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Heritage Holding Anti-IANA Transition Event With Cruz

Michele Neylon

The Heritage Foundation are conservative, in the American political sense. So it’s not surprising that they’ve been linked to some of the anti-IANA transition stuff coming from Ted Cruz and Co.

Tomorrow they’re holding an event, which is clearly not aimed at bolstering support on Capitol Hill for the IANA transition.

From the event description:

But is the so-called “IANA Transition” a good idea? Should we rush the Transition to get it done before the election, even if it means jeopardizing free expression and enterprise online? Will the proposed accountability and transparency safeguards really be enough? And either way, what might happen in the courts?

While I, and many others, would find the entire “jeopardizing free expression and enterprise” angle to be total bunkum, it is aimed at tapping into US conservative fears. At least they are consistent, I’ll give them that.

The event will feature Ted Cruz as keynote speaker and he’ll be joined by:

  • Berin Szoka – President, TechFreedom
  • Brett Schaefer – Jay Kingham Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs, The Heritage Foundation
  • Paul McGrady – Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP and Chair of Trademark, Domain Names and Brand Enforcement Practice
  • Philip Corwin – Founding Principal, Virtualaw LLC
  • Greg Thomas – President, Governance+Economics+Technology|Institute on Transformation

If you’re in the DC area you can attend the event in person by RSVPing here.

By Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions
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It's your headline that's fear-mongering Philip S. Corwin  –  Jul 07, 2016 6:54 AM PDT

Michele:
As someone who supports the IANA transition but has some concerns about the accountability plan and WS2 issues, and who has agreed to participate as a panelist in this event, I find your description both myopic and prejudiced.
I know from a pre-call held by the panelists yesterday (now including Junathan Zuck, who played a significant role in shaping the accountability plan) that we intend to have a highly informed and nuanced discussion of all aspects of the transition and accountability plans. The panel also includes Paul McGrady, who represents the IPC on GNSO Council (as I represent the BC, although all of us will be speaking in a personal capacity) and Brett Schaefer of Heritage, who has played a very constructive and responsible role on accountability as a member of the NCUC.
Perhaps before labeling an event as "aimed at tapping into US conservative fears" you might actually first watch it.
--Philip

So how was it? Volker Greimann  –  Jul 08, 2016 2:37 AM PDT

Did Cruz-control engage in the debate or piss off as soon as he received the cash for his speech?

Hard to tell John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 4:42 AM PDT

After the opening prayers and the ceremonial fondling of the assault rifles, there was something about building a big beautiful firewall to keep the Mexicans out and make the Internet great again.  Once President Trump gets his tiny hands on executive authority over the root zone, it's game over for free riding foreigners on our internet.

No Compensation and a Balanced Discussion Philip S. Corwin  –  Jul 08, 2016 5:19 AM PDT

Volker:
I have confirmed with the Heritage Foundation that Sen. Cruz received zero compensation from them for his remarks yesterday. That confirms my assumption, as it would be extremely unusual for any member of Congress to receive payment for remarks made on an issue that concerned them from a Washington think tank.
Further, while the Senator left immediately after delivering his remarks, there was nothing unusual in that. I have been dealing with the US Senate for four decades, including working there for the first six years of my career immediately after graduating from law school. Senators have extremely busy schedules. In a minority of instances a Senator making remarks such as this might take a few questions from the audience before departing. I have never seen a Senator deliver remarks at such an event and then stay to listen to a panel discussion.
Finally, to further explain my reaction to Michele's headline characterizing yesterday's proceeding as an "Anti-IANA Transition Event", I posted my comment because I would never agree to take part in such a one-sided discussion. I believe that any fair appraisal of yesterday's panel discussion would characterize it as well-informed and balanced. Indeed, no one on the panel opposed the transition; the debate focused on whether it should proceed on October 1 of this year with a complete withdrawal of the US or whether there should be a limited "test drive" in which the US retained some residual post-transition authority as the WS1 recommendations were implemented and the WS2 issues were addressed. In my own remarks I pointed out that the blunt force approach of extending the appropriations freeze would not permit a valid testing of the transition and accountability proposals.
Best, Philip

Fair enough Volker Greimann  –  Jul 08, 2016 5:29 AM PDT

OK, that clears up some of my misconception. I assumed US politicians were bribed paid rather well for speaking gigs to fund their private coffers political campaigns, but apparently this is not always the case.
I am still concerned that a politician would not at least try to take in the full discourse and breadth of opinions on a topic he is milking for his political gain apparently cares deeply about. Basing a political campaign on ones own opinion without listening to counter arguments strikes me as odd.
"Here is what I think about it and while you may have other thoughts on it, I will not even listen to them" is not the form of political discourse someone who once decided to run for president should subscribe to.

They already paid him John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 5:45 AM PDT

In the 2012 cycle, Heritage Foundation donated $4,625 to Ted Cruz, but that's just a drop in the bucket from a very casual search:

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000034435&type=P&state;=&sort=A&cycle=2012

That's why Phil carefully phrases it as "received zero compensation from them for his remarks yesterday".  No, they did not pay him specifically for his remarks yesterday.  The Heritage Foundation is an integral component of the funding/lobbying complex representing the interests of those who want to run the government in accordance with a book written by people who didn't know where the sun goes at night.

But as Phil explained, Volker, these types of forums are not where the critical debate and rational discussion occurs.  That sort of thing would be in the Senate itself, such as this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4FQAov2xI

Heritage, or Heritage Action? Philip S. Corwin  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:01 AM PDT

John:
Was that contribution from the Heritage Foundation or from Heritage Action, its separate but associated political arm? I'd be surprised if it was from the Foundation given the potential tax ramifications.
But yes, DC is filled with organizations comprising the "funding/lobbying complex" spanning the full political spectrum, and that support members of Congress by providing forums, policy advice, and sometimes financial support delivered via legal means. So, for example, on the right you have American Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, and US Chamber of Commerce — and their analogues on the left would be Brookings Institution, Center for American Progress, and AFL-CIO.
That's democracy, and "money is the mother's milk of politics".
Best, Philip

Oh come on... John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:11 AM PDT

"Was that contribution from the Heritage Foundation or from Heritage Action, its separate but associated political arm?"

Yes, the same group of people file another paper with the Delaware Secretary of State, and develop complete amnesia in their day-to-day dealings.

The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets, and minks. Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs. The family Mustelidae (which also includes badgers, otters, and wolverines) is often referred to as the "weasel family". In the UK, the term "weasel" usually refers to the smallest species Mustela nivalis.

US Laws on Campaign Funds Philip S. Corwin  –  Jul 08, 2016 5:53 AM PDT

Actually, US laws regarding direct contributions to the campaign of a member of Congress, or a candidate thereof, are quite strict. They set rather low dollar limits and require public disclosure of the name of the contributor and the amount.Corporate funds are prohibited. And a think tank like Heritage would jeopardize its tax-exempt status if it contributed to a campaign fund.
This is not to say that there is not a great deal of money spent on U.S. political activities other than a candidate's own campaign fund. Very large sums can be contributed to "Super-PACs", including funds from both corporations and labor unions; such funds can both endorse and attack candidates so long as they are not directly coordinated with a candidate. And individuals who are not currently running for office can receive extremely high speaking fees, the most notable example of which are the speaking fees (up to $250,000 per speech) that Hilary Clinton received from investment banks during the time between the end of her role as Secretary of State and the launching of her Presidential campaign (and for anyone who thinks that last reference is a partisan statement, I'd point out that the most frequent critic of her Wall Street speaking fees was rival Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders).

Ummm.... John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:07 AM PDT

"And a think tank like Heritage would jeopardize its tax-exempt status if it contributed to a campaign fund."

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000034435&type=P&state;=&sort=A&cycle=2012

Heritage Foundation
Among Federal Candidates, 2012 Cycle
Total: $77,545

Romney, Mitt (R) Pres $51,800
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) Senate $5,000
Cruz, Ted (R-TX) Senate $4,625
Allen, George (R-VA) Senate $3,500
Bongino, Dan (R-MD) Senate $2,500
Santorum, Rick (R) Pres $2,300
Feinberg, Evan (R-PA) House $1,000
...

Oh, wait, wait, I know… the Federal Election Commission database is lies!  All lies!  Probably cooked up by the same people who forged President Obama's phony birth certificate!

Surprised Philip S. Corwin  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:13 AM PDT

I'm surprised by that, and clearly made a mistake in my assumption of their organizational tax status.
But, again, there are lots of organizations on the left that do the same. And the fact that you can so readily find the contributions and amounts reinforces the fact that the contribution limits are rather low in the context of campaign costs (other than the Romney contribution, and I'd want more data on the relevant laws and how that was structured) and that this system of direct campaign contributions is quite transparent.

The data includes "affiliates" John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:25 AM PDT

"I'd want more data on the relevant laws and how that was structured"

Well, the way I understand it is that a lady comes onto the stage wearing seven veils.  As she dances, she removes them one at a time.

"But, again, there are lots of organizations on the left that do the same." John Berryhill  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:30 AM PDT

Phil, the question, broadly put, was whether there is a financial connection between Heritage and Cruz.  It was not about whatever other bogeyman you want to bring up, Clinton's speaking fees, or "organizations on the left".

Does Heritage and its affiliates put money in the till for Cruz?  Yes they do.  I'm sure it is all lawfully structured, and I'm sure there is a lot of money in politics.  Was the question related to political funding generally?  No.

But it is a simple question, with a simple answer, and obfuscations, distractions, and the squid ink of formal structures does not illuminate the answer to the question.

I've watched it.Cruz makes an eloquent, passionate Kevin Murphy  –  Jul 08, 2016 6:37 AM PDT

I've watched it.

Cruz makes an eloquent, passionate defense of free speech and his opposition to government censorship, but does not even attempt to say how that all relates to the IANA transition.

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