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Are you looking for work?

Do you need a job? Astroturfers for Obama are hiring. Earlier Michael LaPrarie did a great job explaining how to separate the grassroots from the astroturf. It's not like they are trying to hide it or anything. Not to sound too much like Hillary or anything, but there is a great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it. You have a White House and Democrat congressional leaders going out accusing the hundreds of thousands of people who have shown up for tea parties around the country, and the "angry mobs" showing up at Town Hall meetings now, of being "astroturf" rather than grassroots. These are the average Americans showing up with homemade signs, often with kids in tow, peacefully demonstrating against a government they see as out of control. They are not being paid to be there.

On the other side you have the people who support the White House and Democrats who often pay people to show up for their cause (sometimes referred to as "rent a mobs") and no one in the MSM seems to notice or care.

Yesterday this ad was listed on my local Craig's List site:

**TALENTED LEADERS needed to work for health care reform $11-16/hour** (Downtown)

When I clicked on it to follow the link I got a message saying it was being removed.

Today the following ad is listed:

GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGNS! Earn $8-13/HR (Chapel Hill)
________________________________________
Date: 2009-08-11, 10:52AM EDT
Reply to: see below
________________________________________

This year, change is in the air. America's leading progressive
non-profits are gearing up for some of their biggest, most important
campaigns and there's one thing they all know they need in order to win-
citizen support and grassroots action. That's where we come in.

At the Fund for the Public Interest, we've been organizing campaigns to
protect the environment and stand up for the public interest for more than
25 years. This year, we're hiring hundreds of people to go out in
communities around the country and help make change happen.

Work with North Carolina PIRG to make health care more affordable!

You can work for change this year.

Join motivated staff around the country working to make change happen. You
can make great friends and money along the way. Earn $300-500 a week!

To apply for a job, call 919-933-XXXX and ask for Chris, or visit our
website- www.JobsThatMatter.org.

• Location: Chapel Hill
• Compensation: $300-500/wk, $8-13/hr
• This is at a non-profit organization.
• This is an internship job
• Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
• Phone calls about this job are ok.
• Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.


PostingID: 1317329358

I blocked out part of the phone number, but otherwise the ad is as it appears on Craig's List. There were similar ads posted in my local newspaper during the last election for people to work to elect Obama. Is this how those on the left find community organizers?

Melissa Clothier found many similar ads in Texas. They are all over the country and conservative bloggers are now posting links to many of them online.

Am I the only person who finds this ironic? Maybe I need to review the definition of the term grassroots. What can you expect though? This is from the side of the aisle that created an entire program on the concept of paid volunteers.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with paying people to work, or even paying people to provide support for groups campaigning for specific issues. Those on the right need to do more of that. But for those on the left to accuse tea party protesters and citizens showing up for town hall meetings of astroturfing and manufacturing outrage because they have been organized is especially outrageous considering how they find some of their "citizen support and grassroots action."

Update: In case anyone actually thought I was referring to a group literally named "Astroturfers for Obama," the name of the group hiring through the ad above is not named "Astroturfers for Obama," it is Fund for the Public Interest. Their website is here. They provide support for progressive campaigns for groups like Sierra Club, Human Rights Campaign, Greenpeace, Environment America and Peace Action. According to this ad, they are looking for people to work on behalf of NC PIRG.

From the description listed in the ad it sounds like what Axelrod referred to as astroturfing (they refer to it as "grassroots" campaigning in the ad) and it is to support what they refer to as "progressive" non-profits (who generally support programs proposed by those on the left and Obama, rather than those on the right and Republicans). Of course all the information in this update is contained in the original post and links, which you know if you read and followed them. The only new info is that the group is not named "Astroturfers for Obama." I thought that was obvious, but evidently some people require a little assistance, God love 'em.

Update II: Interesting.

I just want to make a point that all of a sudden "orchestrated" is a dirty word for some Democrats, even as they roll out their own pack-the-hall strategies through the Obama-controlled Democratic National Committee and its Organizing for America wing, working with reliable allied special-interest groups: MoveOn, AFSCME, SEIU, PIRG, Health Care for America Now (a coalition of progressive organizations), and Americans United for Change (another umbrella coalition).


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Comments (51)

Lori, the Democrats are all... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Lori, the Democrats are all about "nuance". We used to call it hypocrisy.

Obama's own site has some r... (Below threshold)

Obama's own site has some real, honest-to-goodness grassroots heartfelt non-organized opportunities:

"So we've cooked up an easy, powerful way for you to make a big impression: Office Visits for Health Reform.

All this week, OFA members like you will be stopping by local congressional offices to show our support for insurance reform. You can have a quick conversation with the local staff, tell your personal story, or even just drop off a customized flyer and say that reform matters to you.

We'll provide everything you need: the address, phone number, and open hours for the office, information about how the health care crisis affects your state for you to drop off (with the option of adding your personal story), and a step-by-step guide for your visit...

Earlier this week, the President wrote that "this is the moment our movement was built for" and asked us all to commit to join at least one event this month. This is the way to answer that call...

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America"

Can I just ask what the poi... (Below threshold)

Can I just ask what the point of having the option of using html tags is when they don't actually show up in the posts?

Astroturf or grass-roots...... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Astroturf or grass-roots....

Guess it all depends on how much money's being spent for fertilizer, doesn't it?

And doesn't it also make you kind of wonder where the money's coming from so organizations like the Chapel Hill folks, and Organizing for America can employ their Astroturf specialists?

"On the other side you h... (Below threshold)
DoninFla:

"On the other side you have the people who support the White House and Democrats who often pay people to show up for their cause (sometimes referred to as "rent a mobs") and no one in the MSM seems to notice or care."

That's because most of the MSM is as liberal as most Democrats...They semdom try to hide that fact now days...

Now I find out that my hard... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

Now I find out that my hard earned tax dollars are going to pay off Obama's supporters in the form of GUESS WHAT??? STIMULUS!!. Of course he is trying to disguise this as jobs. He found a way to pay back all the benefits he received to get him elected. He robs from us to pay his cronies. Now I know why the Stimulus package was so huge. He has a lot of backers to pay off. Go figure!

So . . . do they provide th... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

So . . . do they provide the billy clubs, or would we have to buy those on our own?

For you Mr President:... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:
This is yet another demonst... (Below threshold)

This is yet another demonstration of the axiom that if you want to know what the Democrats are up to, just listen to what they're accusing the GOP of doing.

I sugest you apply for the ... (Below threshold)
2klbofun:

I sugest you apply for the job. Then if/when you are not hired, sue for ideological discrimination.

Also, get as many of your conservative friends in the area to apply for the job also.

Paranoia and Projection, Or... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Paranoia and Projection, OregonMuse.

Dr. Sanity had a very good post on that...

Dr. Sanity: SHEER PROJECTION AND PARANOID FANTASY

It's a long read - but it really explains the actions of the left and the apparent need to destroy the opposition.

Mystery solved (all it took... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Mystery solved (all it took was a visit to the North Carolina PIRG website)

Summer Campaign Staff:

Now is the time to work for change. This summer we have the opportunity to win big change on issues that are critical to America, from affordable, dependable health care to more and better public transportation. But there's one thing that we know we need to win--citizen support and grassroots action. That's why we've partnered with the Fund for the Public Interest to hire college students, graduates, and activists across the state to go out into communities to talk with citizens about the issues, raise money, and build membership for NCPIRG. Staff also have the opportunity to work with the media, build coalitions and mobilize activists. Similar positions are available in more than 50 offices across the country. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobsthatmatter.org.

There's nothing I've found that indicates these people are showing up at town hall meetings.

But then, the writer of the this article didn't find any proof of that either. They just quoted the ad - and as the jobs board at the website shows these people are involved in grassroots organizing on a lot of different issues.

Hopefully the writer will call the North Carolina PIRG office and ask if these people are being sent to town hall meetings to "astro turf" but I doubt they'll do that.

Vic

Lorie Byrd wrote: "Do yo... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Lorie Byrd wrote: "Do you need a job? Astroturfers for Obama are hiring."

In my research I didn't find any proof that this organization is hiring people to "astro turf".

Neither did Lorie Byrd.

Vic

Vic,"There are non... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:

Vic,

"There are none so blind as those that will not see."

Remember when Hillary Clint... (Below threshold)

Remember when Hillary Clinton famously screeched: "'WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!"? How times change.

Lorie Byrd wrote: "Do yo... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Lorie Byrd wrote: "Do you need a job? Astroturfers for Obama are hiring."

In my research I didn't find any proof that this organization is hiring people to "astro turf".

Neither did Lorie Byrd.

Sorry Vic, I didn't realize I needed to dumb it down. For the record, the name of the group is not "Astroturfers for Obama," it is Fund for the Public Interest. Their website is here:

http://www.fundforthepublicinterest.org/about-us

From the description listed in the ad it sounds like what Axelrod referred to as astroturfing and it is to support Obama's programs. I don't know who pays them. I just hope it is not with taxpayer dollars as has been the case with ACORN. Is that more clear now? Maybe someone can explain it to you if not.

For the record, in my local paper, the News & Observer, last year there were ads asking for people to help elect Obama president. I can't remember what the job descriptions were exactly, but I think they were for people to go door to door singing Obama's praises and collecting addresses, phone numbers, etc. I can't remember who the organization hiring in that case was, but it was not the Obama campaign.

Thank you Ms Byrd, and it i... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Thank you Ms Byrd, and it isn't necessary to 'dumb it down' on my account, thank you -- but I've already visited the Fund for the Public Interest website in my research. I understand what they do and how they do it.

And I didn't find any proof that the jobs you wrote about are "Astroturfing for Obama" as you stated in your article.

Neither did you.

Vic

Victory is Ours-Nice screen... (Below threshold)
Dr. Carlo Lombardi:

Victory is Ours-Nice screen name.Here's something to shout out at your next Obama rally:
Hail Victory!
Hail Victory!
Hail Victory!

Yes I'm afraid one must dum... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Yes I'm afraid one must dumb down, way down, the discussion when referring to Victory is Ours.

According to obama's own adviser David Axelrod, who happens to have started the practice of astroturfing in the mid-eighties, astroturfing is defined as a way to gain support for a cause by manufacturing grassroots support.

If it takes a cash outlay of 8-10 bucks an hour so be it.

VIO:And ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

VIO:

And I didn't find any proof that the jobs you wrote about are "Astroturfing for Obama" as you stated in your article.

Willfully ignorant.

And I didn't find any pr... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

And I didn't find any proof that the jobs you wrote about are "Astroturfing for Obama" as you stated in your article.

Neither did you.

Vic

Actually it was not even necessary to visit their website or even the website of the group they are working on behalf of, NC PIRG. All you have to do is read the language in their ad. They are being paid to work for "grassroot campaigns." See Vic, those on the left, including those in the White House, are accusing those on the right showing up at tea party protests and town hall meetings of being paid for and inauthentic. The irony is that is exactly what those on the left are doing. If you can't at least admit the hypocrisy of that then you just aren't comfortable with the facts as they exist. I don't blame you. I wouldn't be either if I were you.

If the best you can do is complain that the name I made up to make a point is not the actual literal name of the group (which I never claimed it to be -- I was using it as a descriptive term) then you ain't got much.

And that is the end of my lesson for the day. Next time you'll have to put on your thinking cap and figure it out for yourself.

Vic, I cannot know if it is... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Vic, I cannot know if it is necessary to dumb anything down for you but on the obverse side, find and ad asking offering to pay folks to campaign against health care reform. As to whether or not the necessity to dumb down for you is required. Please explain the purpose of this ads easily found on craigslist in every market? Vic, how much would someone have to pay you to become a slave? No smart answer, just a dollar amount. I just wonder what your freedom is worth to you. Not much I'll bet.

Vic, this organization is f... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Vic, this organization is for you. You'll fit right in, from the sound of it.

http://flameow.livejournal.com/6142.html

Hope they keep you so busy raising cash for the Sierra Club and Weepy Human Rights you won't have time for us peons.

Best of luck in your new career.

Well, at least some progres... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Well, at least some progressive astroturfers are getting paid.

What's happening with the regressives? Oh, not much: just being told by the "Tea Party Patriot" national coordinator that Dick Armey's astroturfing organization won't let them choose their own logo. Grassroots!

These protesters aren't even getting paid to shill for FreedomWorks! Involuntary voluntarism? Or willfully shilling for Dick Armey's corporate clients?

"These protesters aren't ev... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"These protesters aren't even getting paid to shill for FreedomWorks!"

And that upsets you? Because they show up (for some reason) without being PAID to do so?

Unlike the astroturf shills hired by the Democrats? The one's who won't show up UNLESS PAID?

The people supporting Obama... (Below threshold)
Madalyn:

The people supporting Obama are getting paid for it. The people opposed to Obama are doing it for nothing because they know what freedoms are about to be taken away. Way to go Dems - bribe your followers. Is that the only way you Dems can get votes? I am still trying to wade thru this mumbo jumbo of a health care bill, and let me tell you all something: It is a mess and a disgrace. All it does is reference from one page and section to another page and section. It would take the average person several months to get thru it, and that doesn't include deciphering what it says and his highness wants it shoved down our throats in 2 weeks? Something smells fishy and it ain't the side I'm on.

The ads are for paid worker... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

The ads are for paid workers to do grassroots organizing work. They ARE NOT for paid workers to show up at the Town Hall meetings, as Ms Byrd's article claims. Apples and oranges.

I'm not saying the Screaming Teabaggers are being paid, either. Just that whoever gets hired as the result of these ads aren't being hired to attend Town Halls. So the article gives a false impression, which is what, I think, Vic is saying here.

And he's saying that Ms Byrd knows it, and he appears to be correct.

It's really getting to be p... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

It's really getting to be pretty simple to tell the paid astroturfers from the folks demonstrating out of conviction.

Look at the signs at the protests.

The paid astroturfers all have identical ones - professionally printed.

The folks demonstrating out of conviction make their own, and don't look nearly so good.

So who's financing the Astroturf?

The PIRGs have been running... (Below threshold)
James H:

The PIRGs have been running these kinds of ads for more than a decade. How do I know?

Because I applied for one of their jobs in 1995, answern an advertisement whose wording has apparently not changed in nearly 15 years. I thought I was applying for a summer internship with a reasonably prestigious left-leaning nonprofit. Little did I know.

The PIRGs, after all, do some worthwhile work if you happen to be a lefty, including studies of government and economic policy, and so forth. They also try to maintain contact with local media and all sorts of other little community activist-y things.

All well and good. I figured I might be able to intern in their analogue to a member relations or public relations department, make some money, and learn a little bit about the world of activism.

Bzzzt!! Wrong!!

The "interview" was anything but an interview for a summer itnernship such a nonprofit. Rather, the "interview" was a cattle call for bushy-tailed, bright-eyed wannabe activists to hit the streets and raise money to fund the PIRG. Part of the deal was that your compensation was tied to how much money you solicited. Sort of like a used-car salesman, but instead of selling people a SHINY NEW CAR!! you were selling warm fuzzy feelings about environmentalism.

I know that such organizations have to be funded somehow. I understand the fund-raising is integral. But I did not intend to spend my summer home from school soliciting donations when I really needed to learn actual SKILLS. That is, things that might help me in the
workplace.

And that job ain't it.

I don't think that job is about Astro turfing at all. Rather, it's about bringing in enough warm bodies to keep feeding money into the PIRG machine.

Which is all well and good. But I still resent their chirpy ad that plays on youthful idealism.

BH - "The ads are for p... (Below threshold)
Marc:

BH - "The ads are for paid workers to do grassroots organizing work. They ARE NOT for paid workers to show up at the Town Hall meetings,"

Correct mne if I'm wrong BH, but doesn't the quoted ad specifically say, "Work with North Carolina PIRG to make health care more affordable! You can work for change this year."

Considering both Houses of Congress are on summer break and in fact calling for town hall meetings on health care [will some are others are turning tail and running] maybe you can tell us where these paid and dare I say it MOBS, would better get their words out other than town hall meetings.

Oh how desperate the left s... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Oh how desperate the left sounds. They actually say absolute proof is needed to post anything. Like GW Bush going awol, his cocaine use, Rove outing Plame, etc.. What a bunch of bozo's.

Hyper, if I was wanting something done and people were so willing to do it for free because they believe in the cause, that is wonderful, worthy, stellar. IF you have to PAY people to believe in your cause that is unremarkable, shameless, and lacking.

Obama's time is up. Sooner then I thought. ww

Bruce is right: "The ads ar... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Bruce is right: "The ads are for paid workers to do grassroots organizing work. They ARE NOT for paid workers to show up at the Town Hall meetings"

In my research I have found nothing - I repeat nothing - that links these ads to "astroturfing for health care".

Yes, these are community organizers, and yes, PIRG is working with a group called "Fund for the Public Interest" and work on promoting health care is mentioned.

Nothing links these ads to astroturfing.

And if you go back and read the article posted, there is no evidence offered to say that there is proof. The author claims its true, in the article and in replies to my previous comments, but has yet to offer a single shred of evidence that ties these ads and/or the people hired under these ads with "astroturfing".

What is astroturfing? It's the use of paid people who pretend to be unpaid "grassroots" evreyday folks.

Here's a definition from wikipedia:

Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

There is nothing that ties the ads, the people hired under the ads, PIRG, or the Fund for Public Interest in with "astroturfing" for ObamaCare. They do fundraising and they identify themselves - you've seen them in front of businesses and on street corners with clipboards. They aren't in health care meetings pretending to be everyday people. These are paid employees, and these non-profit organizations have been engaged in this very activity, and running these same kinds of ads, long before health care erupted as an issue.

Lorie Byrd: "Astroturfers for Obama are hiring."

I couldn't find any evidence of that.

Neither did Lorie Byrd.

There's no evidence whatsoever that these people are hiring "astroturfers".

Vic

These people are "real" but... (Below threshold)

These people are "real" but their opponents are "astroturfing"....makes perfect sense.

There's no evidenc... (Below threshold)
There's no evidence whatsoever that these people are hiring "astroturfers".

So, all of those identical, professionally-printed signs the lefties have been photographed holding up at town hall meetings, who gave them to them? Or would you say that they all come up with the exact same sign independently of each other?

"So, all of those identi... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"So, all of those identical, professionally-printed signs the lefties have been photographed holding up at town hall meetings, who gave them to them? Or would you say that they all come up with the exact same sign independently of each other?"

There's no evidence to link any protesters to PIRG or the people hired under the advertising the author linked to.

I suspect any coordinated effort on the left is coming from unions. The coordinated effort on the right is being funded by Dick Armey and the like. Armey and FreedomWorks were outed astroturfing by the WSJ.

In 2008, FreedomWorks was behind the creation of a fake grassroots web site called Angryrenter.com which rallies opposition to "the Obama Housing Bailout." The site urges people to oppose bailing out mortgage companies. The site claims to represent "Renters and responsible homeowners against a government mortgage bailout."

Michael M. Phillips, a reporter with 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.

Do you have any evidence that the unions are hiring people to astroturf? I can understand union members wanting a say and supporting Obama's plan, and I can understand their union printing up signs.

That's not astroturfing. In fact, the use of the same signs proves it isn't astroturfing.

Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

Printing handmade signs that all looked different, as the GOP did during the last GOP convention, would be an attempt at astroturfing because it "seeks to create a false impression". Union members holding the same signs isn't an attempt to create a false impression.

There's no evidence that links this ad to astroturfing.

Vic

I should have said "by Dick... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

I should have said "by Dick Armey or the like" because I don't know if anyone has proven that Dick Armey is behind astroturfing in this particular instance.

Vic

Vic, Yeah I am sur... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Vic,

Yeah I am sure the NC PIRG people have nothing to do with health care. That little line in their ad, "Work with North Carolina PIRG to make health care more affordable," was probably just a trick to make me think they do. If that is not what you were saying then what is your point in saying that they existed "long before health care erupted as an issue."

News flash...It erupted as a huge issue back in Bill Clinton's first year in office, and I am sure it was an issue before that. In fact I heard an audio clip today of Reagan talking about health care and HMOs years ago.

I never said these non-profit organizations just popped up today. That is the point. Liberal groups have a long history of paying people to do "grassroots" activity. That has been pretty well documented. What is different now is that they are pointing at conservatives and accusing them of doing something they have done for years. Even more bizarre, they are pointing at conservative groups that have let citizens know when and where town hall meetings were being held, and in some cases provided transportation to them, and saying that is a bad thing and that the fact that they were organized completely discredits their voices. This coming from the community organizer-in-chief. It is outrageous and ridiculous and the fact that you are defending them is even more so. The WH is even backing off some of the things they said about the "manufactured" anger, etc.

Hopefully, in the case of this one organization I cited, at least the dollars they are using are not coming from taxpayers as has been the case with ACORN.

Do you believe liberal groups have never paid protesters?

Do you have any evidence... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Do you have any evidence that the unions are hiring people to astroturf? I can understand union members wanting a say and supporting Obama's plan, and I can understand their union printing up signs.

That's not astroturfing. In fact, the use of the same signs proves it isn't astroturfing.

Geez Vic. Get a clue. The point is that the White House, the freaking president of the United States of America, supposedly the land of the free, went on record, through his mouthpiece Gibbs, and accused the average Americans showing up at town hall events of being inauthentic. Yeah, of being fakes. Phonies. Astro turf is fake grass. Fake grassroots. Get it? Parse it a million different ways Vic. That is what he said.

"I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the Astro Turf nature of so-called grassroots lobbying... which is largely the term for, you know, this is manufactured anger."

Got that Vic? That is what the spokesman for the president said. Take a jaundiced eye to these people America. They aren't real. They are fake. Their anger is not real. It is fake. Own it. That is what he said.

I am just pointing out that those on the left have come a whole lot closer to creating a false impression of grassroots support than those on the right have. Like a thousand times closer. If you want to pretend those attending the rallies and town halls are not really angry, keep on believing it.

Oh, and another point. Not only are the people showing up at the town hall meetings not all shills sent in by the evil Republicans and Republican special interests, but they aren't even all Republicans. Or even conservatives. Many are independents. And quite a few are even Democrats.

"These are the average Amer... (Below threshold)
groucho:

"These are the average Americans showing up with homemade signs, often with kids in tow, peacefully demonstrating against a government they see as out of control. They are not being paid to be there."

Get serious. This is not average America. Average Americans are out working, trying to make ends meet, trying to stay afloat in these crazy times. I loved the little girls holding the "Obama Lies Grandma Dies" signs. Just another idyllic family outing, right? As for the peaceful part, you really need to broaden your outlook. In case you have chosen not to notice, there's plenty of pretty un-peaceful, some even gun toting, average Americans out there doing their best to disrupt and derail and thoughtful discussion. Check out Sen. McCaskill's TM from today. Fine. we get it. A big part of the electorate is angry, confused and looking for answers. Your side of the argument has decided to disrupt rather than discuss, shout rather than talk, and to sabotage anything with Obama's name on it.

There IS health care industry support/encouragement in this "grassroots" opposition, that's clear. The more you deny it, the more foolish you look. It's called politics. Follow the money. Add in the fanatic rightwing radio/TV ideologue encouragement of this mindless, misinformed madness and you've got a really pissed-off swarm of hive-minded "regular folks" just itching to lash out at something, anything that will help ease their frustration over an election they didn't win.

You're right on one thing, Lorie. The government IS out of control. The reasons are many, chief among them that policy affecting everyone is, and has been for a long time, driven by interests out for their own survival and profit, not for "average Americans" Mindless argument is not the way to fix things.

"Yeah I am sure the NC P... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"Yeah I am sure the NC PIRG people have nothing to do with health care. That little line in their ad, "Work with North Carolina PIRG to make health care more affordable," was probably just a trick to make me think they do. If that is not what you were saying then what is your point in saying that they existed "long before health care erupted as an issue."

I see you still don't have any proof that this ad is connected to astroturfing -- even thought you stated it did in your article. You've read the definition of astroturfing by now, so it's not a question of you not knowing the definition, and you're not disagreeing with that definition either, I see.

"Hopefully, in the case of this one organization I cited, at least the dollars they are using are not coming from taxpayers as has been the case with ACORN."

I agree. The use of taxpayer funds for astroturfing would be wrong. There's no evidence that North Carolina PIRG is astrotufing, much less using taxpayer funds to do so.

"Do you believe liberal groups have never paid protesters? "

I haven't seen any evidence of that and you haven't provided any.

"Got that Vic? That is what the spokesman for the president said. Take a jaundiced eye to these people America. They aren't real. They are fake. Their anger is not real. It is fake. Own it. That is what he said."

I own a few cars, a house, and loans and a mortgage to go with it. I'm not going to "own" anything else at your request, unless you're paying for it.

I don't know why you're changing the subject, but it still doesn't provide any support for your claim that the ad you cited in your post is one that's being run in order to hire people to astroturf.

"I am just pointing out that those on the left have come a whole lot closer to creating a false impression of grassroots support than those on the right have. Like a thousand times closer. If you want to pretend those attending the rallies and town halls are not really angry, keep on believing it."

The subject of your article was that the Craigslist ad was an attempt to hire people to astroturf in behalf of Obama. It now appears you are giving up on that claim. I'm glad, there's no evidence to support your claim.

"Oh, and another point. Not only are the people showing up at the town hall meetings not all shills sent in by the evil Republicans and Republican special interests, but they aren't even all Republicans. Or even conservatives. Many are independents. And quite a few are even Democrats."

I don't know if that's true or not - but what is true is that you've provided no evidence to support your claim that the ad is to hire astroturfers, so I won't bother asking for evidence of your other claims made in your comments.

Vic

Vic wrote: The subject o... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

Vic wrote: The subject of your article was that the Craigslist ad was an attempt to hire people to astroturf in behalf of Obama. It now appears you are giving up on that claim."

In the update and comments I said this ad sounded like what Axelrod described as astroturfing, at least more so than what the tea party and town hall participants the White House was accusing of astroturfing were doing.

You accused me over and over again of saying something I didn't say, and when I tell you I didn't say it you, and show in my post that I didn't say it, you say I changed my story.

Here is every word I wrote in my original post about the ad I copied and pasted. Obviously you did not read it:

Yesterday this ad was listed on my local Craig's List site:

**TALENTED LEADERS needed to work for health care reform $11-16/hour** (Downtown)

When I clicked on it to follow the link I got a message saying it was being removed.

Today the following ad is listed:

[Then I pasted the Craig's List ad which did appear]

I blocked out part of the phone number, but otherwise the ad is as it appears on Craig's List. There were similar ads posted in my local newspaper during the last election for people to work to elect Obama. Is this how those on the left find community organizers?

Melissa Clothier found many similar ads in Texas. They are all over the country and conservative bloggers are now posting links to many of them online.

Am I the only person who finds this ironic? Maybe I need to review the definition of the term grassroots. What can you expect though? This is from the side of the aisle that created an entire program on the concept of paid volunteers.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with paying people to work, or even paying people to provide support for groups campaigning for specific issues. Those on the right need to do more of that. But for those on the left to accuse tea party protesters and citizens showing up for town hall meetings of astroturfing and manufacturing outrage because they have been organized is especially outrageous considering how they find some of their "citizen support and grassroots action."

In the update I said from "the description listed in the ad it sounds like" what Axelrod referred to as astroturfing. And it does sound like it, at least more so than what the tea party and town hall participants the White House was accusing of astroturfing were doing.

I have some work to do so I won't be able to continue repeating the original post in the comments section for Vic. I probably should have just written "Try reading the post" in the first comment and stopped there. Those under the Obamainfluence who claim to know nothing of the history of liberal "rent-a-mobs" have their heads buried too deep in the sand to see anything anyway.

Vic -Quick hint, b... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Vic -

Quick hint, buddy - you don't get a victory by just claiming it.

And you might want to make darn sure your 'victory' doesn't cost you one hell of a lot more than you want to pay. So far, Obama's 'victory' has cost us $1.3 TRILLION in new debt as a deficit so far this year - and it looks like it's going to be costing a lot more before he's done.

You may have a 'victory' - but it'll likely be a 'Pyrrhic' victory - define as "a victory in which the losses are so great and ruinous that it is no victory at all".

Destroying the economy to 'save' it (for certain definitions of 'save') isn't going to be much of a 'victory' for anyone.

Folks, after a certain poin... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Folks, after a certain point, you have to realize that someone not interested in honest debate and is just trolling, right? Don't waste too much time on V.

Fact:Pro*-Obamacare ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Fact:
Pro*-Obamacare supporters at these protest have identical signs that are professionally made.
(* in this case 'pro' could mean either 'for' or 'professional')

Fact:
One Hispanic speaking male when asked by a Hispanic reporter what his sign said to which the protester responded laughingly, "I have no idea". The reporter stated that the protesters were day laborers.

Fact:
Ads from the above Leftist Organizations are hiring for jobs 'in communities around the country' to 'help make change happen' and 'make health care more affordable'.

It's not terribly difficult to connect the dots...

The "Democrats" (more accur... (Below threshold)

The "Democrats" (more accurately, these days, the National Socialists/Fascists) involuntarily projectile project their FasciSSocialist Psychosis's psychopathology.

They have no more chance of not so broadcasting their every move than Hillary Cli'ton has of ever being other than the dumbest cluck that ever took a dump between two shoes.

So why in Hell's name doesn't anyone on our side of the aisle have the bloody sense to have that worked out by now? Already? Already?

Are there any REPUBLICANS out there?

Brian Richard Allen
Lost Angels - Califobambicated 90028
And the Very far Abroad

"It's not terribly diffi... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

"It's not terribly difficult to connect the dots... "

Connecting the dots if a child's game. I was looking for Ms. Byrd to support her claim that "astroturfers for Obama are hiring". Apparently you can't either.

Lorie Byrd: "You accused me over and over again of saying something I didn't say, and when I tell you I didn't say it you, and show in my post that I didn't say it, you say I changed my story."

I didn't accuse you of saying anything. I quoted you...

Do you need a job? Astroturfers for Obama are hiring.

...and asked you for evidence that the ad you printed which was placed North carolina PIRG was being used to hire people for "astroturfing" - and you haven't printed any evidence to support that claim.

"In the update I said from "the description listed in the ad it sounds like" what Axelrod referred to as astroturfing"

Your update doesn't correct your inital statement, and your initial statement still appears in your article.

I think we've clearly established that, despite your update and many comments in reply to mine, you still don't have any evidence that the ad is being used to hire "astroturfers" or that the North Carolina PIRG organization which placed the ad is engaged in "astroturfing."

You and hundreds of other right wing bloggers are reprinting these ads and claiming that this firm is hiring 'astroturfers' - nobody, that I have seen, has produced a shred of evidence that they are.

Given so many opportunities to set the record straight and admit that there is no evidence this ad or North Carolina PIRG is hiring astroturfers why do you resist doing so?

I realize you're a busy person so you may not have time to answer this question, so I'm not expecting a reply, but it is something you might consider for your future writings.

Respectfully,
Vic

From Lynn Sweet at Politics... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

From Lynn Sweet at Politics Daily (link in update II):

"I just want to make a point that all of a sudden "orchestrated" is a dirty word for some Democrats, even as they roll out their own pack-the-hall strategies through the Obama-controlled Democratic National Committee and its Organizing for America wing, working with reliable allied special-interest groups: MoveOn, AFSCME, SEIU, PIRG, Health Care for America Now (a coalition of progressive organizations), and Americans United for Change (another umbrella coalition)."

It's not a dirty word, Lori... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

It's not a dirty word, Lorie. It's just that trying to pretend that the protests are wholly citizen-centric is disingenuous. Great! Corporations are organizing anti-healthcare-reform protests at town hall meetings! Just be honest about it and don't act like they're entirely spontaneous--don't act like they're grassroots, because that would be astroturfring.

I just sent this blog and p... (Below threshold)
Patriotic Obama Supporter:

I just sent this blog and post to flag@whitehouse.gov. Expect a visit.

Hello Vic, where are you?</... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Hello Vic, where are you?

8/13/09 LA Times headline - Wanted: Obama healthcare reform volunteers willing to be paid $15 an hour

Hello Vic, where are you?

I wonder how much of the go... (Below threshold)
Steve Watson:

I wonder how much of the government "stimulus" money is paying for these jobs.




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