Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Grassroots" Are Really Expensive

You've heard the talking points: The tea bagging protests and town hall shout downs were all spontaneous, local grassroots movements occurring simultaneously all across the country fueled solely by the will of everyday Joes and Jills who are patriotically preventing the government from destroying the greatest health care system in the world. Well, now not so much:

FreedomWorks, the conservative group organizing much of the "tea party" movement, has riled allies by charging hefty fees to participate in a Sept. 12 March on Washington aimed at bringing the movement's broad anti-government agenda — notably, opposition to health care changes — to Capitol Hill.

FreedomWorks, which is chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, is charging other groups a minimum of $10,000 for the right to distribute material to the activists gathered for the march, and to attach their own names to the event. The group has raised its rates from an initial fee schedule, which would put a group's name on the website for free, and would allow it to distribute materials for $2,500.

Groups can also pay to have a speaker address a rally and workshops, with $10,000 securing a prime Saturday afternoon speaking slot, according to the fee schedule, obtained by POLITICO and printed after the jump.

The organization is citing the event's increasing cost in justifying the increased price to conservative allies, one of whom disclosed the details to POLITICO.
Rachel Maddow has a bit more info on just who FreedomWorks is and what their role in this whole "grassroots" movement really entails:

So yes, aside from the massive and well-funded organizations run by former Republican politicians and the money-laden front groups for the insurance industry organizing and scripting various protests across the country this whole movement is totally grassroots. Actually this movement is about as grassroots as the Brady's back yard: It's obviously fake but they still manage to make it look pretty good for the cameras.


united states of rage said...

i am new to your blog but becoming a fan quickly

JBW said...

Thanks us of r, I hope to hear from you again soon.