Oct 21, 2012
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.
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.
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).