Barre Seid

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Barre Seid is a Chicago industrialist and funder of right wing and climate inactivist causes through his Seid Foundation, and likely also through Donors Capital Fund.


Seid's Trippe Manufacturing Company makes Tripp Lite surge protectors.

Organizations funded

See the Seid Foundation page for the organizations it has funded.



It appears that Seid's preference is to influence quietly; he has used Donors Capital Fund, a donor-advised fund, to make contributions anonymously, and in at least one case a group of people, some with clear ties to him and some just ideologically aligned, will move into positions where they can wield influence, in an organization which has acquired significant funding by him or an anonymous donor or both. This apparent action-at-a-distance can make it difficult to be 100% certain that he's behind a particular effort.

Clarion Fund and 2008 DVD-insert Islamophobia push

"[The Clarion Fund distributed ] millions of DVDs about radical Islam in newspaper inserts...28 million in all ... [which] arguably helped fuel the anti-Muslim sentiment that boiled over in the "ground zero mosque" fight."[1] According to Salon, documentation from Clarion indicates that Seid bankrolled the operation - but not directly, more likely through Donors Capital Fund which is run by Koch Network attendee Whitney Ball:

...[A Clarion document showed] a donor listed as Barry Seid gave Clarion nearly $17 million in 2008, which would have paid for virtually the entire "Obsession" DVD campaign.

... There's only one Barry Seid Salon could find who might fit the profile of a $17 million donor to Clarion. That would be businessman Barre Seid (note the different spelling) of Illinois.... But his representative flatly denied to Salon that he has ever given money to Clarion."[1] [but neither Ball nor Seid's assistant would say whether Seid had given the money through Donors Capital Fund - which dispensed $17.7 million to Clarion that year.[1] ]

Shimer College attempted takeover

In 2010, Chicago-area "Great Books"-focused Shimer College narrowly fought off an ideological takeover effort bankrolled by an "anonymous donor", who is widely understood to be Seid[2] (whose foundation gave $800+ thousand to Shimer in 2007-2008); the "takeover faction" joining the Board of Trustees included the (Seid-funded) Heartland Institute's Joseph Bast, Eric O'Keefe of the Sam Adams Alliance and (Seid-funded) U.S. Term Limits, [2],[3],[4]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Justin Elliott (2010-11-16). Mystery of who funded right-wing "radical Islam" campaign deepens. Retrieved on 2011-07-02.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Deanna Isaacs (2010-02-25). Who's Buying Shimer?. Chicago Reader. Retrieved on 2011-07-06.
  3. Shimer Trustees Honored. Heartland Institute (2011-02-03). Retrieved on 2011-07-02. “Members of the reform faction of the board of trustees of Shimer College. Top row from left: Chuck Lang, Bill Escamilla, Tom Lindsay, Milt Rosenberg; lower row, John Marienau, Kathleen McCreary, Joseph Bast, and Eric O’Keefe.”
  4. Shimer's Board of Trustees. Shimer Alumni Alliance (2010-01-26). Retrieved on 2011-07-02. “links to bios of Lindsay and Shimer's current Board members. Where available, we've included links to their stated opinions about governance at Shimer.”

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External resources

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