Astroturf / Front Group

The Fight for "Net Neutrality" May Be Undone by Local Consultant

Posted on June 15, 2006 - 6:43am.

from: Seattle Stranger

Net Loss
The Fight for "Net Neutrality" May Be Undone by Local Consultant


The fate of the internet may very well be decided in Seattle. And it's not because of this city's renowned pool of high-tech talent. It's because two of the central players in a heated federal debate about the rules of engagement on the net—a debate that erupted on the floor of the U.S. House last week—hail from here.

Update from SavetheInternet

Posted on June 7, 2006 - 3:09pm.

Update from

Dear Coalition Member,

Here's a quick update on the Coalition.


This week there will be a pair of important votes on Net Neutrality. The first occurs Wednesday afternoon during a back-room meeting of the House Rules Committee. Rules will decide whether to allow the full House to vote on pro-Net Neutrality legislation later this week. If Rules allows Net Neutrality to the floor, a second vote could occur as early as Thursday evening, when every House representative has a chance to vote on the issue as an amendment to the COPE Act.

Rappers Can't Save You - The Death Of The Internet

Posted on June 7, 2006 - 7:55am.

from: All HipHop

Rappers Can't Save You - The Death Of The Internet
Bruce Dixon of Black Commentator

America’s Black misleadership class, which is nearly indistinguishable from its Black business class, has struck again. In a stunning coup, a mainline African American voting rights group has been enlisted on the side of AT&T and other telecom monopolies in their legislative push to privatize the Internet and roll back hundreds of agreements with local communities that force these monopolies to extend Internet and cable service to poor and rural communities around the country.

Telecom group spends big

Posted on June 7, 2006 - 7:45am.

from: The Hill

Telecom group spends big to raise industry profile

By Jim Snyder

The lobbying expenditures of the U.S. Telecom Association (USTA) have risen almost as fast as the TVs that soar through roofs in the group’s ubiquitous ad campaign.

Five years ago, USTA spent just over $2 million on lobbying. By last year that figure had risen to nearly $17 million, making the group the sixth biggest spender on K Street and a major contributor to a revival of telecom and high-tech lobbying.

C4CC Delivers Petition

Posted on June 6, 2006 - 2:11pm.

With the COPE vote bearing down this week, the astroturf groups are busy sprouting plastic dandelion blooms. Consumers for Cable Choice, which has been pushing their deceptive marketing campaign since last June, today claimed to have sent a petition to Congress on behalf of one million Americans. This is pretty creative math for an organization with 1200 individual supporters and 71 organizations. Apparently they tally up all the members of each organization and count them as petition signatories too (with Women Impacting Public Policy providing a whopping 505,000 count alone). One wonders if the same people behind C4CC also counted votes in Ohio and Florida.

Telcos Fund the Heritage Foundation

Posted on June 5, 2006 - 8:16am.

From: Digital Destiny

Hey! Guess Who Helps Fund the Heritage Foundation? AT&T and Verizon

Ready as always to weaken the public interest potential of U.S. communications, James L. Gattuso wrote a anti-network neutrality “Backgrounder” for the Heritage Foundation (released June 2, 2006). Subtitled “Will Congress Neuter the Net?”, the piece is a politically timed missive designed to undermine the growing pressure on Congress to enact network neutrality safeguards. It contains the usual litany of rationalizations and under-developed analysis used by big cable and phone advocates to criticize network neutrality.

Firms Fork Over Funds for Cable Campaign

Posted on May 30, 2006 - 6:51pm.

from: Technology Daily

Firms Fork Over Funds For Cable Rate Campaign

By Heather Greenfield
(Friday, May 26)

Telecom companies are spending serious green on advertising in recent weeks alerting Congress and their staffers to what they call a serious cause -- a grassroots campaign for lower cable and broadband rates.

Astroturf - Ads urge cable competition

Posted on May 29, 2006 - 10:49am.

"Neither group would disclose how much money it gets from the phone companies"

Know the Players:
Kelley Gannon, is the NACDS (The National Association of Chain Drug Stores ) Vice President of Communications. Gannon is a former Special Assistant to the President and White House Director of Press Advance in the Bush Administration

Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank played a role as a pliant mouthpiece for the tobacco industry which can be documented by searching the industry's internal document archives. More info at: (

( categories: Astroturf / Front Group | AT&T )

Telco Pundit for Hire

Posted on May 3, 2006 - 10:52am.

from: NY Post


May 3, 2006 -- Major U.S. newspapers often quote Jeff Kagan - regarded as one of the most influential telecommunications analysts - but invariably leave out the fact that he is paid by many companies in the industry to offer his comments to the media.

( categories: Astroturf / Front Group )

Astroturf Groups

Posted on April 16, 2006 - 8:45pm.

The Astroturfs

astroturf sample

Organizations and non-profits are referred to as 'astroturf groups' when they have no real grassroots support. These are generally PR firms bankrolled by corporations that are trying to shape public opinion to push favorable state or federal legislation through. Often these groups form legitimate 501c3 non-profit organizations - but their message is anything but reflective of an actual community. If you see a TV commercial or a newspaper ad that is touting "more cable competition" or "more consumer choices", more than likely you are looking at an astroturf campaign message.

( categories: Astroturf / Front Group )
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