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Fake Outrage Hits Climate Change Debate
Aug 5, 2009; CBS News Blog | This requires NPQ commentary, and we hope NPQ’s online readers will respond.  A policy/lobbying firm, Bonner and Associates, hired by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy (a coal industry lobbying group, worth looking at for its high-minded mission in contrast with its behavior here), sent out fake letters on behalf of (and sometimes on the stationery of) real nonprofits to local politicians calling on them to oppose climate change legislation.  The nonprofits that were used in this way were a Latino service organization, Creciendo Juntos, and a branch of the NAACP, both in the Charlottesville area of Virginia.  The NAACP is even on record supporting the climate change legislation.  The Bonner group attributed this scam to a rogue employee, but the reporting in various places (see these two New York Times articles too) makes that claim look pretty flimsy.  This is more than the “Astroturf” grassroots advocacy that has been used by so many special interests to fake grassroots support or opposition on various national policies.  This is outright scamming, this is corrupt behavior, both Bonner and the coal group should get their knuckles rapped big time.  Clean coal?  In this instance, clean coal has very dirty hands.  —Rick Cohen

Tides Foundation Dares Colbert!
Aug 10, 2009; The Tides Foundation | A brilliant and funny marketing ploy by the Tides Foundation invites comedian news anchor Stephen Colbert to their Momentum Conference this September. Will he show? Follow the developments through the foundation’s various social media networks.  —Rick Cohen

Pat Summitt to kick off United Way campaign
Aug 2, 2009; Cleveland Daily Banner | Don’t you think for a United Way campaign launch featuring the winningest women’s basketball coach in history, the United Way might have chosen a term other than “kickoff”?  Given the economy, maybe “jump ball?”  —Rick Cohen

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