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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

TPM: Getting the Band Back Together

Posted by Bob Brigham

Joshua Micah Marshall is one of America's leading defenders of Social Security. Marshall has used Talking Points Memo as an node for open source action, first on the Republican Leadership's closed-door vote to exempt Tom DeLay from ethics rules, and next to pin down individual members on privatization of Social Security.

Rock the Vote has also been a true leader in defending Social Security and it has driven the privateers crazy that young people realize privatization sucks.

The same people waging war on Social Security are now attacking Rock the Vote, so Josh is getting his open-source research band back together for a renuion tour:

In any case, this is the long march phase of the battle to end Social Security. They'll dig in and tear away at the defenders of the program, figuring they can outlast them.

Now, politics is a contact sport, as they say. So I don't think anyone's complaining. But, to my eyes, this group has all the earmarks of a classic 'astroturf' outfit. And I suspect we'd find all the usual suspects involved -- of course, along with a gaggle of twenty-something ne'er-do-wells ready to make a couple bucks in rent-a-crowds and probably more than a few operatives looking to get their ticket stamped in the DC machine so they can move up a couple rungs on the ladder.

So let's find out.

A few thousand eyes are a whole lot better for finding out what these folks are up to than just these two. So, if you're game, take a few moments and try to find out more about these groups. What they're up to? Who's behind them? What have they been planning and so forth? And let us know what you find out. Send emails to socsecturfers@talkingpointsmemo.com. We'll be giving out TPM Privatize This! T-Shirts for folks who come up with particularly choice details.

The phase-out crowd didn't get knocked on its heels out of the blue. A lot of folks worked awfully hard to do it. So let's find out who's trying to get revenge and recover lost ground.

The target?

The chop-shop du jour is an outfit called Social Security for All. SSA is "run" by Americans for Prosperity. And Americans for Prosperity also has a new project called Rock the Hypocrisy, which actually sounds a bit more like a project of SSA, seeing as it's run as a subdirectory off the SSA website.

But I digress.

Back to our aforementioned project: Who or what is Americans for Prosperity?

According to this page at the Center for Media and Democracy's Source Watch website, it was essentially set up as a pet 501c3 of Koch Industries and then 'colocated' with the Independent Women's Forum, with which it also seems to share a rather substantial number of staffers. (They share a president and a COO, for starters.

You really aren't an online political warrior until you've won a TPM Private This! T-Shirt. So send Josh anything and everything you can find: socsecturfers@talkingpointsmemo.com

Posted at 01:01 PM in Netroots | Technorati