Is CORE fighting for the poor or Big Oil?

Is CORE fighting for the poor or Big Oil?
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UPDATE: Heard through the grapevine that CORE will be on the Canadian CBC show, the Current tomorrow morning. We’ve contacted the producers and have offered to provide more information.


With major corporate donations in the past from big players like Monsanto and ExxonMobil, I apologize for being more than a little cynical about the Congress of Racial Equality’s latest “Stop the War on the Poor” campaign.

To say that CORE has enjoyed a cozy relationship with big industry would be an understatement. In fact, the above photo is a picture of Monsanto’s Chairman and CEO, Hugh Grant chairing CORE‘s celebratory reception in honor of Martin Luther King Jr in 2005.

The visit to CORE by Monsanto’s President coincided with a conference organized by CORE decrying environmentalists and their opposition to the use of genetically modified crops in Africa. Just so happens that Monsanto is the largest producer and supplier of genetically-modified seed in the world.

You can check out the an archived version of CORE‘s website where they once proudly touted Monsanto as the corporate sponsor of their pro-GM food campaign. I saved a screen capture of the Monsanto/CORE site archive just in case it goes “missing.”

Then there’s the $275,000 CORE has received from the largest oil company in the world, ExxonMobil, most of the money tagged for public policy work in the area of climate change. Roy Innis, the head of CORE, has a long and well-documented history of attacking the environmental movement over the issue of global warming.

For example, in March, 2008 Innis spoke at a press conference in New York claiming that:

We are slowly destroying the energy system we have, and we are promoting an expensive, environmentally harmful, illusory energy system that exists only in theory and environmental rhetoric. Worst of all, we are harming our poorest families; we are rolling back the civil rights we struggled so long and hard to achieve; and we are sending many minorities to the back of the energy and economic bus. This must not, and cannot continue.”

Again, pardon me for being a little cynical when an organization that took $250,000 from ExxonMobil comes out against investing in renewable energy.

But I’m not the only cynical one. There’s a lot of us. For example, the original founder of CORE, James Farmer has accused Innis of:

“renting out CORE‘s historic reputation to corporations like Monsanto and ExxonMobil.”

Looks like they’re right. Here’s the full story on the Congress of Racial Equality that I have put together in a briefing document and entered into our climate denial industry database.

Next up on the research docket are the other two members of the “Stop the War on the Poor” campaign, the High Impact Leadership Coalition and the Americans for American Energy.


For more on the who’s who of the climate denial industry, check out our comprehensive climate deniers research database.

Is CORE fighting for the poor or Big Oil?

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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