J. Patrick Rooney
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
J. Patrick Rooney is the former chairman of Golden Rule Insurance Co. and recently founded Medical Savings Insurance Co. which specializes in the health savings accounts created out of President George W. Bush's 2003 prescription drug plan, according to the Washington Post, which first reported on Rooney's backing for People of Color United, a political front group that purports to represent African-Americans (although Rooney is Caucasian). He has provided approximately half the funding for the group, which is running misleading ads on African-American radio stations.
The Post quoted Rooney on August 12, 2006:
- "Rooney: I have a long history of involvement with and support of the black community. . . For 21 years I have gone to an all-black church. They finally elected me over other black people to their church board. I'm one of them."
In the fall of 2006, Rooney was the primary funder for pro-Republican radio advertising aimed at African-American voters. He contributed $900,000 to America's Pac, which conducted the campaign. The ads included a conversation between two black men about "ho's" and an attempt to link Republican white supremacist David Duke with the Democratic Party. 
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
- Thomas B. Edsall, "Group Runs Anti-Kerry Ads on Black Radio Stations," Washington Post, August 12, 2004.
- Josh Gerstein, "Republican Group Chides Democrats With Abortion Ads. Aim Is To Win Minority Voters, But Democrats Cry Foul," New York Sun, October 17, 2006.
- Mike McIntire, "Well-known blogger focuses attack on Obama" MSNBC-Newsweek, August 30, 2007.
- American Legislative Exchange Council, 1998 Form 990, form filed with the IRS and available via Guidestar.org, May 14, 1999