just gimme some truth (that’s not bought and paid for)

ACCORDING TO THEIR WEBSITE, the US Con­sumer Coali­tion is a “grass­roots or­ga­ni­za­tion that works to pro­tect con­sumers’ right to ac­cess free-market goods and ser­vices.” Bravo! And so far, so good: as a con­sumer, I cer­tainly want ac­cess to free-market goods and ser­vices. I also want ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about in­di­vid­uals and or­ga­ni­za­tions who pro­tect my right to that ac­cess. But the USCC’s mis­sion state­ment, lofty as it sounds, gives me pause:

“All Amer­i­cans ben­efit from a thriving free-market economyUn­for­tu­nately, today the gov­ern­ment at both the state and fed­eral levels, is ac­tively en­gaging in ef­forts to reg­u­late, re­strict, and di­minish con­sumer choice. USCC ad­vo­cates on be­half of America’s con­sumers and de­fends their right to make de­ci­sions for them­selves and their fam­i­lies without bur­den­some gov­ern­ment interference. 

USCC ac­tively mon­i­tors the con­sumer land­scape to iden­tify in­dus­tries that are cur­rently under scrutiny or cen­sure by the gov­ern­ment.  We build bridges, en­sure public aware­ness and mo­bi­lize the pow­erful voices of con­sumers and busi­ness owners to pro­tect our freedom of choice.” (USCC)

Yet its pri­mary focus is on bashing Sen­ator Eliz­a­beth Warren (a Mass­a­chu­setts De­mo­crat) and the fed­eral Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bu­reau, the con­sumer pro­tec­tion agency that came into ex­is­tence in 2011 thanks to Eliz­a­beth Warren. A sec­ondary target if the DOJ’s at­tempts to clean up fraud in the banking system.

So why would a grass­roots, consumer-oriented group at­tack the only part of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that ex­ists to pro­tect consumers?give them room to rip off more con­sumers? Why would that group want to pro­tect the banksters and And why in Grom­mett’s Wholly Moniker would they hire Newt Gin­grich of all people as a paid ad­viser?

Guess …

 

WarrenElizabeth pensive 900

Sen­ator Eliz­a­beth Warren lis­tens as Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Fed­eral Re­serve, an­swers a ques­tion during his semi-annual mon­e­tary policy re­port to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Af­fairs Com­mittee on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

All I want is the truth

Ah, I knew you’d figure it out: be­cause the US Con­sumer Coali­tion is as grass­roots as the Tea Party. It is yet an­other bought and paid for front of Rep*blican op­er­a­tives who the cor­po­rate media turns to re­peat­edly for their ex­per­tise on Eliz­a­beth Warren and get lies and misinformation.

A media full of in­ves­tiga­tive re­porters who are lied to re­peat­edly and yet never catch on that they are being ma­nip­u­lated. I know that we are told all the time that both sides do things like this. Every Rep*blican voter that I know be­lieves that to be so. It’s how they jus­tify every lying and cheating Rep*blican that gets caught.

Here are pas­sages lifted from an ar­ticle ti­tled “Who’s Be­hind the Se­cre­tive Group Bashing Eliz­a­beth War­ren’s Fa­vorite Agency?” by Patrick Cald­well for Mother Jones (Feb­ruary 26, 2015).

“The US Con­sumer Coali­tion is run and staffed en­tirely by a Vir­ginia public re­la­tions firm stuffed with ex-GOP op­er­a­tives. Brian Wise is one of the group’s founders. Be­fore he be­came a con­sumer ad­vo­cate, the press often de­scribed Wise as a Re­pub­lican po­lit­ical consultant.

[Wise’s] LinkedIn page de­scribes ex­per­tise in de­vel­oping and ex­e­cuting public policy cam­paigns and cor­po­rate image cam­paigns through the use of non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, grass­roots mo­bi­liza­tion, and strategic com­mu­ni­ca­tion strategies.’

 

The Con­sumer Coali­tion’s top is­sues, Wise says, are re­forming the Con­sumer Fi­nan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bu­reau to weaken its power.

 

In fact, Wise tells Mother Jones [that] a group of donors came to him last year and ‘hired’ his firm, Wise Public Af­fairs, to set up the Con­sumer Coali­tion, which shares staff with his firm. The group’s true fun­ders may never be known. As a 501(c)(4) non­profit, the Con­sumer Coali­tion is per­ma­nently ex­empt from re­vealing its donors. 1

The Con­sumer Coali­tion’s top is­sues, Wise says, are re­forming the CFPB to weaken its power … and at­tacking Op­er­a­tion Choke­point, a De­part­ment of Jus­tice pro­gram in­tended to force banks to close ac­counts of busi­nesses they sus­pect of com­mit­ting fraud.”

So the USCC is in fact a public re­la­tions firm bought and paid for by un­named spe­cial in­ter­ests to pre­tend that they are a move­ment of the people by the people for the people. Just like the Tea Party. In other words, same sold same old …

Just gimme some truth 

Per­haps this is my naiveté here, but will someone please point out a “lib­eral” front group bought and paid for by the Dems or their ad­vo­cates or sup­porters that ex­ists solely to lie to the media about Rep*blicans or con­ser­v­a­tive issues.

As John Lennon re­peat­edly said, “All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth!” 2

 


FOOTNOTES

1   Ac­cording to the Wise Public Af­fairs web­site, “In today’s po­lit­ical and busi­ness cli­mate, you can’t af­ford to sit on the sidelines.In every busi­ness, in­dustry, or­ga­ni­za­tion, and com­mu­nity, there are un­tapped re­sources for ef­fec­tive grass­roots ad­vo­cacy – your people. Ad­vo­cate Boot Camp™ is a cus­tomiz­able pro­gram that will train your em­ployees, sup­porters, cit­i­zens, or stake­holders to be­come ef­fec­tive ad­vo­cates for the is­sues that matter most to you.” That is the con­ser­v­a­tive’s idea of a grass­roots move­ment: or­ga­nized from the top and paid for by monied interests.

2   Gimme Some Truth from the IMAGINE album from 1971 (when Lennon was on Pres­i­dent Nixon’s per­sonal “en­e­mies list”) opens with these lines: “I’m sick and tired of hearing things from up­tight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hyp­o­critics. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth. I’ve had enough of reading things by neu­rotic, psy­chotic, pig-headed politi­cians. All I want is the truth. Just gimme some truth.”

 

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