Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tea Party Salem Oregon


geezerpower April 15, 2010  —

Well, I went to a Tea Party today, in Salem Oregon, with hundreds of people attending. When I left at 11:30 AM there were at least several hundred. Like many of the events nation wide, it was hosted by Freedom Works, an Astroturf outfit with it's roots in the George Duhbya Bu$h regime'. A speaker from freedom Works started things off with a lot of rhetoric about us and them,followed by a long prayer about God, country and taking the government back, then , of course, the star spangled banner.

Some history from sourcewatch.org

2008 - mortgage bailout

In 2008, FreedomWorks was behind the creation of a fake grassroots web site called Angryrenter.com which rallied opposition to "the Obama Housing Bailout"; the site claimed to represent "Renters and responsible homeowners against a government mortgage bailout", and urged people to oppose bailing out mortgage companies. Michael M. Phillips of the Wall Street Journal investigated AngryRenter.com and reported.

    "AngryRenter.com looks a bit like a digital ransom note, with irregular fonts, exclamation points and big red arrows -- all emphasizing prudent renters' outrage over a proposed government bailout for irresponsible homeowners. "It seems like America's renters may NEVER be able to afford a home," AngryRenter.com laments. The Web site urges like-minded tenants to let Congress feel their fury by signing an online petition. "We are millions of renters standing up for our rights!" Angry they may be, but the people behind AngryRenter.com are certainly not renters. Though it purports to be a spontaneous uprising, AngryRenter.com is actually a product of an inside-the-Beltway conservative advocacy organization led by Dick Armey, the former House majority leader, and publishing magnate Steve Forbes, a fellow Republican. It's a fake grass-roots effort -- what politicos call an AstroTurf campaign -- that provides a window into the sleight-of-hand ways of Washington."


Immigration reform

In 2005, the Americans for Border & Economic Security was established by the Republican-leaning PR and lobby firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates to advocate in favor of Bush administration immigration reform proposals. FreedomWorks was a founding member of the group.

Social Security

In 2005, FreedomWorks, "a group allied with Bush, sent its members 'Easter recess action kits' that included talking points and sample questions for town-hall meetings," all in favor of George W. Bush's push to privatize Social Security. [17] "By [FreedomWorks'] own count, the organization supplied about a third of the audience at a recent [pro-privatization] event in Tampa, Fla," reported the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in March 2005. "At least five of its members have joined Bush on stage."

In December 2004, FreedomWorks employee Sandra Jacques was introduced at a White House economic conference as a "single mom" from Iowa who supported the Bush administration's Social Security privatization plan. According to White House budget director, Jacques was was an example of how Bush promotes his agenda with testimonials from "regular folks." As the New York Times pointed out, however, "Ms. Jaques is not any random single mother. She is the Iowa state director of a conservative advocacy group.

The Times also noted that Jacques "spent much of the past two years as a spokeswoman in Iowa for a group called For Our Grandchildren, which is mounting a nationwide campaign for private savings accounts.

In January 2005, FreedomWorks announced that it was organizing a "Fly-in" to Washington DC as part of a "grassroots" lobbying effort for Social Security privatization and to attend a "White House town hall meeting" on the issue with President George W. Bush.

One of the 80 people the group brought to Washington was a Seattle-area businessman, Scott Ballard[21], the son of a long-time Republican politician in Washington state. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported:

    "He was contacted by the White House last Wednesday about his willingness to participate in an event. White House aides called again Thursday and told him they'd like him to appear at a town hall event with the president. Later that same day, Ballard got a call from FreedomWorks, a group founded by former Republican Reps. Dick Armey and Jack Kemp, offering to pay his expenses

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