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)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?
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
• 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.
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).