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This diary responds to a commenter's query posed in Keith Olberman's diary, about who was paying the so- called "grassroots" protesters that are showing up to disrupt and yell against Health Care Reform, at the Democratic Town Halls during the August Recess.

I wanted the title to be "GOPUSA, Bobby Eberle, Move America Forward and Russo Marsh & Rogers, or how a few of the richest people you've never heard of in this country are intent on screwing the rest of us out of Health Care Reform-  it's not just the Health Insurance Industry " -  but that's too long.  Bear with me.  Read thru the links.  You're going to see a lot of the old Karl Rove operatives.

Bookmark my links below. That way you can see who's headed to your neighborhood next for the day after 9/11.  

GOPUSA, Bobby Eberle, Move America Forward, and Russo Marsh & Rogers, or how a few of the richest people in this country are intent on screwing the rest us out of Health Care Reform-  it's not just the Health Insurance Industry.

First up.... Teabaggin' with Move America Forward, aka "MAF"  the alleged non profit 501 c 3 phony public issues branch of Russo Marsh& Rogers Assoc, the Sacramento based Republican PR Firm.  MAF  has guided several "wing nuttier than thou" neocon Republicans to victory, including John Doolittle and Tom McClintock in California.  They also target other politicians with independent expenditures, such as President Obama,  and now are turning their financial power on for attack ads against Arlen Specter and Harry Reid.  Here's a recent MAF youtube attack ad on Democratic Senate Majority leader Reid.    Deborah Johns is being relatively restrained in this version.  She is one of the slickest and sickest shysters out hustling funds on the internet. Although she refers to herself as a "marine mom,"  she is a paid advertising professional for Russo Marsh &Rogers Public Relations, and a frequent Fox News guest,  who also happens to be a health insurance company consultant and a liason to the Pentagon. Her son did serve in Iraq. She has two infamous videos on youtube. In one, a Fox news broadcaster refers to her son as having been killed in Iraq, and always the cold pro, Johns never bats an eyelash, continues, and ignores the comment.  In the other video, she loses her temper and chases after some anti war protesters calling them "you little shits!"  

Hart Williams did a great story in 2005 called "Swift Boat Moms in Winnebagos"  that proved MAF was a subsidiary of RMR, by tracing addresses and donation sites.

You see, RM&R is more than a "public relations" firm. RM&R lists the "President of the United States" as one of its clients. And, they have run some presidential campaigns themselves, including those of Orrin Hatch and Jack Kemp.

Sal Russo (Chief Political Advisor of RMR)  has been at the forefront of some of the most prominent national, state and local campaigns, including the election of Governor George Deukmejian (1982), Senator Alfonse D'Amato, New York (1992), Governor George Pataki, New York (1994), presidential bids by Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch and The Recall of Governor Gray Davis (2003).

So, these are much, much more than people "with ties" to the Republicans. These are Republicans who make their living from doing Swift Boat operations for the Rove Black Bag Unit of the White House and the GOP. In 2000, the pulled in over $2 million (the PR firm, not MAF) from strictly Republican candidates and campaigns.

and then there's this:

In July 2005, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that "the Kurdistan Regional Government has hired Republican lobby firm Russo Marsh & Rogers to get 'free media' to promote the interests of the Kurds in the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq."

and this :

DoD's Office of Media Outreach already sponsored a similar junket in April, also reported by Billboard Radio Monitor:
"Seven talk show hosts and one classic-rock radio personality are in Iraq, courtesy of the Department of Defense, as part of a new initiative by the DoD's Office of Media Outreach. In some cases, the hosts are broadcasting live back to the U.S. or blogging or taping for later broadcast. Virtually all expenses are being picked up by the U.S. government, with the exception of broadcasters providing their own means of broadcasting or delivering their content."
So, Howard Kahoolian and Melanie Morgan and "Move Forward America" are taking free junkets at taxpayer expense to help move the war effort forward for the Pentagon. And it was evidently a successful junket at some level.

As of April 2009, Russo Marsh & Rogers were still doing PR propaganda for the Kurdish government and President Massoud Barzani.

I believe this would make RMR a Dept of Defense private contractor....  this means at least some of their money is still coming from the American taxpayer.

And from this Sacramento News and Review 2005 story,   Kaloogian, one of the principals of RMR, "said Move America Forward likely would be around a long time, as the war on terror doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon."  (quotes near bottom of page)

Of the Iraqi political entities’ various visions of a new Iraq, the Kurds’ is closest to Russo’s, he said, explaining why he took on the client. As both Russo and Wierzbicki put it, the firm was hired to thank Americans, on behalf of the Kurds, for supporting the war in Iraq--essentially, to do what Move America Forward is already trying to do. Among other things, the firm has scripted and produced television commercials for the Kurds and has arranged for visiting Kurdish officials to be interviewed by the media.

What is it about The Kurds "vision" that is so special ?

From the Iraq Oil

 Oil exports and revenue increase 7/29/2009

Iraq earned nearly $62 billion in oil revenue last year and through July 22 this year’s exports have brought in $17.11 billion, according to the U.S. State Department’s most recent Iraq Status Report. It also estimated July production thus far at 2.46 million bpd and exports at 1.99 million bpd.

June purchasers of Iraq Oil

United States: Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Koch and Valero

The Kurds are oil producers in a semi- autonomous region of Iraq, that would like to gain independence, but can't because of all their neighbors. They are exporting oil thru a pipeline to Turkey under an old government agreement, that predates new contracts made with foreign oil company drillers.  The government in Baghdad was supposed to resolve this problem, but didn't.

As long as there is an oil producer's conflict, Russo Marsh & Rogers/MAF will have something to do in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

July 23, 2009
Mr. Barzani (Kurdish) and Nouri-al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, reportedly haven’t spoken for more than a year. On several occasions, U.S. troops in northern Iraq have had to act as mediators in standoffs between the Iraqi army and the peshmerga.

In a recent Washington Post interview, Nechirvan Barzani, the region’s Prime Minister and President Barzani’s nephew, said the Kurdish zone and the Iraqi government are closer to war than at any time since the U.S. invasion.

This is Russo Marsh & Rogers' bio page-  note how Rogers has conveniently disappeared his experience as a staffer for ex Congressman John Doolittle (R) off his resume. Doolittle "retired" because of the FBI and DOJ investigating his relationship to the Abramoff scandal, and his wife Julie's taking payments from Abramoff's non profit orgs.

The right wing radio jock Mark Williams is another MAF/RMR drone who helps run the "Our Country Deserves Better PAC" that features Alaskan oil darling, "drill baby drill" shill  Sarah Palin as a mascot, of sorts.
Sample "marktalk" from Oct 2008, from the Center for Media and Democracy:

On his blog, Williams refers to Obama as "Barack bin al Hussein Osama O'Bomber," a "domestic insurgent" and the "Jihadian Candidate." Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Williams claimed that New Orleans residents didn't "have the requisite brains and common sense to get out of the way of a Category 5 hurricane." On MSNBC, Williams said that most "illegal immigrants ... are just here to rip off a piece and take it back to wherever they came from. We're talking about drug runners, human traffickers. We're talking about people who engage in slavery and prostitution." He then rejected bilingualism, declaring, "As long as we have the ICBM [missile]s, they can learn English."  

Here's Mark Williams blog:  Williams is a big time Teabagger.

A must see: recent spending from this PAC :
if you check out their other disbursements on that FEC filing, you can see they are scamming retirees for money then paying themselves to protest at tea parties !

You can look at the youtube videos of the names of the speakers and hosts at the Teaparty protests in Sacramento this past April, and see them getting payments off of this PAC as "consultants. "

There's also PAC payments to an address that is the same house as Bobby Eberle's of GOPUSA in Pearland, Texas, listed as "Endeavor Media Group, LLC.    Endeavor Media is the owner of Talon News.

The house is listed for sale.  It's like trying to keep track of fleas.

Russo Marsh&Rogers/MAF, internet fundraiser for swiftboaters Deborah Johns, Melanie Morgan the crazy right wing radio jockette, all are these old time swiftboat sleazemiesters that were coordinating with the Bush White House and a little known propaganda part of the U.S. DOD to take out Dem politicians they felt wouldn't be able to be bought off or intimidated.   They even tried running a Repub candidate for congress in my NorCal 04 district who was part of the Pat Tillman official WH cover up- named Eric Egland- who got no traction during the primary, but they are slime.  

Jeff Gannon, phony WH press pool reporter during Bush's "Plamegate," revealed to be James Dale Gucket, male escort and a White House plant to pitch Republican- friendly questions, was with "Talon News"-  Bobby Eberle's GOPUSA creation.   (GOPUSA's current webpage    )

MAF/Russo Marsh via that America Deserves Better PAC, is now paying another product of the same phony journalism school Jeff Gannon went to, The "Leadership Institute Broadcast School of Journalism" a young guy named Barton, to do hokey videos-  the guy is an ex Minuteman, has done some porn.  I've watched them try to create "incidents" to film at other Democratic campaign functions in 2008.
All these old Swiftboat people morphed into Teabagger anti tax protester astroturfing for Big Oil Bidness, er, Business.

Bobby Eberle's GOP USA organizing the Teaparty stuff back in March of this year

Notice how he talks about Eric Odom and the "Don't Go Movement"  which was an energy policy protest.  (so it's astroturfing for Big Oil )   Eric Odom has now renamed his group the American Liberty Alliance

The DontGo Movement provided this environment for the energy debate. The Tax Day Tea Party provided a similar environment for the nationwide April 15th protests. Our goal is to develop an environment in which collaboration can occur for each and every issue/campaign/political battle within the free-market movement.  
The Federal issues to be focused on will be discussed soon, but ideally our fight should be in the socialized health care, cap and trade, union card check, internet taxes, free speech and related regulation realms. These are all issues that, if succeed in the direction of those who oppose the free-market system, will make it virtually impossible for us to win on any other issues.

Here's the American Liberty Alliance on Twitter if you want to see what they are up to-
the teabag roots are pretty obvious
The American Liberty Alliance also has under "projects" a link called Healthcare Horserace

Here is what THEY are planning for Aug 22-  at noon-
On August 22nd, at noon local time, every freedom loving American in this great country needs to be at the office of their elected Representative. We’ll be hand delivering a petition and coalition letter, along with a strong and unified message carried by hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The Recess Rally is planned for each and every House of Representative’s district office in the country. These Government thugs think they can slip socialism into America without is knowing about it. We think it’s time to prove them wrong.

Official Recess Rally Website:

Tax Day Tea Party Facebook Page:

American Liberty Alliance Twitter Feed:

See that picture of a blue tour bus for the "American Liberty Tour" on the right hand side of the page ?  That's the same people from Move America Forward (MAF)/ RussoMarsh that I talked about earlier-  they did a tour last year, also, it starts in Sacramento and ends in Atlanta.

See how one of the links for this American Liberty Tour is "Americans for Limited Government?"  aka

According to Sourcewatch, this group is run by ultrawealthy New York real estate developer Howard Rich.

"Organizations associated with Rich have funneled nearly $7 million into 2006 state initiatives aiming to limit government in 12 states, according to an investigation" published October 4, 2006, by The Oregonian, PBS wrote. "Rich has generally declined to reveal how much of the money comes from his personal wealth, and is not required by campaign finance laws to report how much he privately funds his various groups."[1]

"Early in his career, Rich was active in the Libertarian Party and worked with other leaders of the party, such as powerful billionaire Charles Koch, to promote their small-government, free-market causes.

Charles Koch is a billionaire co owner of Koch Industries, with his brother David, which is the largest Oil, Refinery, and Pipeline Company in the United States.  David Koch also is the chairman of the board of his own astroturfing teabag grassroots group, "Americans for Prosperity."
"Americans for Prosperity" also fronts for Phillip Morris in fighting Tobacco and smoking regulations.  In a particularly cynical move, Americans for Prosperity had the nerve to send representatives recently to a Susan G Komen Race for the (Breast Cancer) Cure to hand out leaflets for "health care reform" that was actually a link to their "O Campaign for Cancer Prevention. "   Looking up their facebook page, this "reform" consists of cutting taxes, less business regulation, and fiscal responsibility.

Again, it needs to be emphasized: These anti health care reform "grassroots" efforts are not just being organized and funded from the health insurance industry, pharmaceutical industry, etc-  but from Dept of Defense Contractors that depend on Republican earmarks for funding, and Big Oil, which is engaged in a power struggle with the rest of the nation as they fight against turning towards creating and using more renewable energy.

Here's the Sacramento TeaParty Patriots (Mark Meckler's group) discussing now, if Doris Matsui is going to have a townhall on August break:

And another discussion about how there's an anti health care rally in Texas on Aug 22 and how Sacramento ought to do one concurrently

Mark Meckler is also involved in other facebook social networking groups (such as a "Million Mormons on facebook" ) which also have moderators which are encouraging discussions and protests against taxation, and general paranoia about government conspiracies to take over various aspects of our lives, "destroying your God given freedoms" and how it is prophesied that the current LDS equivalent of the anti- christ (that would be the President) must be stopped to save the Constitution.

The Republican Party really does have all the "anti" bases covered-  The Military- Patriotic, Oil, and Religion.

More planning for teaparty protests from "home of the patriotic resistance" - this is a good clearinghouse to track the Republican protest movement.

Catch the right hand side of the page-  
"Taxpayer march on DC 9.12.09 "  the day after Sept 11th - they are shameless.

Put aside any notion that this is a spontaneous outpouring of "grassroots sentiment."  This is Karl Rove's world of fear and anger, in a post Bushapocalypse setting.   But it is still all about the oil.  

So I have a question.  Does the Pentagon have any conflict of interest here if they are using a Republican Public Relations firm for their mideast activities, that is actively lobbying against health insurance reform stateside and getting this country closer to universal coverage domestically ?

Originally posted to AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 02:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's a way to make sure Big Oil lets Obama know (37+ / 0-)

    ... that they are in no hurry to vacate the foreign occupation.  What it looks like, to me.

    Blood for Oil.  Literally. Again.

    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 02:35:02 PM PDT

    •  If you subscribe to the idea... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AmericanRiverCanyon, Calfacon

      of the conspiracy theory surrounding Bohemian Grove...and just to clarify-I know that conspiracy theories tell you just enough truth to sell you the big lie, so whether or not any of this is true is questionable, this is what the theorists believe...but at their 'gatherings', they perform what is known as a "Care Ritual". The Care Ritual's intent is to burn away one's conscience with an effigy. Its so important that it is done 3 times during the week.
      Its apparent that conscience plays no part in the decision making of almost all R's and even some D's, which means maybe this isn't so far-fetched after all...sure would explain a lot of their "compassionate conservatism".

      All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.-James Madison

      •  My spouse explains their behavior as a version of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... Calvinism, the doctrine of pre destination, Christian version, that you are fated at birth to be either rich or poor, and the modern intrepretation of the right wing evangelicals is that if they find themselves really rich that means they must be...  really good.

        That way they can rationalize their behaviors.

        A distinctive issue in Calvinist theology that often is used to represent the whole is the system's particular soteriology, its doctrine of salvation. This doctrine holds that humans are incapable of adding anything to obtain salvation and that God alone is the initiator at every stage of salvation—including the formation of faith and every decision to follow Christ. This doctrine was definitively formulated and codified during the Synod of Dort (1618-1619), which rejected an alternative system known as Arminianism

        The direct opposite and rejection of the Catholic system of salvation by good works

        Calvinism places strong emphasis on both the abiding goodness of the original creation and the total ruin of human accomplishments and the frustration of the whole creation caused by sin.

        Sorta sums up the attitude of religious Republicans- government, a man made creation, is supposed to be screwed up, so why fix it.

        It doesn't surprise me that a bunch of very powerful rich guys at summer camp play with fire....

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:11:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For those of you having trouble with the length (0+ / 0-)

      ... of this, and I don't blame you, here's the links to the Republican organizations that are astroturfing this grassroots protest against health care

      GOPUSA (Bobby Eberle's)


      Recess Rally

      Tax Day Tea Party Facebook - google and find your city

      America Liberty Alliance Twitter Feed

      Resist  MUST SEE site

      short summary:

      Old White House Karl Rove dirty tricks swiftboat operatives are at it again.

      RMR/MAF, Republican Public Relations firm based in Sacramento, CA, with DOD contract for Kurds (northern Iraq now sending oil out thru Turkish pipeline, upsetting southern Iraq/Baghdad over royalty distribution) is paying Teabaggers to set up protests thru at least one PAC and probably others.

      Big Oil fighting Health Care-  not just insurance.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:41:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Long diary (8+ / 0-)

    And I can't click all the links, but a useful demonstration of how a few billionaires can totally destroy a country if we don't stop them.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference.

    by blue aardvark on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 02:54:59 PM PDT

    •  Yes, very interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I wish I had time to read more thoroughy.

      Geographical exploration of the current power-and-influence landscape is valuable.

      It should not be confused with all-encompassing conspiracy theories that seek to explain all of world history since 1666. (Or whenever.)  :-)

  •  Question about your title - (8+ / 0-)

    are you claiming that the actual protesters are paid, or are you only claiming that paid agents are organizing them?  If it's the former that's important.

    •  Excellent question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd like to know the same.

      •  Both. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Libby Shaw, xaxado, Clio2, Dixie Liberal

        ... the organizers, which tout themselves as "grassroots" yet speak at these teabagging protests, and gave interviews to the TV cameras, definitely were paid.  I count organizers as protesters if they speak at these things instead of merely doing the logistics.

        When I look at this list, for example of the Our Country Deserves Better PAC

        Endeavor Media Group LLC is Bobby Eberle, who is an organizer, $5000 for "generic fundraising"  on 4/10/09

        Lloyd Marcus performs in a LOT of MAF videos and at the Sacramento April Tea Party protest,listed 4/13/09, Pac "Consulting Wages"  

        Mark Meckler, the Sacramento Tea Patriot Organizer, did a big interview with television cameras at the Sacramento April Tea Party, listed 4/13/09 "$500 Sacramento Tea Party Event"

        Mark Williams, 4/13/09, "PAC Consulting wages"  he always speaks at these events as an MC
        here's a blog post with a picture of him at a tea party protest on flag day

        Not only did they pay Russo Marsh & Rogers the $29,511 Internet fundraising costs and Generic PAC money, they paid Sal Russo and Joseph Wierzbicki "individual staff wages"

        Come on, how much money does it take to send out an email list to people to show up at something, $29,511 dollars my a$$

        Deborah Johns got $1300 on 4.28/09 "Pac campaign consulting wages"-  She's always going to events as an outraged "marine mom" her public persona, there are several payments to her.  Here's a blog with a picture of her and Lloyd Marcus at that Sacramento April teaparty

        Parking stickers for Volunteers, Capitol Lot, Sacramento CA   They even paid for their parking en masse

        Now, if a busload of people show up at your Congressman's next public event with these sorts of signs and behaviors, see who paid for the bus. Even if they charged for the tickets, somebody had to put a deposit down.  Get the ringleader's name.

        It may be hard to track the money because some of it is going thru the CA state legislature via the State Senate and Assembly accounts or the accounts of the lobbyists or the Committees-  THAT is a whole 'nuther topic.  You can look these accounts up on Cal access.
        That's how the Oil Companies are hiding a lot of their donations. The state politician accounts don't have to file as often.

        Here's my Republican Congress Carpetbagger, McClintock, at a Tea Party Event up at the Nevada County fairgrounds
        with Mark Williams on June 6 2009

        McClintock, who used MAF to swiftboat Democrat Charlie Brown in the 2008 election, takes Oil Company money  and opposes Democratic Health Care reform.  Coincidence ? NOT.

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 04:50:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well that this an important distinction (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dixie Liberal

          and I'm not disagreeing with you - but paying for organizing and logistics is a bit different than paying fake angry citizens.  Mind you it wouldn't bother me if i could prove that but its certainly not an allegation id' want to make without proof.

  •  Free Fried Chicken (0+ / 0-)

    Big Macs and Big Shakes. Aren't they always sipping a on a huge fast food drink. Or Maybe I was dreaming or Hallucinating. I'll bet they are given something but it isn't much more than free food if that. If it was substantial, in this economy, they'd probably find Dems to do it.

    Just kidding, well, maybe.

    Bottom? What Bottom?.

    by Dburn on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 03:19:00 PM PDT

  •  Nice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, princesspat

    I hadn't thought about Melanie for a while.

    Good research.

  •  if you launder an empty shirt with a teabag (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it will come out brown.

    great reporting!

    The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

    by xaxado on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:05:08 PM PDT

  •  Email this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, chigh

    To the CEOs and senior Editors of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and Especitally the Washington Post, just to remind them what Real Journalism looks like.

    tipped and recd

    "We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart." - Blaise Pascal

    by Dixie Liberal on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 05:22:46 PM PDT

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