[Marxism] FW: Terri Schiavo case: follow the money
rfidler at cyberus.ca
Wed Mar 30 07:32:33 MST 2005
The Terri Schiavo case: follow the money
Endless court cases funded by ultraconservative foundations.
Dateline: Monday, March 28, 2005
by Jon B Eisenberg, for the Recorder
Have you ever wondered who is bankrolling the seemingly endless
courtroom effort to keep Terri Schiavo's feeding tube attached?
During the Watergate scandal, investigative reporters Bob Woodward and
Carl Bernstein were famously advised to "follow the money." In the
Schiavo case, the money leads to a consortium of conservative
foundations, with $2 billion in total assets, that are funding a legal
and public relations war of attrition intended to prolong Terri's life
indefinitely in order to further their own faith-based cultural agendas.
For the past 12 years, Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo, and her
parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, have been locked in a bitter dispute
over whether to withdraw artificial nutrition and hydration from Terri,
whom the courts have determined is in a persistent vegetative state with
no hope of recovery. The Schindlers want the doctors to keep Terri
alive; Michael does not. Late last year, in Bush v. Schiavo, the Florida
Supreme Court ruled that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush violated the
constitutional separation of powers, when he attempted to overturn a
court order to remove Terri's feeding tube. A few weeks ago, the US
Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
I filed an amicus curiae brief in the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of
55 bioethicists and a disability rights organization opposing the
governor's action. Two months later I participated in a public debate on
the case at Florida State University. Among the participants supporting
Gov. Bush's position were Pat Anderson, one of multiple attorneys who
have represented the Schindlers, and Wesley Smith and Rita Marker, two
activists whose specialty is opposing surrogate removal of life-support
from comatose and persistent vegetative state patients. I found myself
wondering: "I'm doing this pro bono; are they?"
I did some Internet research and learned that many of the attorneys,
activists and organizations working to keep Schiavo on life support all
these years have been funded by members of the Philanthropy Roundtable.
The Philanthropy Roundtable is a collection of foundations that have
funded conservative causes ranging from abolition of Social Security to
anti-tax crusades and United Nations conspiracy theories. The Roundtable
members' founders include scions of America's wealthiest families,
including Richard Mellon Scaife (heir to the Mellon industrial, oil, and
banking fortune), Harry Bradley (electronics), Joseph Coors (beer), and
the Smith Richardson family (pharmaceutical products).
I found a website called mediatransparency.com which tracks funding for
these foundations. Using just that website and the Schindlers' own site,
terrisfight.org, I learned of a network of funding connections between
some of the Philanthropy Roundtable's members and various organizations
behind the Schindlers, their lawyers and supporters, and the lawyers who
represented Gov. Bush in Bush v. Schiavo.
Here are a few examples: ...
For the whole story, go to the sites below.
[Jon B Eisenberg is an appellate practitioner based in Oakland CA USA
and is a prolific writer on appellate matters.]
URL 1: www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/4/173932/1891
URL 3: mediatransparency.com
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