Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Barely Trying to Hide it Anymore: Astroturf Rallies Against Obama

You may have heard that there are going to be protest rallies when President Obama visits the Missouri/Illinois/Iowa area in the next couple days. And who exactly is behind the rallies? Well, if you go to the first line of the Stand Up Missouri facebook event, you'd see this:
Join Tea Party Patriots, concerned Americans, and special guests as we take back our country at the Stand Up Missouri! Rally—just down the road from the site of President Barack Obama’s visit!
So if you actually believed the tea parties were grassroots, you might think that this was a good ol' fashioned populist protest like the ones we used to have when Bush started bombing Iraq under false pretenses. That is, until you looked at who created the event:

Hmmm, that's funny. So the Missouri Republican Party created the event, and then advertised it as a Tea Party Rally. Any guesses as to who the "special guests" might be? Well, according to the facebook page, one of the guests is a sitting Republican Congressman, and another is a former Republican chief of staff for Matt Blunt who's currently running for Congress:

Pretty grassrootsy, no? The site created for the event, Stand Up for Freedom, generally avoids mentioning that is this a Republican Party effort except for a few small hints.

They also are sending out press releases as the Republican Party, as reported in the St. Louis Beacon and KTVO3, so obviously this is a rally organized by the Missouri Republican Party. Obvious, that is, unless you get your news from the St. Louis Tea Party, who claim as they promote the event that the rally is being organized by the Macon, MO Tea Party and who make absolutely no mention of the Missouri Republican Party in their promotion.

Funny how the St. Louis Tea Party, recently under attack for being, " recently accused of being "hijacked by the Republican Party," gets so confused about these things.


  1. Predatory Lending is a major contributor to the economic turmoil we are currently experiencing.

    Here is an example of what I am talking about:
    Scott Veerkamp / Predatory Lending (Franklin Township School Board Member.)

    Please review this information from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley regarding deceptive lending practices:
    "Steering payments were made to brokers who enticed unsuspecting homeowners into deceptive and expensive mortgages. These secret bonus payments, often called Yield Spread Premiums, turned home mortgages into a SCAM."

    The Center for Responsible Lending says YSP "steals equity from struggling families."
    1. Scott collected nearly $10,000 on two separate mortgages using YSP and junk fees. 2. This is an average of $5,000 per loan. 3. The median value of the properties was $135,000. 4. Clearly, this type of lending represents a major ripoff for consumers.


  2. Who cares if the movement is grassroots or not, since they are certainly making a lot of noise. Regardless, I believe the tea party movement has a significant conservative grassroots component, but that also (as you allude to) there are strong repub party tenacles into the movement. I think these facts have been pretty clear for over a year. (For the record, as a non-conservative Independent, I am not a tea partier and have never had any real desire to join them).