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Gayle in MD
10-19-2009, 12:20 PM
As I said at the start of this piece, "How much of what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in newspapers or online as "conservative" opinion is actually paid for by corporate interests? In fact, how much of what we think of as "conservatism" itself is actually just paid corporate PR?" I think the answer is pretty clear at this point, and that is most of it.



Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/pay-for-play_b_238277.html


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Exclusive: Conservative group offers support for $2M
By: Mike Allen
July 17, 2009 05:07 AM EST

The American Conservative Union asked FedEx for a check for $2 million to $3 million in return for the group’s support in a bitter legislative dispute, then the group’s chairman flipped and sided with UPS after FedEx refused to pay.

For the $2 million plus, ACU offered a range of services that included: “Producing op-eds and articles written by ACU’s Chairman David Keene and/or other members of the ACU’s board of directors. (Note that Mr. Keene writes a weekly column that appears in The Hill.)”

The conservative group’s remarkable demand — black-and-white proof of the longtime Washington practice known as “pay for play” — was contained in a private letter to FedEx , which was provided to POLITICO.

The letter exposes the practice by some political interest groups of taking stands not for reasons of pure principle, as their members and supporters might assume, but also in part because a sponsor is paying big money.

In the three-page letter asking for money on June 30, the conservative group backed FedEx. After FedEx says it rejected the offer, Keene signed onto a two-page July 15 letter backing UPS. Keene did not return a message left on his cell phone.

Maury Lane, FedEx’s director of corporate communications, said: “Clearly, the ACU shopped their beliefs and UPS bought.”

ACU's executive vice president, Dennis Whitfield, said that neither the group nor David Keene, the chairman, took any money from UPS. Whitfield said the group has never received a response to its original proposal to FedEx. He said Keene endorsed the second letter as an individual, even though the letter bore the logo of ACU.

"Our position hasn't changed," said Whitfield, who was a deputy secretary of labor in the Reagan administration. "It won't change. I am fundamentally, philosophically opposed to doing what the Obama administration wants to do [to FedEx], and so is our organization."

FedEx and UPS, fierce competitors in the package delivery business, are at war over a provision under consideration in Congress that would expand union power at FedEx.

FedEx currently has one U.S. union contract for its entire express business. Under a change passed by the House and awaiting action in the Senate, FedEx — like UPS — would have to negotiate union contracts for individual locations, which FedEx claims would make it much more difficult to promise worldwide regularity for deliveries.

The American Conservative Union, which calls itself “the nation's oldest and largest grass-roots conservative lobbying organization,” took UPS’s side on Wednesday as part of a conservative consortium that accused FedEx of “misleading the public and legislators.” ACU's logo is at the top of the letter, along with those of six other conservative groups.

Just two weeks earlier, ACU had offered its endorsement to FedEx, saying in a letter to the company: “We stand with FedEx in opposition to this legislation.”

But there was a catch — an expensive one. ACU asked FedEx to pay as much as $3.4 million for e-mail and other services for “an aggressive grass-roots campaign to stop the legislation in the Senate.”

“For the activist contact portion of the plan, we will contact over 150,000 people per state multiple times at a cost of $1.39 per name or $2,147,550 to implement the entire program,” the letter says. “If we incorporate the targeted, senator-personalized radio effort into the plan, you can figure an additional $125,000 on average, per state” for an estimated 10 states. The total would be $3,397,550.”

The letter shows one reason why activists get so much junk mail, both on paper and electronically: Some groups that send it charge handsomely for the service.

Under the grass-roots program ACU proposed, “Each person will be contacted a total of seven times totaling nearly 11 million contacts total in the 10 targeted states.” “Within 72 hours of an agreement on the whole plan, we can have the data sets delivered and the first round of e-mail ready for delivery,” the offer states. “Within seven days, the mail can be in the USPS system and the phone call delivered.”


Lane, the FedEx official, said the offer was refused. "The proposal didn’t fit with our strategy of taking a straightforward approach to discussing the issue,” he said.

After the rebuff, American Conservative Union changed sides. ACU Chairman David A. Keene was one of eight conservative leaders who signed a letter to FedEx Chairman Frederick W. Smith, a champion of capitalism who in the past has been a favorite of conservatives.

The letter accuses FedEx of “falsely and disingenuously” labeling the rules change a “bailout” for UPS, since FedEx would become subject to the same arduous union structure.

The letter is also signed by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who is also on ACU’s board. FedEx is pushing its case with a website called http://www.BrownBailout.com.

The letter signed by the conservative leaders concludes: “To paraphrase the words of Ronald Reagan, ‘Mr. Smith, tear down this website.’”

Among the services ACU had offered to provide for the $2 million-plus price tag:

—Acquiring data of known conservatives in the targeted states (to be determined by FedEx), matching that data to an e-mail database and then incorporating those e-mail addresses with the current ACU e-mail database to create one targeted database of all potential activists.

—Sending a piece of targeted direct mail to these potential activists to ensure that they are well-educated prior to their contact with their senators.

—E-mailing the identified voter activists, in five rounds, in order to educate them on the issue(s) and to urge them to call their senators based on key dates. The ACU would include the phone number of their personal senators directly in the correspondence.

—Conducting targeted phone call campaign that will contact all voter activists to urge them to make a personal call to their senators. Each state would have a specialized message just for that state.

—Encouraging activists who live within 30 miles of a senator’s district office to consider making a personal visit to register their concerns at the office. ACU has proved that we can turn out well-informed, quality voters who present a good image to represent our concerns.

—As the vote for the legislation nears, distributing ACTION ALERT e-mails, and after the vote has taken place, distributing MegaVote e-mails to ACU’s members letting them know how their senators vote.

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http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=87F6C993-18FE-70B2-A8801E4FA12982D9




<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> have followed this stuff for some time, and I venture to say that most -- not all but most -- of what I see coming out of the so-called "conservative movement" appears to have been little more than corporate pay-for-play for many years.

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have followed this stuff for some time, and I venture to say that most -- not all but most -- of what I see coming out of the so-called "conservative movement" appears to have been little more than corporate pay-for-play for many years.

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A Donor Who Had Big Allies
By Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writers and Stephen Braun, Times Staff Writers|January 08, 2006
WASHINGTON — In a case that echoes the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, two Northern California Republican congressmen used their official positions to try to stop a federal investigation of a wealthy Texas businessman who provided them with political contributions.

Reps. John T. Doolittle and Richard W. Pombo joined forces with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas to oppose an investigation by federal banking regulators into the affairs of Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz, documents recently obtained by The Times show. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was seeking $300 million from Hurwitz for his role in the collapse of a Texas savings and loan that cost taxpayers $1.6 billion.




The investigation was ultimately dropped.

The effort to help Hurwitz began in 1999 when DeLay wrote a letter to the chairman of the FDIC denouncing the investigation of Hurwitz as a "form of harassment and deceit on the part of government employees." When the FDIC persisted, Doolittle and Pombo -- both considered proteges of DeLay -- used their power as members of the House Resources Committee to subpoena the agency's confidential records on the case, including details of the evidence FDIC investigators had compiled on Hurwitz.

Then, in 2001, the two congressmen inserted many of the sensitive documents into the Congressional Record, making them public and accessible to Hurwitz's lawyers, a move that FDIC officials said damaged the government's ability to pursue the banker.

The FDIC's chief spokesman characterized what Doolittle and Pombo did as "a seamy abuse of the legislative process." But soon afterward, in 2002, the FDIC dropped its case against Hurwitz, who had owned a controlling interest in the United Savings Assn. of Texas. United Savings' failure was one of the worst of the S&L debacles in the 1980s.

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http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jan/08/nation/na-banker8


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Today's Google Experiment - S&L Crisis, Insider Deals and Redwoods
If you are wondering how the current "Corporate Responsibility Crisis" could turn out, let's revisit the Savings and Loan Crisis of the early 90's. This is a two-part experiment today.

For background, go to Google and search using these keywords, "savings and loan crisis". Or, just click here. Once you've refreshed yourself on the events, get ready to get angry, and go to Google and search using these keywords, "savings and loan Hurwitz Maxxam Pacific Lumber Company". Or, just click here.

That's right, this guy not only got away with looting $1.6 billion from an S&L, he used the proceeds to buy Pacific Lumber, with much of the remaining old-growth redwood forest acreage in the West, and started cutting it all down as fast as he could. To slow this down the government PAID HIM $380 million to save just the Headwaters old-growth acreage from clear-cutting.

I'll be doing some research and will try to post some figures on just how many S&L looters went to jail, and how many of them had to even pay any of the money back. The S&L bailout was another huge transfer of taxpayer money to the very rich, and the selling off of the acquired assets to the well-connected for pennies on the dollar.

The outcome of the S&L crisis will not leave many of us feeling optimistic about the outcome of the "Corporate Responsibility Crisis". I doubt that that ANY corporate execs are going to go to jail, or even have to pay any of the money back. Certainly no one from Enron has been charged with anything yet, or has given any of the money back. It's more likely that the public outrage will be engineered into a situation where even more of our money will be channeled to the very wealthy.
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http://seetheforest.blogspot.com/2002_07_14_seetheforest_archive.html#79153396



<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">So, like I said the conservative persuasion machine and media echo chamber quickly moved past that initial far-right funding to also take in big corporate money. But corporate money is "interested" money - it necessarily has strings or it would not be given. And the strings necessarily go back to the interests of the corporation - not the public or the country - or even the conservative movement.


The movement followed the money and started to change from pure ideology to lobbying for the interests of the corporate backers. The think tanks began making arguments in support of what were little more than paying customers.


The corporations saw an opportunity and took over the so-called "conservative movement" and big, big, big money

As I said at the start of this piece, "How much of what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in newspapers or online as "conservative" opinion is actually paid for by corporate interests? In fact, how much of what we think of as "conservatism" itself is actually just paid corporate PR?" I think the answer is pretty clear at this point, and that is most of it.


</div></div>

So, like I said the conservative persuasion machine and media echo chamber quickly moved past that initial far-right funding to also take in big corporate money. But corporate money is "interested" money - it necessarily has strings or it would not be given. And the strings necessarily go back to the interests of the corporation - not the public or the country - or even the conservative movement.


The movement followed the money and started to change from pure ideology to lobbying for the interests of the corporate backers. The think tanks began making arguments in support of what were little more than paying customers.


The corporations saw an opportunity and took over the so-called "conservative movement" and big, big, big money

As I said at the start of this piece, "How much of what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in newspapers or online as "conservative" opinion is actually paid for by corporate interests? In fact, how much of what we think of as "conservatism" itself is actually just paid corporate PR?" I think the answer is pretty clear at this point, and that is most of it.



Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/pay-for-play_b_238277.html



I just love how "conservatives" hate Huffingtonpost, although, everything on there has usually been addressed with the same conclusions, by other media, and doumented.

But then, some folks don't really understand what fascism really is.

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Kerbouchard
10-19-2009, 12:28 PM
Why would anybody want to read more at the Huffington Post?

Deeman3
10-19-2009, 12:32 PM
Hey, at least having lost confidence in Obama, Huffington has asked Joe Biden to resign. Maybe they are starting to make sense! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Gayle in MD
10-19-2009, 12:49 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Hey, at least having lost confidence in Obama, Huffington has asked Joe Biden to resign. Maybe they are starting to make sense! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif </div></div>

Yeah, that was funny, Arianna was comparing him to Powell, saying, "please resign if Obama escalates in Afghanistan, like Powell should have done, instead of( of going to bat for Bush) helping him lie the country into an illegal, immoral, blood for oil, phoney war in Iraq, like Powell did. Just Retire, so you won't have that same black mark on your public career, like Powell admitted to having, after the fact.

Well, that was the gist of it... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

I am against excalating in Afghanistan, also, as is Biden, but I actually never cared much for Arianna Huffington, Damn, when is she going to learn our to speak language!!! However, she has one of the fastest, and best sites on the net, with more free links to the newspapers, and magazines, both right, and left, than any other I have found.

Interestingly enough, there are both supporters, and criticisms of the left, and of Obama, on her site, and always have been.
Hence, when the rightwingnuts can cherry pick something there that leans righty, they don't hesitate to post a link to Huffpo, :D...

BUT just let me oblige in kind, and Wank Wank Wank Wank, Wonk Wonk Wonk Wonk....INSULTS!~!!

/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif
Another case of their overwhelming hypocracy...the site is worth linking when it supports one of their twisted views, but not when it proves them wrong.

LMAO! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Deeman3
10-19-2009, 01:03 PM
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif[/img] /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

<span style="color: #FF0000"> Gee, Gayle, I never linked a post in my life! I saw her quoted on TV this weekend. No one really wnats Biden to resign, look who would be up for VP if that happened. You know none of us want that!

Hint: I was just pretending that Huffington Post made sense, no one would ever really think they did. Gee! </span>

pooltchr
10-19-2009, 01:06 PM
Funny how the original posting became all about the ACU's letter. The thing that stood out to me is how the Obama administration is siding with the unions in an effort to take on Fedex. Fedex has for years provided very well for their employees without any union interference (except for the ALPA which represents all commercial pilots).
You don't suppose that was in exchange for all the union support for Obama during the campaign? Isn't that also a sort of
"pay for play" kind of thing. We help get you elected to the white house, and you help us break into Fedex.

No outrage on that side of it, I suppose because the liberals love the unions and hate big business.

Steve

Gayle in MD
10-19-2009, 01:10 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Deeman3</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif[/img] /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/whistle.gif /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif </div></div>

<span style="color: #FF0000"> Gee, Gayle, I never linked a post in my life! I saw her quoted on TV this weekend. No one really wnats Biden to resign, look who would be up for VP if that happened. You know none of us want that!

Hint: I was just pretending that Huffington Post made sense, no one would ever really think they did. Gee! </span>


<span style="color: #000066">Gee D., I wasn't aiming that at you! Honestly Sorry if I came off that way. I'll try to be more careful...

I thought you'd know that by all the smiley faces...

G....never saw the Deeman link Huffpo</span> /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

LWW
10-19-2009, 02:01 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: pooltchr</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Funny how the original posting became all about the ACU's letter. The thing that stood out to me is how the Obama administration is siding with the unions in an effort to take on Fedex. Fedex has for years provided very well for their employees without any union interference (except for the ALPA which represents all commercial pilots).
You don't suppose that was in exchange for all the union support for Obama during the campaign? Isn't that also a sort of
"pay for play" kind of thing. We help get you elected to the white house, and you help us break into Fedex.

No outrage on that side of it, I suppose because the liberals love the unions and hate big business.

Steve </div></div>

What's funny is that Gayle, wolfie, Q, hondo, et al have no issue at all with BIG PHARMA committing ...

<span style="color: #FF0000"><span style='font-family: Arial Black'><span style='font-size: 26pt'><u>$120,000,000.00</u></span></span></span>

that's right ...

<span style="color: #FF0000"><span style='font-family: Arial Black'><span style='font-size: 26pt'><u>ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILLION US DOLLARS</u></span></span></span>

to getting Obamacare passed.

LWW