Hartford Courant May 8, 2012
The Chicago-based Heartland Institute announced last Thursday that it paid for billboards in Chicago featuring Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson, and Fidel Castro with each saying they “still believe in global warming.” They had planned on featuring Osama bin Laden on a billboard in the future.
Heartland Institute is a right-wing non-profit think tank that advocates free market policies. In the 1990s they worked closely with tobacco companies to question the science linking second-hand smoke to health risks, and they lobby against government public-health reforms. They get funding from the Koch Foundation and other politically conservative organizations.
Now, Heartland Institute is trying to link murderers and madmen to liberals and global warming. However, the backlash over the billboards was almost immediate. Organizations who give money to the institute withdrew their support amid public pressure, including insurers and a Connecticut alcohol conglomerate that halted their financial support.
State Farm Insurance said yesterday on its Facebook page that they were ending their association with the Heartland Institute because of the billboard campaign; as well as the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, who wrote to the Institute four days ago that they disavowed any future relationship with the organization.
Heartland also lost support from Diageo, who owns Johnnie Walker Scotch whiskey, Tangueray gin and other brand-name alcoholic beverages.
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