Group That May Bring Health-Care Lawsuit Is Backed By Big-Name Conservative Funders

A conservative think tank that’s funded by several prominent backers of right-wing causes may bring a lawsuit over health-care reform on behalf of the governor of Arizona.

The Goldwater Institute has offered to bring the suit for free, and Gov. Jan Brewer is considering the offer, a spokeswoman for the institute told TPMmuckraker.Brewer, a Republican, has been looking for ways to bring the suit, after the state’s attorney general, Democrat Terry Goddard, declined to do so. Fourteen other state attorneys general are suing over the law, which they argue — despite the weight of expert opinion — is unconstitutional.

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute is committed to “expanding free enterprise and liberty,” according to its website, and was founded in 1988 “with Barry Goldwater’s blessing.” Its legal arm has brought cases on a range of issues including charter schools, eminent domain, and what it calls “entrepreneurial freedom.”

According to the institute’s 2006 annual report, it has received significant funding from several prominent backers of conservative and pro-business causes, including the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. The Koch family, and its company, Koch Industries, has been a major funder of efforts to deny global warming, as well as of Americans For Prosperity (AFP), which ran an aggressive camapign against health-care reform.

The institute has received funding from the Bradley Foundation. That’s another backer of AFP, as well as of Dick Armey’s FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Federalist Society, among other big-name conservative institutions.

Other Goldwater sponsors include the DCI Group, the notorious Washington-based astroturf lobbying firm which is run by GOP consultants with ties to Karl Rove and has worked for the Burmese Junta; Greenberg Traurig, the law and lobbying firm out of which Jack Abramoff ran his operation; and Dan and Marilyn Quayle.