What do George Soros, labor unions and money-grubbing former GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette all have in common? They're control freaks. They're power hounds. They're united against tea party conservatives. And they all have operated under the umbrella of D.C. groups masquerading as "Main Street" Republicans.
LaTourette heads up the so-called "Main Street Partnership," which claims to represent "thoughtful," "pragmatic," "common sense" and "centrist" Republican leadership. Reality check: The pro-bailout, pro-debt, pro-amnesty, anti-drilling group founded by former liberal New York GOP Congressman Amory Houghton includes three liberal Senate Republicans (John McCain, Mark Kirk and Susan Collins) and 52 center-left House Republicans. LaTourette himself is a self-serving Beltway barnacle who held office for nearly two decades. Now he's leveraging his new tea party-bashing platform to benefit a family-operated lobbying business.
The New York Times shed light on LaTourette's tangled web of GOP establishment outfits last week. But that story just scratched the surface. As the paper reported, the Main Street Partnership is a nonprofit group that charges members up to $25,000 per year to rub elbows with Washington's rich and powerful. The Main Street Advocacy Fund and the Defending Main Street SuperPAC are political satellites planning to amass $8 million to bolster Republican liberals and moderates facing tea party challengers in 2014. McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies is LaTourette's lobbying firm.
The Times notes that "corporations and lobbyists" fund the Main Street Partnership. But far-left donors provided seed money for these affiliated K Street fronts. Who's behind the Defending Main Street SuperPAC? Big Labor. National Journal's Scott Bland reported last month that "two labor organizations, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers' International Union of North America, directed a combined $400,000 to the Republican group in September and October. Main Street says it has raised roughly $2 million total between its super PAC and an affiliated nonprofit group so far — and that means labor has supplied at least 20 percent of those funds."
Along with the anti-tea party U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the "Main Street" fat cats and union leaders have banded together to help President Obama push through illegal alien amnesty. The payoff: cheap labor for big business, cheap votes for the Democratic Party.
Main Street Partnership's chief operating and financial officer is Sarah Chamberlain Resnick. She also serves on the partnership's board of directors and previously served as an officer of the soft-money-raising Main Street Individual Fund. The MSIF is yet another spinoff group that received $50,000 from progressive billionaire George Soros in 2002 soon after it was created. Soros also dangled a "seven-figure contribution" in front of the Main Street Partnership, but Resnick said the group declined that one. The MSIF accepted a separate $50,000 Soros donation during the 2004 election cycle. It was mysteriously returned in November 2005 after I called attention to it.
These various groups are legally independent entities on paper, but have shared staff and legal resources. When I reported on the "Main Street" farce eight years ago, the partnership's counsel sent me a threatening letter baselessly claiming I had made "libelous" statements about its network. My sin? Exposing the radical environmental funders of "Main Street" Republicans who had sabotaged House conservative efforts to open up drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The "Main Street" Republicans back then gloated over their successful campaign to force squishy GOP leaders in D.C. to cave in to the left. There's nothing principled about their agenda. It's not about "common sense." It's about the Benjamins. These statists in populist clothing are running a Washington incumbency protection racket. Same as it ever was.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.