Donald Trump's patent director will speak at far-right fundraiser funded by Big Pharma
Andre Iancu, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is scheduled to discuss patents on Wednesday, May 22 at what is being billed as a fundraising dinner for the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles and the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Fund. But HuffPost is reporting that even though the event is dropping the name of a prominent culture warrior, it is in reality being sponsored not by Christian fundamentalists, but by corporate lobbyists — especially those representing the pharmaceutical industry.
Phyllis Schlafly, who was 92 when she died on September 5, 2016, was a far-right Republican social conservative known for railing against abortion, feminism, porn and gay rights. Back in 1964, Schlafly wrote the book, “A Choice, Not an Echo,” which encouraged the GOP to abandon its more moderate Rockefeller wing and move to the hard right. Schlafly blamed U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren (a Republican nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower) for the growth of the adult entertainment industry in the United States—and her prominence in Culture War politics grew as Christian fundamentalist organizations like the Moral Majority, Focus on the Family and the Christian Coalition became increasingly influential in the GOP in the 1980s.
But even though the May 22 event is promoting itself by dropping the names Phyllis Schafly and Eagle Forum, the event’s sponsors include PhRMA, which represents major pharmaceutical companies; the Biotechnology Innovation Institute, a pharma lobbying group; and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The event, according to HuffPost is being promoted as Iancu speaking to far-right social conservatives, but his main purpose in addressing the event is promoting corporate and pharmaceutical interests — which is a classic example of astroturfing.
With astroturfing, corporate interests will pretend to be representing a grass roots cause, be it left-wing or right-wing. But the ultimate goal is promoting corporate interests.