AARP CEO: “We are a strictly nonpartisan organization” 

Barry Rand, the chief executive officer of AARP who donated $8,900 to President Obama’s election campaign in 2008, on Friday told  the  House Ways and Means Committee that the group was nonpartisan.

“We are a strictly nonpartisan organization,” Rand said at a hearing on the group‘s finances.

Yet as I wrote in my column:

Though it bills itself as a non-partisan group representing the interests of 40 million Americans over 50, the reality is far different. Over the past three election cycles (2006-2010), contributions from individuals who named AARP as their employer went 95 percent to Democrats, according to an analysis of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. This doesn’t include the $8,900 the group’s CEO, Barry Rand, contributed to Obama before he joined AARP.

The only way AARP can be classified as bipartisan is that it supports the expansion of government no matter which party is initiating it. And a bigger government is good for business.

During the Bush administration, AARP endorsed the Medicare prescription drug plan, which helped it nearly triple its insurance royalty revenue, from $240 million in 2002 to $657 million by 2009.

Despite polls consistently showing older Americans more opposed to Obama’s national health care plan than any other age group, AARP lobbied for it. The group could stand to rake in an additional $166 million in 2014 alone as a result of the law, according to a House GOP report released ahead of the hearing.

More on the report here and here.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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