The Guardian notes the cashroots behind right-wing Astroturf: "When Obama beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, FreedomWorks studied how he did it and then copied him. ... A plethora of groups have jumped on board, with exotic names such as Tea Party Patriots, Grassfire, Conservatives for Patients' Rights, 60 Plus, all loosely working together, with FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity probably the leading partners. ... FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity are sister groups who came from the same parent body -- a campaign called Citizens for a Sound Economy, which split in two in 2004. It was set up by one of America's richest men, David Koch, an oil tycoon who has funded rightwing causes for decades. FreedomWorks receives funding from the tobacco conglomerate Philip Morris, as well as from Richard Scaife, another business tycoon, who for years helped fund dirt-digging investigations into Bill Clinton. Local branches of Americans for Prosperity have also received tobacco money; the group has opposed smoke-free workplace laws and cigarette taxes. ... ExxonMobil was a sponsor of Citizens for Sound Economy, and both FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity have campaigned vigorously against Obama's plans to reduce CO2 emissions through a cap and trade scheme, working closely with the American Petroleum Institute. 'This is the same old, same old,' says John Stauber of the Center for Media and Democracy, which investigates corporate lobbying. 'Yes there are some new names and new causes, but these anti-government front groups have been around for a long time.'" See who else is in the Tea Party Movement.
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