The only real money thrown at putting Linux on the mainstream end user desktop is that of Ubuntu, personally I think that their efforts have benefited Linux greatly although I find some of their recent maneuvers very clumsy.
Looking past this we are now seeing this new exploding market of mobile computing which is reducing alot of the need the general populace have for desktop/laptop pc's.
And here Linux is amazingly well positioned thanks to Android in particular, and in a way so is BSD as parts of FreeBSD is used in iOS (AFAIK). Sadly that doesn't seem to benefit FreeBSD particularly. One would think that Apple could atleast sponsor FreeBSD as a donor given that they ship millions upon millions of devices using FreeBSD code, meanwhile Google which base pretty much all their stuff on Linux is a platinum sponsor of FreeBSD. Go figure.
As for the 'politics' remark, seriously? Have you read the mailing list posts pertaining to Mathew Dillon embarking on his Dragonfly BSD fork, do you know who Theo de Radt is and how he came to leave NetBSD (which he co-founded) to create the OpenBSD fork.
No, there is certainly no less amount of politics in the BSD sphere, this comes with the territory however. People are different, developers are different, their goals are different.