Environmentalists ♥ Astroturfing

Here’s an interesting item from an environmentalist group opposing the Pebble Mine project in Alaska. They’re running a road show, not in Alaska, but in mainland cities to try and stir up the masses. Here’s a bit from their blog post about Monday’s Seattle event…

Monday night marked the kick off of the Save Bristol Bay Road Show in Seattle at the classic Leif Erikson hall in Ballard. Nearly 300 Washington residents including fishermen, Alaska Natives, and sportsmen turned out to watch the award-winning film, Red Gold, and get engaged in the campaign to stop Pebble mine.

I met countless commercial fishermen last night who live in Washington but make their income from fishing in Bristol Bay – I think every one of them signed a thank you letter to Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray for their support of the fishing industry.

…On the up side, plenty of people won great prizes in our gear giveaway and maybe you were one of the lucky ones who got a gift card to The Fly Shop or a cedar plank for cooking salmon. Congratulations to Maren Chapman who won an Orvis fly rod and reel worth $500.

What they fail to mention that all those ‘Road Show’ attendees were asked to sign letters to Sens. Murray and Cantwell in exchange for entry into the prize drawing. The Facebook pictures of the event spill the beans on that scam.

"Folks signed letters to Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray,which entered them in the gear giveaway."

The caption reads: “Folks signed letters to Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray,which entered them in the gear giveaway.”

For the anti-Pebble crew this kind of faux populism is par for the course, as the entire operation (to the tune of tens of millions of dollars ([example 1, example 2]) is financed by Robert Gillam, CEO of McKinley Capital Management, the richest man in Alaska.

The Save Bristol Bay Road Show is heading to many of the #Occupy cites this month and will surely be attended by the #OWS types, who will be blissfully unaware that the whole campaign is being funded by one of the %1…

Update: At about the 3:30 minute mark in the video below, you’ll hear event organizers tell the audience that they really do need to sign a letter to their representative to get entered in the raffle for a thousand dollars of donated goods.

Susan Sarandon: Astoundingly ignorant of history or brutally prejudiced?
Biden said what?
  • Anonymous

    Well there’s the “1%” and then there’s the “1%”.  Just ask George Soros, John Kerry and Warren Buffett.  It’s all in the “nuance” dear Kevin.

  • Not to mention there isn’t a hint of a shred of evidence the project would have any of the deleterious effects the opponents claim.  It’s complete fantasy and fabrication.

  • “Red Gold” — Talk about your apt titles. Leftists seem to be in the midst of the Red Gold-rush. Once again, emanating chiefly from CA.

  • When I lived in Fairbanks I had the honor of getting to know Harold Gillam, a son of one of Alaska’s aviation pioneers. Harold had been a mayor of the city of Fairbanks and the first chairman of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly (Alaskan counterpart to a county commission). He was a working engineer, a nice guy and an honest conservative. He has since passed away, if I’m not mistaken.

    I don’t know whether this Robert Gillam is related to him. I hope not.

    • They are related. Bob isn’t funding this event. It’s a TU function, not connected.

      • Bob isn’t funding this event.

        Event? The post suggests he’s funding the campaign to stop the mine. Is that not accurate?

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  • Anonymous

    The commercial fishery in Bristol Bay supports over 12,000 jobs, the sport fishing industry generates $166 million for the state, and the fishery as a whole provides roughly $450 – $500 million a year in regionally driven revenue. Lets put that all at risk by dropping one of the world’s largest open pit mines on top of the world’s largest salmon ecosystem to benefit foreign mining interests.

    • Anonymous

      I thought progressives were for, like, progress.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never seen Wizbang before, but it looks like a group I would see eye to eye with on most topics as I am about as far Right as one can be.  However, I cannot and will not support the Pebble initiative.  I used to work as a fly fishing guide in the BB watershed and know the area well.  It is simply a place you do not want a mine that has the potential to destroy the entire ecosystem.  I am a huge supporter of Drill Here, Drill Now, but not Pebble.  Pebble must not be allowed to happen, the risk is simply too great.
    This was written by a Bible banging, gun toting, ultra conservative!  Who, by the way, would love to drag every one of those OWS types to the nearest dock and ship ’em all to France.

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  • Anonymous

    The people of the borough in which the mine is proposed have voted to ban such developments, and thus have shown that they are against Pebble Mine. That Kevin isn’t astroturf that’s the DEMOCRATIC WILL of, WE, THE PEOPLE. That’s a constitutional imperative and by ignoring this fact, you show your true shameful colors. Attempting to disguise your support of corporate interests over The People is totally transparent. Wizbang is a mouth piece for corporate America, nothing more. NO Pebble mine.

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  • k8 taylor

    Hi Kevin, I believe you may have mislabeled this issue.  The people against the Pebble Mine are actually an unlikely coalition: a broad bipartisan group, consisting of conservatives and liberals, commercial fisherman and sportfisherman, Native Corporations, jewelers, restaurant owners, clergy, CEOs, and grassroots activists as well.  This isn’t a leftist environmental issue versus conservative Corporate America.  This is an issue about protecting sustainable jobs and local culture driven by ensuring that we continue to have healthy runs of salmon. 
    It is irrefutable knowledge that the wild salmon runs of California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho are a fraction of what they once were due to habitat degradation.  (that includes mining, logging, and population expansion as well as many other factors).  In today’s economy, these areas could likely benefit from a sustainable healthy fishery that no longer exists.  Let’s not lose the chance to protect jobs and ensure clean water.  That gold and copper isn’t going anywhere.  When there is no risk to the LAST stronghold of sockeye salmon providing $450 million dollars in annual revenue and thousands of jobs, it will be there.  Waiting.
    I hope that you will take the time to review this issue for what it is and not as an us vs them.  This is a matter of protecting jobs, economy, and culture.  I hope that your patriotism will supercede your disgust for environmentalists.