Free Press has launched an online interactive tool to expose fake grassroots groups supported by big telco and cable companies to advance their political agenda. These “astroturf” organizations — many of which also work for the health insurance, energy and tobacco industries — are mobilizing to spread misinformation about Network Neutrality and Internet policies.
Check out the Free Press tool at www.freepress.net/astroturf. You can easily post it on your website to allow your readers to track the massive amounts of money that phone and cable companies spend on lobbyists and campaign contributions. It puts a spotlight on the deceptive activities of groups like FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, NetCompetition and the Heartland Institute (the last one is very familiar to MuniWireless.com readers).
“The fake grassroots groups are spending major resources to deceive the public and promote agendas of the corporations that sign their paychecks,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press. “We need transparency, accountability and honest debate. The crucial policy decisions being made right now about the future of the Internet must be based on independent research, reliable data and facts. The phone and cable companies must stop distorting the issues and hiding behind their astroturf groups, sock puppets and hired shills.
Along with exposing astroturf groups, the interactive tool features “The Money Trail,” which tabulates spending by big phone and cable on an army of lobbyists to push their agenda in Washington. In the past two years alone:
Explore the new interactive tool at http://www.freepress.net/astroturf.