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Shining the light of transparency on lobbyist group

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I absolutely love it when the light of investigative reporting shines into the dark corners of lobbying. I giggle with joy every time anonymous corporate contributors, under some patriotically named organization, are exposed. It’s the right of every American to lobby the government, but it twists my knickers when corporations hide behind a fake public service organization in order to sway public opinion and influence legislators in their favor.

In this case, it’s the Americans for Prosperity. SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, has devoted an entire wiki to this lobbying group.

According to the website for Center for Media and Democracy,

The Center for Media and Democracy was founded by John Stauber in 1993 as an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, public interest organization. CMD’s mission is to promote transparency and an informed debate by exposing corporate spin and government propaganda and by engaging the public in collaborative, fair and accurate reporting.

SourceWatch is the Center’s information distribution effort.

SourceWatch is a collaborative project of the Center for Media and Democracy to produce a directory of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. A primary purpose of SourceWatch is documenting the PR and propaganda activities of public relations firms and public relations professionals engaged in managing and manipulating public perception, opinion and policy. SourceWatch also includes profiles on think tanks, industry-funded organizations and industry-friendly experts that work to influence public opinion and public policy on behalf of corporations, governments and special interests. Over time, SourceWatch has broadened to include others involved in public debates including media outlets, journalists, government agencies, activists and nongovernmental organizations. Unlike some other wikis, SourceWatch has a policy of strict referencing, and is overseen by a paid editor. SourceWatch has 46,143 articles.

According to SourceWatch, Americans for Prosperity has been primary in defeating anti-smoking legislation, organizing “tea parties”, working to defeat health care reform, and attempting to defeat any climate change legislation. The wiki goes on to list the main corporate contributors to this 501 (c) 4. All of them have financial interests in defeating the proposed legislation…and stand to lose big if the legislation passes.

The wiki makes for very interesting reading!


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