Lee Fang is an Investigative Fund Fellow at The Nation Institute and a San Francisco-based journalist covering the intersection of lobbying, politics, and political movements. He is a contributing writer for the Nation, and has a book slated to appear in early 2013 on the campaign by conservatives to block President Obama’s domestic agenda.
Lee was the first to uncover and detail the role of the billionaire Koch brothers in financing the Tea Party movement and multiple “astroturf” campaigns in 2009. He led the way in revealing the industry interests financing over two dozen front groups that waged war against the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and Waxman-Markey, the legislation designed to cap carbon emissions. His exposé of confidential Tea Party documents showed calculated efforts to harass and intimidate members of Congress. And along with theNew York Times, he revealed that Supreme Court justices had attended private fundraisers and strategy sessions hosted by the owners of Koch Industries.
In 2010, Lee’s investigations of the US Chamber of Commerce resulted in a story that showed that the same legal entity used to run millions of dollars of campaign ads received direct foreign funding. The following year, he broke the “ChamberLeaks” story showing that the Chamber had consulted with a set of defense contractors to develop a plan to hack and sabotage several liberal nonprofits and labor unions. His stories on lobbying and political front groups have been covered by CNN, MSNBC, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and the Washington Post, among others. He has interviewed more than fifty members of Congress, David Koch, Justice Samuel Alito, and other leading conservative icons.
Lee previously worked for three years at ThinkProgress.org, and after that, he helped found an investigative news site called Republic Report. His writing has appeared on Salon, in theBoston Globe, and In These Times.