Fwd: FC: Confirmed: Google reveals Bush's faux astroturf campaign

bitbitch@magnesium.net bitbitch@magnesium.net
Mon, 20 Jan 2003 18:53:19 -0500


Its always amusing when politicians (or their staffs) get stupid ideas
and then manage to run with them, without even _trying_ to CYA.   I
mean, this isn't illegal, but it sure does make the Bush
Administration look like a bunch of fucking morons.  Either that, or
he thinks we're a bunch of morons.

Either way, yet another reason not to vote for the man.  Not that I
really need one these days.

-C



===8<==============Original message text===============
[Clearly I should have followed the links more carefully last night before 
sending out the earlier message. Mea culpa. The GOP appears to have been 
caught. Also, Jack King did a Westnews search and found the identical 
letter in the Deseret News, The Gazette, The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, 
CA), and The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA). Previous Politech message: 
http://www.politechbot.com/p-04332.html --Declan]

---

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 17:27:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Jonathan Weinberg <weinberg@mail.msen.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Google reveals Bush administration's astroturf campaign?
In-Reply-To: <5.1.1.6.0.20030120003837.01a69970@mail.well.com>

         No, the point is that the *entire letters* are verbatim,
word-for-word, identical; searching for the catchphrase is just how you
find them on google.  Read the links.  No matter how big the country is,
it doesn't contain a large number of people who independently come up with
the exact same 130-word letter.

Jon

---

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 15:52:15 -0600 (CST)
From: Alif The Terrible <measl@mfn.org>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Google reveals Bush administration's astroturf campaign?

On Mon, 20 Jan 2003, Declan McCullagh wrote:

 > [I don't think we have nearly enough facts here to make a reasoned
 > conclusion. An explanation could be as simple as Republican direct mail
 > efforts using this phrase, which the recipients echo in letters to the
 > editor. It's a big country; there's bound to be some repetition. --Declan]

Declan,

         If you examine the links, these aren't mere phrases being echoed,
they are word for word copies of entire "letters".  No question these are not
the "spontaneous" utterances of those who are purported to have written them.

Yours,

J.A. Terranson
sysadmin@mfn.org

---

From: "Werberg, Sam" <swerberg@findsvp.com>
To: "'declan@well.com'" <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: Google reveals Bush administration's astroturf campaign?
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 17:11:45 -0500


Declan,

More than a coincidence here.  These identical letters were all sent 
through the Republican National Committee's letter-to-the-editor service, 
as pointed out by the Eatthestate.org folks in the first letter 
below.  <opinion>Nothing particularly sinister I suppose, if it represents 
actual individual citizens voicing their opinions.  What is bothersome 
though it that it's just another sign of people being unable to express and 
articulate their own opinion.  And that is certainly not limited to any one 
political party.</opinion>

-Sam Werberg


__________snip_______________

RNC Zombies
Dear Eat the State!,
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the President noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would 
only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear 
weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right--our 
nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

Sincerely,
--Melissa Whitis, via e-mail
G.P. comments: This was one of a number of letters we get regularly through 
a letter-to-the-editor distribution service run by the Republican National 
Committee. I couldn't resist printing this one, not just because of the 
boilerplate nonsense, but because I totally agree with Melissa. I don't 
want weapons of mass destruction in the hands of freedom's enemies. I 
certainly don't want world events to be dictated by brutal and lawless 
politicians. That's why I support regime change in Washington DC.

<http://eatthestate.org/07-04/Backtalk.htm>http://eatthestate.org/07-04/Backtalk.htm 

__________

Applause for Bush
     PRESIDENT BUSH should be applauded for taking a courageous stand 
against Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons 
of mass destruction.

     As the president noted in his recent address to the nation, the 
riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing.

     Inaction would only give Saddam time to complete his malicious pursuit 
of nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

     Acting now to disarm Saddam, using military force if necessary, is the 
only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction that 
fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. Bush is right -- our nation 
cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

     Andrew Burak
     Oxnard (Ventura County)
<http://www.examiner.com/opinion/default.jsp?story=op.letters.1114w>http://www.examiner.com/opinion/default.jsp?story=op.letters.1114w 


Bush right in wanting to act against Saddam
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction.

As the President noted in his recent address to the nation, the riskiest 
option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing.

Inaction would only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious 
pursuit of nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists 
everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies.

President Bush is right -our nation cannot let world events be dictated by 
brutal and lawless dictators.
CHRIS McINTOSH
Norcross
<http://albanyh.surfsouth.com/forumarchive/1102/forum113002.html>http://albanyh.surfsouth.com/forumarchive/1102/forum113002.html 


Bush is right
To the Editor:

     President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand 
against Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons 
of mass destruction.

     As the president has noted, the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq 
is to do nothing. Inaction would only give Saddam Hussein time to complete 
his malicious pursuit of nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and 
terrorists everywhere.

     Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if 
necessary, is the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass 
destruction that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies.

     President Bush is right -our nation cannot let world events be 
dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.
Charles L. Mitchell Jr. - Bremerton
<http://www.thesunlink.com/opinion/2002/november/1129let.html>http://www.thesunlink.com/opinion/2002/november/1129let.html 


ABOUT: Support President Bush on Iraq issue
FROM: Eric Ord, Carlsbad, CA
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the President noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction

would only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of 
nuclear weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right - 
our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

<http://www.hispanicvista.com/html/102102le.htm>http://www.hispanicvista.com/html/102102le.htm 


From: Jim Salter
Subject: I support President Bush's efforts to protect our nation from Iraq

October 31, 2002

The Progressive Headquarters
409 E Main St
Madison, WI 53703-

Dear Progressive:

President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the President noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would 
only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear 
weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right - 
our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

Sincerely,

Jim Salter
<http://www.progressive.org/talkback2/talker1102a19.html>http://www.progressive.org/talkback2/talker1102a19.html 


President Bush Is Right
By John Turley, Fountain Valley, CA
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the President noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would 
only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear 
weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right - 
our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

<http://www.pakistanlink.com/Opinion/2002/Nov/08/08.html>http://www.pakistanlink.com/Opinion/2002/Nov/08/08.html 


Bush Courage
Editor, Times-Union:
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the president noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would 
only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear 
weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere. I don't want 
my children and grandchildren to have to worry about Sept. 11th or worse 
ever happening in their lifetime. I want these people stopped now. If you 
are breathing today you should be scared for your future.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right - 
our nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

Pattie Marlow
Syracuse
via e-mail
<http://www.timeswrsw.com/M021015.HTM>http://www.timeswrsw.com/M021015.HTM

Kudos to Bush for taking a stand
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction. As the president noted in his recent address to the nation, 
the riskiest option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would 
only give Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear 
weapons and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies.

President Bush is right ---- our nation cannot let world events be dictated 
by brutal and lawless dictators.
Jeff Olhasso
Temecula
<http://www.nctimes.com/news/2002/20021110/zzzz.html>http://www.nctimes.com/news/2002/20021110/zzzz.html 


Bush is trying to protect nation from Iraq
President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against 
Saddam Hussein's outlaw regime and its reckless pursuit of weapons of mass 
destruction.

As the president noted in his recent address to the nation, the riskiest 
option for dealing with Iraq is to do nothing. Inaction would only give 
Saddam Hussein time to complete his malicious pursuit of nuclear weapons 
and would embolden tyrants and terrorists everywhere.

Acting now to disarm Saddam Hussein, using military force if necessary, is 
the only way we will keep America safe from weapons of mass destruction 
that fall into the hands of freedom's enemies. President Bush is right  our 
nation cannot let world events be dictated by brutal and lawless dictators.

JOHN LUCAS
Vista
<http://www.nctimes.com/news/2002/20021208/zzzz.html>http://www.nctimes.com/news/2002/20021208/zzzz.html 


---

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 14:09:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Masson <dmasson@well.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Bush Leadership & Astroturf

Looks like astroturf. It's a form letter. I'm attaching the results of the
1st page of Google letters. The second looks to be more of the same.

<http://www.pressdemocrat.com/opinion/letters/14letts.html>

EDITOR: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating
genuine leadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes
us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001,
providing marriage penalty relief and providing incentives for individuals
and small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the
proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class. This
year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083, and 46 million married couples will get back an average
of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through
uncertain economic times. Combined with the initiatives to help the
unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of
our economy.
TREVOR CARLSON
Santa Rosa

<http://www.thestarpress.com/tsp/opinion/03/jan/0110bushtaxplan.php>

JOHN PINCKNEY - 400 Aspen Lane
When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine
leadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes us in
the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001,
providing marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for
individuals and small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the
proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle class.
This year alone, 92-million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083 - and 46-million married couples will get back an average
of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through
uncertain economic times.
Combined with the president's new initiatives to help the unemployed, this
plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.

<http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/012/letter/Bush_s_cuts_are_the_way_to_go+.shtml>
WHEN IT COMES to the economy, President Bush has demonstrating genuine
leadership. The growth package he has proposed takes us in the right
direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001, providing
marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and
small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking Bush's plan, the proposal
helps everyone who pays taxes and especially the middle class. This year
alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut averaging
$1,083 - and 46 million married couples will get back an average of
$1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain
economic times. Combined with the president's new initiatives to help the
unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of
our economy.
STEPHANIE JOHNSON
Milton

<http://216.239.39.100/search?q=cache:tJ3dGoPzz9sJ:www.tucsoncitizen.com/opinion/1_9_03letters.html+%22demonstrating+genuine+leadership%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8>
Bush's stimulus plan a winner
President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership when it comes to the
economy. The economic growth package he just proposed takes us in the
right direction by accelerating the tax cuts of 2001, providing marriage
penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and small
businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric coming from the liberal politicians
attacking the president's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays
taxes, and especially the middle class.
This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083 and 46 million married couples would get back an average
of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through
uncertain times.
Combined with Bush's initiatives to help the unemployed, this plan gets
people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.
- SHERRY COLLINS

<http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/wdhopinion/280902175259552.shtml>
Bush tax cuts help economy, create  jobs
EDITOR: When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating
genuine leadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes
us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001,
providing marriage-penalty relief and providing incentives for individuals
and small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class-warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the
proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, especially the middle class.
This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083 - and 46 million married couples will get back an average
of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through
uncertain economic times. Combined with Bush's new initiatives to help the
unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of
our economy.
David Bednarski,
Wausau

<http://www.upgroup.com/gazette/Archives/aletters.html>
To the editor:
When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating
genuineleadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes
us  in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of
2001, providing marriage-penalty relief, and providing incentives for
individuals and small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the
proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle  class.
This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083 and 46 million married couples will get back an average
of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through
uncertain economic times. Combined with the president's new initiatives to
help the unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every
sector of our economy.
NICK KOSZYKOWSKI
Dodgeville

<http://216.239.39.100/search?q=cache:y4hSf2Dh-58C:www.galvnews.com/letters.lasso+%22demonstrating+genuine+leadership%22&hl=en&ie=UTF-8>
When it comes to the economy, President George Bush is demonstrating
genuine leadership.
The economic growth package he recently proposed takes us in the right
direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001, providing
marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and
small businesses to save and invest.
Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president's plan, the
proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle class.
This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut
averaging $1,083 and 46 million married couples will get back an average
of $1,714.
That's not pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain
economic times.
Combined with the president's new initiatives to help the unemployed, this
plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.
Chuck and Leah Williams
Lake Jackson

---

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 13:59:27 -0800 (PST)
From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall <jhall@astron.Berkeley.EDU>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Google reveals Bush administration's astroturf campaign?
In-Reply-To: <5.1.1.6.0.20030120003837.01a69970@mail.well.com>

 > [I don't think we have nearly enough facts here to make a reasoned
 > conclusion. An explanation could be as simple as Republican direct
 > mail efforts using this phrase, which the recipients echo in letters
 > to the editor. It's a big country; there's bound to be some
 > repetition. --Declan]

But the letters are nearly identical... the republican campaign would
have to be something like, "write a letter to the editor using these
words to show your support"... it would be interesting for someone
with lots of time on their hands to actually track some of these
people down and pull a story out of it...

Joe

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Graduate Student                        astron.berkeley.edu/~jhall
Astronomy Department
601 Campbell Hall                       voice: (510) 643-8592
University of California at Berkeley    fax  : (510) 642-3411
Berkeley, CA 94720-3411                 face : 753B Campbell




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