Obama Recruits President of Soros-Funded Group

John Podesta, founder of left-wing Center for American Progress, to be presidential counsel.

President Barack Obama hired a new counselor for 2014, a man who used to lead a liberal Soros-funded group.

John Podesta, founder and president of the far-left Center for American Progress (CAP), was tapped by the administration and will focus on the health care law and climate change issues, according to a Dec. 9, New York Times article.

This isn’t the first time Podesta has worked with the president. He co-chaired the transition team when Obama first came into office. He was also White House chief of staff under Clinton.  Neera Tanden, who has worked for both Obama and Hillary Clinton, currently runs CAP.

The Center for American Progress epitomizes everything that liberals claim that they hate about the right.

CAP was part of coalition of liberal groups in March of 2012 who targeted the pro-free market American Legislative Exchange Council for having corporate donors and promoting policy initiatives not in line with liberal goals. This attack resulted in several of ALEC’s corporate members pulling out. A similar attack was launched by some of the same groups against the State Policy Network.

CAP is a policy writing and advocating organization, complete with its own media outlet.  Not only has CAP received more than $5.7 million from George Soros, it also has a membership program for corporations to be part of the discussion.  The buy in for these corporate members stands at $25,000, $50,000 and $100,000 according to a Washington Free Beacon article from May 4, 2013.

In 2012, the Center for American Progress joined five other groups to attack the American Legislative Exchange Council for having corporate members and pushing free market principles. This attack was the pet project of veteran-journalist-turned-activist Bill Moyers. Moyers funded four of these six groups, including CAP, to the tune of more than a million dollars.

Think Progress, the “journalism” outlet for CAP Action, promotes a slew of liberal agenda talking points. These articles are often picked up by Alternet, and other members of the Media Consortium. The Media Consortium was created to be a progressive "echo chamber," where left-wing media outlets can network and share ideas, as well as cross-promote stories.

Think Progress was also part of a group of 23 liberal media outlets that pressured the IRS to target conservative groups. After the story broke in May 2013, the IRS admitted to giving extra scrutiny to applications for nonprofit status from groups with words like “tea party” or “patriot” in their descriptions.

— Mike Ciandella is Research Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Mike Ciandella on Twitter.