Astroturf

Posted by Anne Landman on December 10, 2009

Early in November, thousands of angry protesters flocked to Capitol Hill to listen to House Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) rail against a supposed "government takeover" of health care.

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Posted by Bob Burton on November 30, 2009

A major Australian building products company, Boral, has been forced to publish a full-page apology for its role in an astroturf campaign against BGC, which was seeking government approval for a new brickworks.

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Posted by Bob Burton on November 16, 2009

The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a front group created by veteran lobbyist Richard Berman, is planning an advertising blitz claiming that healthcare reform is too costly. The ads will run in Nebraska, North Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Connecticut and Maine. “We’re putting some serious money behind it,” said Berman.

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Posted by Bob Burton on November 01, 2009

A freshly-minted front group, which proclaimed that it promoted "balanced chemical safety reform that protects public health, innovation, and economic growth,” has been outed.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on September 22, 2009

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking a closer look at insurance giant Humana. Humana sent alarming mass mailings to people enrolled in one or more of its plans.

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Posted by Diane Farsetta on September 01, 2009

The industry group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) isn't just "sending thousands of its employees to town-hall meetings and other forums .... to try to counter a tide of criticism directed at the insurers," as the Wall Street Journal reported recently.

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Posted by Anne Landman on August 28, 2009

front groupsFake "grassroots" groups have started springing up like toadstools after a rain, and this time they're coming at us from every angle: they're on TV, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube: "Americans for Prosperity," "FACES of Coal, "The "Coalition to Protect Patients' Rights," "Americans Against Food Taxes," the "60 Plus Association," "Citizens for Better Medicare," "Patients First" ... It's making our heads spin! Issues affecting some of the country's biggest industries, like health insurance reform, a proposal to tax sodas and sugary drinks, and the FDA's possible reconsideration of the plastic additive Bisphenol A, have boosted corporate astroturfing up to a dizzying pace. With all these corporate fronts coming out of the woodwork, how can citizens tell true grassroots organizations from corporate fronts operated by highly-paid PR and lobbying firms? Here are some tips to help readers spot this kind of big-business hanky-panky.

Posted by Bob Burton on August 28, 2009

The recently launched coal industry front group, the Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal), has been in the news for its ties to a PR firm, the Adfero Group.

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