Monday, March 29, 2021

Heritage Foundation Turns Down 6-Figure Donations After Taking 7-Figure Donation

 Here is more from Axios:

Flagship conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation turned down a pair of six-figure contributions last year from tech giants Google and Facebook, Axios has learned.

What's new: Outgoing Heritage president Kay Coles James wrote pointed letters to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in late October turning down their contributions.

  • The letters, which Heritage provided to Axios, formally rejected a $225,000 contribution from Google and noted that it would be returning a $150,000 donation from Facebook.
  • "We cannot in good conscience take money from a company that repeatedly, and blatantly, suppresses conservative speech on your platforms," said the letter to Pichai, language closely mirrored in the note to Zuckerberg.
  • Heritage accused Facebook of blocking referral traffic to the foundation's news and opinion website, and Google of censoring its YouTube videos, including by appending a disclaimer on one pre-election video "meant to cast doubt on the credibility of our well-sourced claims about the risks of voting by mail."
  • The Zuckerberg letter also noted Facebook's decision to temporarily limit the reach of New York Post story on the contents of Hunter Biden's laptop just weeks before the election.

Flashback: According to a Heritage spokesperson, Google had previously donated a total of $1.55 million to the group. Facebook had contributed $275,000.

  • Contributions to Heritage in 2019 alone totaled more than $87 million, according to its financial statements for the year.


In other words, the Heritage Foundation is keeping roughly 85% of the money that Google has given the think tank and it is returning around 15%.

Last week, it was announced that Heritage's president and EVP would be stepping down from the think tank.