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More Liberal Astroturf

John on February 10, 2010 at 8:59 am

Fox has an investigative piece into the myriad of 527 groups which funnel money from unions into fake grassroots activity around the country:

A Web site popped up in January dedicated to preventing the tea party’s “radical” and “dangerous” ideas from “gaining legislative traction,” targeting GOP candidates in Illinois for the firing squad.

“This movement is a fad,” proclaims, which was established by the American Public Policy Center (APPC), a D.C.-based campaign shop that few people have ever heard of.

But a close look reveals the APPC’s place in a complex network of money flowing from the mountainous coffers of the country’s biggest labor unions into political slush funds for Democratic activists.

Here’s how it works: What appears like a local groundswell is in fact the creation of two men — Craig Varoga and George Rakis, Democratic Party strategists who have set up a number of so-called 527 groups, the non-profit election organizations that hammer on contentious issues (think Swift Boats, for example).

Varoga and Rakis keep a central mailing address in Washington, pulling in soft money contributions from unions and other well-padded sources to engage in what amounts to a legal laundering system. The money — tens of millions of dollars — gets circulated around to different states by the 527s, which pay for TV ads, Internet campaigns and lobbyist salaries, all while keeping the hands of the unions clean — for the most part.

Here’s a list of Varoga and Rakis interchangeable groups:

  • The American Public Policy Committee
  • Patriot Majority
  • Citizens for Progress
  • Oklahoma Freedom Fund
  • Mid Atlantic Leadership Fund
  • Public Security Now
  • Pioneer Majority
  • Bluegrass Freedom Fund

All of these groups are just fronts for money from the SEIU, Teamsters, NEA and a few others. You’ll recall that just a few months ago the liberals at Think Progress and elsewhere were screaming that the Tea Parties were Astroturf. Turns out it’s really the opposition that’s Astroturf. The Tea Parties are the real deal.

[HT: Lucianne]

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