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Conservative astro-turf on a Monday (updated)

What does “astro-turfing” mean, you might ask? Here is the definition given for it at 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. The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. …Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research.

Today, we see KNB over at Liberal Arts and Minds showing an example of a Conservative staffer doing this in his letter this morning to the Timmins Daily Press. He’s written in to the paper being critical of the riding’s MP, NDP member Charlie Angus, over the fact that Angus continues to bring up the point that Canadian flag pins being handed out for Canada Day are being made in China. It’s certainly his right to write in to do so, but as KNB discovered, he failed to mention in his letter that he is a Conservative staffer who works for Conservative MP Royal Galipeau.

It’s not a bad attempt at astro-turfing, though. Read what he says, which infers what he thinks Charlie Angus should be advocating for instead:

We have thousands of people out of work, without doctors and struggling to get by. We have remote Northern communities desperate for government support. There are mining and forestry companies looking for an advocate here in the North. There are police officers in need of more resources. We have seniors who are begging for assistance.

Indeed we do, and the Conservative government for which this fellow is gainfully employed is doing nothing about it. So I’m glad he at least knows that the Conservatives are doing zilch for these people he’s mentioned. What’s both comical and appalling at the same time is that this fellow lists all the groups that are crying out for help from the government – the government he’s employed by – and then tries to pit it as Angus’s fault for not standing up for them to the government.

Talk about chutzpah.

By the way, for those who use Twitter, I’ve discovered our staffer in question has a Twitter feed here, which you can follow to your heart’s content, (if you’re bored… or if you want to see if he says anything else outlandish).

UPDATE @ 4:06 pm: I just recalled it’s not the first time the Conservatives have tried to astro-turf.


3 comments to Conservative astro-turf on a Monday (updated)

  • foottothefire

    Good one Scott!
    Astroturfing, eh? We’ve got a lot of that here in Calgary. There’s Global TV, there’s CTV (Darryl Janz), theres the Calgary Herald (slippery slobber takes on a new dimension therein).
    Brilliant… and henceforth Branded.

  • Is kyulls pronounced “clueless”?

  • Charlie has been doing a great job as the MP in that riding, and that has really gotten under the skin of the Conservatives, especially on issues like Attawapiskat. The Conservative have no love for Mr. Angus at all, which is why it doesn’t surprise me that they did this.

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