Center for American Progress releases list of corporate donors after founder moves to White House

Katie McHugh Associate Editor
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WASHINGTON — In a late Friday afternoon news dump, The Center for American Progress published a list of their 2013 corporate donors, who each contributed $10,000 or more to CAP’s $42 million budget.

Chicago native and founder John D. Podesta — former President Bill Clinton’s final chief of staff — will join the Obama administration early next year as a special senior advisor, prompting calls for CAP to release the full list of its corporate donors.

CAP was quick to play down the donors’ influence on research projects.

“American Progress receives more than 90 percent of its funding from individuals and foundations,” a statement issued with the donors list read. “Funding from corporations makes up less than 6 percent of funding for the Center for American Progress and less than 3 percent of funding for the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Corporate donations do not fund new research.”

Maybe not, but several corporations entrenched in the healthcare industry, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Blue Shield of California and a handful of others donated significant sums to CAP and its advocacy arm ThinkProgress, which has long championed President Barack Obama’s massive, deeply troubled overhaul of the nation’s healthcare system. CAP also released a report in 2009 that applauded the de-facto segregation of the reworked healthcare industry, which the Center called “racial concordance.” (RELATED: Obamacare seeks to segregate patients, doctors by race)

Another corporate donor, Eli Lilly, poured thousands of dollars into CAP as a member of its Business Alliance group as debates over Medicare cuts took place in Washington, D.C. Medicare covers many profitable drugs manufactured by the industry giant.

But Podesta wasn’t involved with soliciting corporate donations — and hadn’t been aware of who the donors were, current CAP president Neera Tanden claimed in a Thursday interview, according to The New York Times.

The list of donors CAP provided also fail to include the millions contributed by foundations owned by large corporations.

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