Tuesday, August 18, 2009

So This is What Astro-Turf Looks Like...

Guest article by Sean Doherty, Publisher of The Constitutional Reporter www.TheConstitutionalReporter.com

The left and the right have been engaged lately in a battle of policies and ideas and…name-calling? Each side has been eager to prove that the other is engaged in “Astro-Turfing,” a clever name used to imply fake grassroots.

The Left accuses the anti-public option crowd of being bought and paid for by Big Pharma, while the Tea Party crowds are obviously contrived by Big Oil (according to the Left). Meanwhile, the Right has pointed to the organizational structure, efforts, and approach of political groups such as Progress Now, MoveOn.org, and Acorn. The evidence submitted is the nice, printed signs held by pro-public option supporters, the emails sent out by these and similar organizations, as well as buses bearing those proud political organizations names and supporters to Obama’s town hall meeting.

So who is right and who is wrong when it comes to labeling the other side as ‘astro-turf?’ Or is this really just a case of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?”

Well, the Constitutional Reporter looked into this and dug up some good seeds. Sow these and tell us what you think:

The Right

Yes, the Right is talking about ObamaCare. So are the Libertarians and Independents. And they’re legitimately afraid. This has made them active. The politically active Republicans are encouraging people to oppose ObamaCare. You can see their activity in the blogosphere. But there is no money trail. Nowhere have we been able to find any money being paid out here. And what’s even more interesting, the vast majority of people who attend the protests have been, to our surprise, not connected to any GOP leaders. Having attended several Lincoln Day dinners, GOP breakfast clubs, etc., this year, our staff was surprised to see so many new faces at the protests who probably didn’t even know that there are local breakfast clubs held weekly to talk about how bad ObamaCare and Democrat proposals are going to be!!

The Left

Here’s where it gets interesting… The Constitutional Reporter sat in at an important activism meeting held by some Democrat organizers. They were looking to hire some field reps to go out and spread the word about Cap and Trade. Here is their game plan:

Environmental Defense Fund has hired a national political consulting firm called Field Works. They want to lobby the ‘blue dog’ Democratic US Senators to convince them to vote ‘yes’ on Cap and Trade.

Field Works is hiring 12 people at $90/day. Each person will then go out and for 40 hours a week, their job is to talk to people about supporting Cap and Trade to protect the environment. Each of these 12 people will be responsible for finding 12 other people, per day, to make a phone call directly to Senator Michael Bennet’s office to urge him to support Cap and Trade. Additionally, each of those 12 field reps will be working to get 28 people, every day, to fill out a post card to be sent to Senator Bennet. (Field Works is providing the cell phones and post cards as well as postage)

This process will be continued, week in and week out, until October 2nd, and will also be conducted in six other states.

Now, if this isn’t “Astro-Turf” then what is it--fertilizer?

Folks on the Right better be prepared for the well-oiled machine of the Left. This piece just gives a small taste of what happens when this well-funded machine is put to work. If there was ever a time to call Senator Bennet and tell him to oppose Cap and Trade, then you better do it before October 2nd. Ask Senator Bennet to grow some productive, free market solutions, instead of growing our taxes.

(This was a guest article by Sean Doherty, Publisher of The Constitutional Reporter. www.TheConstitutionalReporter.com)

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