Ezra Klein Describes Soros-Funded Brennan Center as 'Non Partisan'

June 15th, 2012 5:00 PM

Whenever a liberal labels an organization "non partisan," consider yourself duly alerted that it is nothing of the kind.

Here is what said liberal is actually saying if he or she could stomach the candor -- This is an organization that shares my views. I call it "non partisan" in a feeble attempt to provide legitimacy it would otherwise not possess. (video after page break)

This transparent dynamic was on display Wednesday night when Washington Post and Bloomberg columnist Ezra Klein guest hosted on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" --

There's a number for you -- 180. That is the number of bills to restrict voting rights that have been introduced in state legislatures since the beginning of 2011, according to the non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice.

Not surprisingly, Klein stumbled in describing the "Brenner" center as non partisan, implying that such a description was a bit much even for a Maddow guest host.

The Brennan Center for Justice, part of New York University School of Law, is named for the late Supreme Court justice William Brennan -- father of the "living" Constitution. The organization is headed by Michael Waldman. Name ring a bell? According to his bio at the Brennan website, Waldman did a bit of work for Bill Clinton back when Clinton was president. In fact, Waldman was "responsible for writing or editing nearly 2,000 speeches, including four State of the Union and two inaugural addresses."

Can you imagine a think tank run by someone who wrote that many speeches for George W. Bush -- that many major speeches -- being described on MSNBC as "non partisan"? The chances of this, to put it charitably, are nil. Instead, you'd hear it derided as "radical."

Not only that, the Brennan Center is a major beneficiary of financial contributions from an organization backed by left-wing financier George Soros, aka, He Whose Name Must Never Be Mentioned On MSNBC.

The Soros-funded Open Society Foundations donated $7.4 million to the Brennan Center from 2000 to 2010, plus another $2.8 million to New York University, NewsBuster Iris Somberg wrote last October.

Media coverage of a voting study released by the Brennan Center last fall was curiously lacking in references to Soros. "None of the five stories by The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, or CBS News noted that this study was funded by Soros," Somberg wrote.

Moreover, the study itself was riddled with questionable conclusions, according to a detailed, withering critique at National Review Online by Hans A. von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, former FEC commissioner and former voting counsel at the Justice Department.

"To judge from the number of reports citing its conclusions, the Brennan Center report is certainly a successful propapanda effort," von Spakovsky wrote. "However, neither the editorials of the Washington Post and the New York Times nor the Brennan Center report are empirically driven. Rather, they are myth-driven diatribes against common-sense election reform that the vast majority of the American people agree with, no matter what their race or political background. They are certainly not the devastating constraints on voters that the Brennan Center's report puffs them up to be."

Further evidence of Brennan Center propagandizing is evident from the organization's website, which today prominently displays a press release titled "Justice Department Will Sue Florida Over Voter Purge."

"We are disappointed with Secretary of State (Ken) Detzner's decision to press forward with this misguided voter purge," says Wendy Weiser, "Director of the Democracy Project," according to the release. "The state's planned purge, so close to the election, opens the door to errors, confusion and the removal of eligible voters."

"So close to the election" ... that's five months away.

The press release neglects to mention the reason that Florida officials are purging their voting rolls of non-residents and ineligible voters at this alleged 11th hour -- the Department of Homeland Security dragging its feet for nine months in failing to allow access to its SAVE system of a dozen immigration databases.