September 5, 2011

The Following article originated from

The MacArthur Foundation was established by John D. MacArthur (and his wife Catherine) shortly before he died in 1978. Mr. MacArthur was the sole owner of Bankers Life & Casualty (BL&C) Company, the largest privately held insurance company. At the time of his death, he was one of the three wealthiest men in America.

The MacArthur Foundation is one of the ten largest private philanthropic foundations in the United States and supports hundreds of leftist organizations, particularly environmentalist groups, although John D. MacArthur himself characterized the types of radical environmentalists that now benefit greatly from his Foundation's philanthropy as "bearded jerks" and "obstructionists."

Never formally defining a political or ideological identity for the Foundation, MacArthur once told William Kirby, the attorney who helped him set up the Foundation, "I figured out how to make the money. You fellows will have to figure out how to spend it." Two of the original members of the Foundation's Board of Trustees were the late conservative William Simon (who served as Secretary of the Treasury during the Nixon-Ford administration), and the conservative radio broadcaster and free-market advocate Paul Harvey. From 1979 to 1981, liberal and conservative forces fought for control of the Board. But when William Simon tried unsuccessfully to oust fellow Board member Rod MacArthur (John's son, a leftist and a WWII draft dodger), Simon resigned, and the Foundation's new, leftward political course was set in motion.

Most of the MacArthur Foundation's Board members have ties to leftist foundations or organizations. Its current President, Jonathan Fanton, is the Chairman of Human Rights Watch.

In addition to its support of radical environmentalism, the MacArthur Foundation funds groups that advocate gun control, juvenile justice reform, alternatives to incarceration for criminals, low-rent housing for the poor, radical feminist causes, gay rights, and “community change” initiatives to counter America's allegedly rampant racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia. Further, it supports organizations that oppose Social Security privatization, school choice, and the U.S. military’s development of an anti-missile defense system.

Noting its lurch to the political left, the Foundation's former President John Corbally opined in 1987 that if John MacArthur were still alive to see how his money was being spent, "a lot of it would just make him furious."

The MacArthur Foundation favors redistributive economic policies that can avert “costly conflicts between haves and have-nots.” It is a member organization of the Peace and Security Funders Group and the International Human Rights Funders Group. (The latter is a network of more than six-dozen grantmakers dedicated to funding leftist groups and causes.)

Each year since 1981, the Foundation has awarded its MacArthur Fellowship (sometimes nicknamed the "genius grant") to approximately two- to three-dozen individuals who "show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work." People of any age and any field of endeavor are eligible for an award, so long as they are U.S. residents. Each winner earns $500,000, which he or she receives in twenty installments over a five-year period. To date, only a handful of the several hundred "genius" recipients since 1981 have been political conservatives. Leftists who condemn what they characterize as America’s rampant poverty, exploitation, discrimination, and racial inequity are disproportionately represented among the genius award recipients.

Recent recipients of MacArthur Foundation grants include: the Tides Center; the Tides Foundation; the World Resources Institute; the Environmental Law Institute; the Brookings Institution; the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Physicians for Human Rights; American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education; the Worldwatch Institute; the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy; Friends of the Earth; the Neighborhood Funders Group; the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund; the Aspen Institute; the Nature Conservancy; Planned Parenthood; the Peace Research Institute; the United Nations Population Fund; the Environmental Law and Policy Center; the National Council of La Raza; the Union of Concerned Scientists; the Environmental Defense Fund; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the American Federation of Teachers; the Fourth Freedom Forum; Population Action International; the Public Citizen Global Tomorrow Coalition; Alliance for Justice; Global Exchange; the Environmental Working Group; National Public Radio; the National Lawyers Guild; Greenpeace; the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation; the Violence Policy Center; the Arms Control Association; the Biodiversity Action Network; the Alan Guttmacher Institute; the Urban League; the Urban Institute; Oxfam America; the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Public Broadcasting System; the Rainforest Alliance; Internews Network; the International Peace Academy; the World Organization Against Torture; the Center for Defense Information; the Center for Women Policy Studies; the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights; the Sociedad Mexicana pro Derechos de la Mujer; the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium; the Wildlife Conservation Society; the Earth Island Institute; Wildlife Trust; We the People Media; the Institute for War and Peace Reporting; the Crimes of War Education Project; the Socio-Legal Information Centre; the Social Science Research Council; the International Crisis Group; the Center for Political Ecology; the World Wildlife Fund; the Wilderness Society; the International Forum on Globalization; the Welfare Law Center; the Youth Human Rights Movement; the Pesticide Action Network; the Food Research and Action Center; Trust for Public Land; the Cornell University Peace Studies Program; the Youth Law Center; Community Justice for Youth Initiative; the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law; the Center for Health and Social Policy; the Center for Reproductive Rights; Catholics for the Right to Decide; Second Generation Media; Global Rights; the Center for Global Development; the Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan Network; Family Care International; International Documentary Foundation; Progressive Redevelopment; Health and Gender; the Native American Rights Fund; the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy; Policy Research, Inc.; INTERIGHTS-The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights; the International Center for Research on Women; the Center for Public Integrity; the Juvenile Law Center; the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues; Global Action Plan for the Earth; Human Rights Watch; Human Rights First; the Center for a New American Dream; Redefining Progress; Sea Web; the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; the Amazon Conservation Team; the Amazon Conservation Association; the Earth Day Network; Environmental Media Services; the Economic Policy Institute; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Campaign for America’s Future.


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