Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Politico Story on Leonard Leo

There is a new story up on Leonard Leo in Politico today by Heidi Przybyla, who has had some significant scoops on Leo and the Federalist Society. It's worth a read for understanding some of the turmoil that seems to be going on in the background of the Federalist Society regarding its relationship with Leo.

This blog's Lloyd Mayer is quoted within.

This story seems to be the irony that Leo runs the Federalist Society as a 501(c)(3), which is prohibited from any political campaign intervention. Nevertheless, it appears that he uses those connections from the (c)(3) to further political interests in many ways. 

One notable scoop here is that though Trump did rely upon the list provided by Leo as a member of the Federalist Society, no one from Federalist Society other than Leo controlled the names provided.

From the story:

"Interviews with people familiar with the internal workings of the Federalist Society, including two board members, paint a picture of a symbiotic relationship in which Leo uses his connection to the vast network of scholars in the society to earn credibility with donors, who then contribute to dark money operations that engage in the kind of partisanship the society officially eschews.

Leo’s political activism and his use of donor money to enhance his own wealth have prompted increasing tensions between him and his fellow co-chair, Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi, and Meyer, who has been executive director or president for more than 30 years, according to three people familiar with the society. But they said Leo’s ties to the conservative donor base fans fears that a rift would leave the society struggling for funds, while members also worry that any breach in the facade of the conservative legal movement would only empower the liberals that all sides disdain.

Leo’s business empire and his leadership position at the society “easily gets blurred,” creating “a public relations problem,” said professor Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer, an expert on nonprofit organization advocacy at the University of Notre Dame."

Philip Hackney


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