Over the past several years, I have written about how corporate front groups, largely funded by corporatists like the Koch brothers and their network of fake grassroots (“astroturf”) groups, manipulate the media to serve their corporate bottom lines. They use this network to amplify their corporate messages, disguised as “reporting” or “news”, jacking up their search engine hits, and ensuring that their slant on things dominates what you see on the internet and elsewhere. The terrific investigative journalist Lee Fang has written extensively on this, as well. You can read my interview with him HERE, my overview of his excellent reporting for The Nation HERE, and my review of his book The Machine: A Field Guide to the Resurgent Right HERE.…
A glimpse behind the curtain of how Koch-funded corporate front groups manipulate the news you read on the internet
Koch brothers front group Americans for Prosperity faces fierce backlash in Montana over Medicaid expansion
Montanans are a special breed of Americans. They are fiercely independent and, in general, quite conservative. However, one thing that most folks from Montana have no patience for is when outsiders come into their state, run down their elected officials, and try to tell them how to vote. That’s exactly what the Koch brothers corporatist front group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) did in Montana over the issue of Medicaid expansion and the results are enough to warm the cockles of this liberal’s heart.
AFP decided to target a number of Republican state legislators in Montana, legislators who had previously voted in favor of Medicaid expansion.…
In Livingston County, one of the most conservative places in mid-Michigan, the Koch brothers’ front group Americans for Prosperity backed GOP House candidate Wendy Day, putting up billboards to support her bid for the nomination in the 47th House District
Day is notorious for her time on a local school board (while she home-schooled her own kids) and for blogging during school board meetings. She also headed up a failed petion drive to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2010 that would allow Michigan voters the opportunity to vote on an amendment “that says you cannot be forced to join a government-run healthcare system” (i.e., “Obamacare”.)
After her petition drive went down in flames, Day claimed her group didn’t fail, they just didn’t succeed enough.…
State lawmakers snub Koch brothers & screw the Detroit Institute of Arts, vote for state aid in Detroit bankruptcy deal
Efforts by the Koch brothers front group Americans for Prosperity to scuttle the Detroit bankruptcy settlement were shot down in flames as the state legislature overwhelmingly voted yesterday to contribute $194.8 million toward the deal. This was the amount needed to ensure that the deal did not collapse and which saves the Detroit Institute of Arts’ priceless art collection while ensuring that retired Detroit pension holders don’t see their monthly retirement checks slashed.
The vote on the 11-bill package was bipartisan and, for the most part, lopsided. The main bill passed by a 103-7 margin. It was a harsh rebuke of the meddling of the corporatist Koch brothers and other wealthy funders of AFP.…
In a shocking development that surprises absolutely nobody, we learn that the Koch brothers, through their front group Americans for Prosperity, is working overtime to sabotage the “grand bargain” settlement that would bring the city of Detroit out of bankruptcy, save the Detroit Institute of Arts’ priceless art collection, and keep innocent retired pensioners from being thrown into abject poverty by slashing their pensions.
Nobody in Michigan would argue that we don’t need to take drastic measures to fix our crumbling roads. In some places, gravel roads would be an improvement over what the roads look like right now. One proposal being floated is to change the gas tax from a flat 19 cents per gallon to a percentage of the wholesale cost. This Republican proposal would allow more revenue to be collected when gas prices rise. The proposal, HB 5477, is expected to raise a little over $800 million in 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The Koch brothers are having none of it. In a letter to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, AFP-Michigan state director Scott Hagerstrom makes it clear that any tax increase to solve a problem that is rapidly making Michigan the laughing stock of the USA is off the table.…
UPDATEDx2: Koch brothers’ fake “Obamacare victim” Julie Boonstra made to look even more foolish and exploited
“It can’t be true…I personally do not believe that.”
My home town of Dexter has been in the national news a bit lately. It started when Congressman Tim “the Original Tea Partier” Walberg invited a resident of our Stars Hollow-like village, Julie Boonstra, to be his guest at President Obama’s State of the Union address as a “victim of Obamacare”.
From there, she was featured in an anti-Gary Peters ad by the Koch brothers’ front group Americans for Prosperity, an ad that has gotten more attention after being completely debunked than it would have gotten otherwise.
AFP doubled down, running another ad where Boonstra tearfully cries about being “silenced” by Gary Peters who questioned her veracity.…
Actually, it’s more like the Koch brothers’ campaign…
Terri Lynn Land can best be described as the U.S. Senate candidate in absentia. Unlike her Democratic opponent Gary Peters who has been touring the state talking to voters, Land hasn’t made public appearance in months, not one where she could be asked direct questions since she began her tepid campaign to replace Sen. Carl Levin. She has appeared at a handful of Republican events, one for which she wasn’t even listed on the event flyer. But that hasn’t stopped her from running a campaign so full of fail that it is crashing and burning before it even gets off the ground.…
GOP Congressmen Walberg and Bentivolio are so busy trying to discredit the ACA, how can they have time for anything else?
How many Obamacare “horror stories” have to be debunked for people to realize that the GOP spin machine is pedaling so hard it’s about ready to rotate off its axis?
Better yet, let’s call it what it is: lying. And two U.S. Congressmen from Michigan are spending an awful lot of time doing it — on the taxpayers’ dime, too.
Rep. Tim Walberg has been holding a series of events I like to call “Let’s All Complain About Obamacare” meetings.…
Michigan Democratic Party gets serious, will file FEC complaint against Terri Lynn Land for collusion with Super PACs
Fighting back against corporate funding of bought-and-paid-for Republicans
In late September of 2013, RNC Committeewoman Terri Lynn Land appeared at a Republican Women of Leelanau County Garden Party. Like Mitt Romney in 2012, Land neglected to notice that she was being recorded. Video of her appeared on Huffington Post saying that she had been talking to people at conservative Super PACs and they were “committed to Michigan” where she’s running for Senate.
Candidates are prohibited by federal law to coordinate with Super PACs.
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