Conservative Intellectuals Love This Foundation. Here's Why - 2016-02-12
When it comes to spending money to influence public policy makers, the pharmaceutical industry has everyone beat: It's outspent every other industry in the United States on lobbying since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. But few pharmaceutical executives will ever match the influence of the late Daniel C. Searle of the G.D. Searle & Company.
Searle not only poured millions into right-of-center public policy organizations every year until his death in 2007; he's continued to do so from beyond the grave. He did it all by way of the Searle Freedom Trust, a foundation that he started in 1998 to advance research and scholarship in support of a "just, prosperous, and free society." Around $14 million to $15 million (or more) in Searle money goes out to conservative think tanks and advocacy groups every a year.
Searle is less well known than other top conservative foundations, like the Sarah Scaife and Bradley foundations. But it's long been part of the cadre of funders who have patiently built and sustained a robust conservative policy infrastructure over time. We write often about these funders for a simple reason: They have been extremely effective in shifting the terms of debate in key areas of policy—such as taxes, regulation, education, healthcare, and the social safety net.