We at Cheap Seats nearly fell over when we read ProgressNow Colorado’s inadvertently hilarious year-end fundraising plea, which begs Coloradans to donate to the allegedly grassroots left-wing attack group.
“There are no corporations or billionaires paying our bills,” says Alan Franklin, ProgNow’s minister of propaganda, in the email. “We don’t depend on others to fight for our progressive values. We depend on you.”
We notice that Franklin doesn’t say anything about “millionaires.” But if ProgNow is indeed rejecting checks from “billionaires,” then that would certainly come as a departure for Colorado progressives, whose movement would not exist but for its solidarity with what Occupy Wall Street calls the 1 percent.
That alliance was never clearer than in 2013, when Colorado Democrats and liberals raked in enormous sums from sugar-daddy billionaires like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Los Angeles entrepreneur Eli Broad.
The left enjoyed enormous cash advantages over Republicans and conservatives in both the Colorado recall elections and the fight over Amendment 66. In the race over the proposed tax increase, proponents of Amendment 66 outraised the opposition by a staggering $11 million to $150,000.
Even so, the conservatives won. One reason is that Colorado voters have caught on to the progressives’ bogus poor-mouthing, and they’re growing to resent being played for fools.
That makes the job tougher for guys like Franklin, who must now be finding it difficult to convince potential donors that ProgressNow is desperate for revenue when the Colorado left continues to demonstrate that it’s awash in out-of-state, high-roller cash.
ProgressNow is part of the plan to build a permanent progressive majority in Colorado, outlined in “The Blueprint,” which seeks to demonstrate that the state can be flipped from red to blue with nothing but hard work, constant attacks on Republicans, and previously unheard-of piles of Ben Bernanke bucks.
The plan relies heavily on donations from three multi-millionaires—Rutt Bridges, Tim Gill and Jared Polis—and one billionaire, Pat Stryker, who was pegged at #328 on Forbes magazine’s September 2013 list of “the 400 richest Americans,” with an estimated net worth of $1.7 billion.
We don’t know for a fact that any of these moneybags are now funding ProgressNow—as a 501c4, the group doesn’t have to disclose its donors, and it doesn’t. But we did notice that Franklin’s email says that the supposedly ragtag collective doesn’t rely on the plural “billionaires.” You know, just in case someone like Stryker decides to chip in.
Also, we wonder how Franklin thinks rich people like Stryker and Gill acquired their money. Stryker is an heir to the Stryker Corp. medical-equipment fortune. Gill founded the software company Quark Inc. In other words, their capitalist megabucks came from the same big, bad corporations that Franklin insists have nothing to do with funding ProgressNow.
We’re looking forward to the day when Franklin’s fundraising email claims that ProgressNow receives no funding from trillionaires. That should be accurate, as far as it goes, but it might not win him any contributions from the average Coloradan.