astroturf groups

The Democratic Process in Michigan gets Astroturfed

I know astroturf when I see it…and I’ve seen plenty of it as a campaign manager and political activist. In my Michigan community alone we’ve endured multiple corporate money backed campaigns billed as “grassroots” that turned-out to be elaborate corporate schemes.

It’s easy to spot a sham.

So, my nose for these things was tweaked by a new facebook group that bills itself as “grassroots”. They are supposedly all about simply protecting Michigan’s constitution from the assault of the amendment questions on the ballot this November. On the surface, this group appears to be yet another “just say no to them all” campaign….but is it really?

They launched about a week ago on Oct 11th, instantaneously finding over 900 followers. Their page, with little substantive content, has been enthusiastically liked and commented on to a very suspicious degree ever since. Having worked on multiple such social media campaigns — I smell a rat.

Why?

Curiously, they weigh-in big time (literally) on the only non-constitutional question  on the ballot–Proposal 1, the referendum to repeal the Emergency Manager law.  They urge a  “yes” vote to keep that blatantly unconstitutional, racist and non-democratic legislative turd as law of the land, even though it has nothing to do with their supposed core mission — “protecting the constitution”. They then go on to urge “no” votes on all the constitutional amendments — cleverly Doo-wop naming themselves Yes -No-No-No-No-No.

Just take a look at their logo (size matters):

Defending a “yes” vote for the Emergency Manager law is next to impossible if a campaign organized around it on principle — how do you advocate for a wholesale attack on democratic home rule without coming across as un-American? However, if piggy-backed on the other proposals, they just might get away with sneaking their message in.
It’s hard to believe this is the work of another group called Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, who recently produced an embarrassing TV spot depicting a couple at their dining room table (channeling Harry and Louise of the Clinton healthcare plan) filling-out their absentee ballots willy-nilly voting “no” on everything without even taking the time to even read the ballot measures just because they don’t want the state constitution changed — at all. Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution already has a robust facebook page — why would they need another? Besides, they pulled that moronic TV spot and have since zeroed-in on getting “no” votes on the three proposals they only cared about in the first place: 2, 3  and 4

Ballot questions in support of collective bargaining and alternative energy policy are the new targets of this “grassroots” group.

Their newly honed focus leaves other corporate interests, er…”grassroots groups” to hammer the electorate with a vote “yes” campaign on props 5 and 6, both ballot questions designed to protect the privately owned Ambassador Bridge, the primary commerce route from Detroit to Windsor, from public competition and keep the billionaire Moroun family’s fortune intact — believe it or not, these two proposals are for the sole benefit of one family who epitomize everything wrong with the privatization myth.

Well, at least we can admire the way these Tea Party-backed corporate interests have learned to coordinate their democracy-destroying efforts! Kudos for respecting each other’s turf! (assholes).

Amy Kerr Hardin at Democracy Tree blog

KOCHTOPUS: The Kochs’ Influence Network Explained – VIDEO

This artistic interpretation of the Kochtopus is from “Outing the Oligarchy: Billionaires Who Benefit from Today’s Climate Crisis” from the International Forum on Globalization.

 

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To watch this explained on the very informative video, please click here

To navigate through the Kochtopus yourself (I recommend watching the video first), please click here

 

Koch Group Offers Illinois Residents Free Food, Trips To Wisconsin To Support Governor Scott Walker

…Now, it appears, Koch is spending money even in Illinois to help save Walker. Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers, is advertising bus trips with free food for Illinois residents who commit to traveling to Wisconsin to help Walker:

To read more about how David Koch is using the storm-troopers of the Cabal to help take Wisconsin, please click here