NJ Watchdog.org – a Tea Party astroturfer???

I just read comments on the Tittel vs. Lonegan RGGI debate post at http://www.bluejersey.com/diar… (sorry, I’ve been busy trying to pay bills and only got back to it today), and I was a bit shocked at some links and comments from “RightOne ” and a response from Jeff Gardner, as I had researched Watchdog.org for several prominent enviro who were interested in exposing them to legislators being pressured to repeal RGGI.

I would like to share this with all of you now – long but necessary to read – and you can draw your own conclusions. From my Feb. 21, 2011 report to enviros:

Follow the bouncing astroturf ball from a “Watchdog.org” alert posted today – http://watchdog.org/8343/new-j… –  (and notice the “Blue Dog” theme of the web site) one can only assume this is Tea Party/Koch-connected? (check these out also: Neb. Governor: Palin Qualified to Be President ( http://watchdog.org/8345/neb-g… ) and this Missouri Governor spends $400,000 flying on state plane ( http://watchdog.org/8347/misso… ) Yikes

1) NEW JERSEY’S “SECRETS” ARE PUBLIC RECORDS IN NEW YORK

http://watchdog.org/8343/new-j…

2) Watchdog.org part of the “Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…

Originally sponsored by the government transparency and accountability advocacy group, the Sam Adams Alliance, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity currently operates independently, having received 501(c)3 tax status from the Internal Revenue Service on June 5, 2009.

3) Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity

http://www.franklincenterhq.or…

Elizabeth Hillgrove

Elizabeth Hillgrove is a staff writer and researcher with the Franklin Center. Ms. Hillgrove’s passion for journalism and politics evolved from her interest in history and literature. Ms. Hillgrove received her training from the National Journalism Center in Washington D.C. She then served as a beat reporter with the Washington Times before earning a Koch Summer Fellowship with the Sam Adams Alliance.



4) Sam Adams Alliance


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…

Sam Adams Alliance works on behalf of individuals and groups who support free market and free enterprise causes, and greater government accountability at all levels of government. The organization does not take overt policy positions, and evaluates the causes it supports on a case-by-case basis, judging them by the amount to which they advance individual freedoms and responsible government.

Personnel

Eric O’Keefe is the Chairman and CEO of the Sam Adams Alliance. O’Keefe also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Humane Studies, the Center for Competitive Politics and Wisconsin Club for Growth.

5) Institute for Humane Studies (Sam Adams CEO Eric O’Keefe on their Board, operates Koch Summer Fellowships)

http://www.theihs.org/koch-sum…

6) “Tea Parties”: an astroturfed Koch family movement (FreedomWorks, Instapundit, Rick Santelli)

http://24ahead.com/tea-parties…

…ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the “Sam Adams Alliance,” whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public. Cached google records that we discovered show that the Sam Adams Alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the Koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots “tea party” protests going on today. All of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, FreedomWorks, a powerful PR organization headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey and funded by Koch money.

7) Anatomy of the Tea Party Movement: Sam Adams Alliance

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…

Long before Sam Adams Alliance’s recent website redesign, they altered an internship recruitment page that connected Sam Adams Alliance to Koch Industries: “Interested parties can apply for a Sam Adams Alliance internship through the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program administered by the Institute for Humane Studies and the State Policy Network.” The internship is still listed on the IHS website. Charles Koch founded the IHS. The internship page existed up until the site’s ongoing redesign, but recently the Koch reference was absent from the Sam Adams Alliance website.

Draw your own conclusions, but in my opinion, it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

Comment (1)

  1. Couch Potato Politics

    Watchdog.org is owned and operated by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity which is funded by a sponsorship grant from the Sam Adams Alliance (A “Free-Market” activists think-tank).

    The whole organization sources back to Jason Stverak, a native of Rapid City, South Dakota and President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a position he has held since January 2009. Before his service to the Franklin Center, Stverak served as Regional Field Director for the Sam Adams Alliance as well as Executive Director of the North Dakota Republican Party.

    Reply

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