrictions say, but the rich use their wealth to obtain outsized political influence. Billionaires and corporations are buying elections by flooding the airwaves with their ads. Legislators are then beholden to those who helped put them into office. We must act, they argue, not to restrict speech, but to save democracy itself.

Those who want to limit free speech in the public square are in effect saying that the American people can only deliberate about political issues with governmental supervision.

To address the problem, the proposed amendment would have allowed Congress and the states to regulate how money was raised and spent “by candidates and others to influence elections.” By this standard, nearly any issue advocacy could be construed as trying to “influence elections.” Both the state and federal governments therefore would have the power year-round to silence people and associations they deemed to already have spoken enough.

The unstated assumptions behind the amendment are particularly telling. They reveal much about the twin pillars of the Left’s elitist worldview: a deep-seated distrust of the American people, coupled with an almost unshakeable faith in the powers of the state to act impartially on behalf of the common good.

Those who want to limit free speech in the public square are saying in effect the American people can deliberate about political issues only with governmental supervision. Congress and the states must create a regulatory regime to oversee what is said in the public square. Only then can the people be trusted to pass judgment on the issues confronting the country.

Without the benevolent care of their elected (and unelected) overlords, the American people would simply vote for whoever ran the most ads. They would not deliberate. They simply would take their cues from whoever made the most noise.

Elected officials and their bureaucratic minions, by contrast, are inured from such pressures. They can be counted on to act on behalf of the common good. They have no interests distinct from those of the people. They are not members of a ruling class but, rather, “public servants.”

What’s more, they cannot be swayed by any outside pressure. The siren songs of for-profit corporations and shadowy outside groups have no effect on their impartial deliberations, implies the Left. The people may be dragged hither and tither by the winds of political advertising—but not our elected officials or the employees of the Federal Electoral Commission.

World History Archive/Newscom

James Madison, World History Archive/Newscom

The Left’s iron law of politics—“money corrupts democracy”—somehow does not apply to a whole class of people who are to be entrusted with vast undefined powers to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” That they may use these powers to silence incumbents is nothing to worry about.

It doesn’t take a public service announcement on human nature to see what is wrong with this set-up. If money corrupts, then it corrupts everybody. Elected officials and bureaucrats are just as prone as anyone else to fall prey to special interests when drafting laws or issuing regulations.

A limited, constitutional government creates fewer opportunities for special interests to exert their influence than does a sprawling administrative state.

Must we then resign ourselves to corrupt politics? Is there nothing we can do “to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes,” as the failed amendment aspired to do?

Human nature being what it is, a definitive solution is not to be expected. The causes of what James Madison, the father of the Constitution, called “faction” and what we call “special interests” are “sown in the nature of man.”

Rather than exempt some from the pull of faction, the wiser course would be to limit the avenues for mischief. A limited, constitutional government creates fewer opportunities for special interests to exert their influence than does a sprawling administrative state.

Liberals have misdiagnosed the root cause of our democratic deficit: The Framers’ federated republic has been superseded by an omnipotent administrative state that is unmoored from the Constitution and beholden to myriad special interests. It chugs along, largely unaffected by electoral outcomes. Congresses come and go, but the administrative state endures and grows.

In this sense liberals are right that people’s votes matter less. Amending the Constitution to concentrate even more power in the government would only make matters worse.

Free-Market Groups Mount Campaign to Stop ‘Government Takeover of the Internet’ - Daily Signal

Free-Market Groups Mount Campaign to Stop ‘Government Takeover of the Internet’

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Edmund Haislmaier / John G. Malcolm / David Azerrad / Gabriella Morrongiello /

Free-market groups are raising concerns about a proposed government regulation that would “break” the Internet.

With major tech companies flooding the Internet with messages encouraging Americans to support net neutrality, groups opposed to the regulation are speaking out as well, voicing their concerns to the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC imposed net neutrality rules twice in 2008 and 2010, but the regulations were overturned in court in 2010 and earlier this year. Now, for a third time, the agency is trying again—and the proposal goes even farther than the previous two.

TechFreedom, a non-partisan think tank focused on technology policy, used the FCC’s invitation for comments to voice its vehement opposition to common carrier regulations on the Internet and to spread the word about its “Don’t Break the Net” web campaign.

In a press release Tuesday, TechFreedom President Berin Szoka said the goal was to debunk three myths about Title II of the 1996 Telecommunications Act:

A radical fringe has dressed up a government takeover of the Internet as ‘net neutrality.’ Google, Facebook, and the NAACP haven’t jumped on the Title II bandwagon, because they know better. Imposing public utility regulations on the Internet won’t create net neutrality, but the heavy hand of government will crush innovation and investment in broadband.

TechFreedom was joined by the International Center for Law and Economics. Geoffrey Manne, the center’s executive director, added, “Subjecting broadband to Title II would not even allow the FCC to do the one thing that most Net Neutrality supporters want: banning ‘paid prioritization.’”

James Gattuso, senior research fellow in regulatory policy at The Heritage Foundation, has maintained similar beliefs, arguing that the Internet operates best when providers are not subjected to cumbersome regulations and remain free to “charge content providers differing amounts for quality of service or transmission speeds.

“Almost every economic market offers some level of differentiated service at discount and premium rates. Airline passengers can fly coach or first class; sports fans choose between box seats or grandstand benches; cable service can be basic or enhanced tier. Paying more—or less—for a product or service according to the quality and quantity received is … a sign of a healthy, diverse marketplace, not an unfair marketplace,” Gattuso wrote.

Gattuso also said the proposed reclassification under Title II would result in an antiquated system of regulation “like railroads during the 20th century or local water companies today,” which is “hardly an appropriate model for a dynamic and ever-evolving technology like the Internet.”

Most Americans agree, according to a recent survey by the tech advocacy group CALinnovates. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said laws written decades ago for the telephone system aren’t adequate for dealing with the Internet.

Last week, companies such as Reddit, Netflix and Etsy joined the Massachusetts-based activist group Fight for the Future in an online campaign in support of the expansion and reinstatement of net neutrality.

The Left’s Political Network, Exposed in One Chart - Daily Signal

The Left’s Political Network, Exposed in One Chart

Kelsey Harkness / Rachel Greszler / Diem Salmon / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Edmund Haislmaier / John G. Malcolm / David Azerrad / Gabriella Morrongiello / Gabriella Morrongiello /

A new chart reveals the expansive network of progressive organizations funded by wealthy liberal donors, calling attention to the same “dark money” practices for which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has publicly criticized conservatives.

The graphic, which was circulated by Senate Republicans, illustrates a vast web of nonprofits, think tanks and grassroots organizations encircling Democracy Alliance, which recommends various liberal organizations to influential political contributors.

>>> Click to the Chart Below to Enlarge

140917_DemocracyAlliance

During a recent interview with The Washington Post, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said this flow of money from wealthy donors to liberal organizations is evidence of “stunning hypocrisy.”

“Senate Democrats have long been funded by a group of billionaires bent on maintaining their power, yet they pretend to be outraged,” Cruz told the Post.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, Republican staffers circulated the chart prior to a press conference last week where Senate Democrats unveiled an amendment intended to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

The amendment would have granted Congress and the states the power to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” Last Thursday, it failed, 54-42, when it didn’t receive the 60 votes necessary to end debate in the Senate.

The vast network associated with Democracy Alliance includes at least 182 progressive organizations.

In June, internal documents obtained by Politico disclosed a plan to have 21 core groups within Democracy Alliance’s portfolio “spend $374 million during the midterm election cycle—including nearly $200 million this year—to boost liberal candidates and causes in 2014 and beyond.”

Altogether, the chart, which is based on a briefing book included in the aforementioned documents, included roughly 170 organizations ranging from Enroll America, Organizing for Action and Center for American Progress to Planned Parenthood, NextGen Climate Action and the NCAAP. Prominent labor unions SEIU and AFL-CIO, and left-of-center publications, such as Mother Jones and Washington Monthly, also were included.

Gara LaMarche, president of Democracy Alliance, told The Washington Post that despite not being pleased to see the list of organizations receiving significant financial support made public, the circumstances have prompted Democracy Alliance to be more open in the future.

“The strategies we wish to employ will be very transparent, the groups we wish to invest in will be very transparent,” LaMarche told the Post.