Thursday, August 27, 2009

Green Bay Astroturfing, Union Style

Went to the rally at UW Green Bay Wednesday night on health care put on by all the unions in the area. No order on pictures and comments. First let's start by something from Wikipedia.

"Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.

The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt ("outreach", "awareness", etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual pushing a personal agenda or highly organized professional groups with financial backing from large corporations, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often the efforts are conducted by political consultants " Astroturfing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So if I wanted to create the impression of being spontaneous "grassroots" behavior concerning health care where would I hold a rally?

Nice evening on the UWGB campus.

Uh oh, looks like trouble here. Conservatives voicing their opinions.

Looks like Fox 11 getting an interview trying to be balanced.

Update from the Bader Blog a note from one of his listeners.

My wife and I drove down from Cecil to attend the Kagen Health Reform meeting, we parked the car and started walking up...I had a poster that I made. One side read "Fix Gov't" and the other side read "Leave Health Care Alone!". On our way to the building we came across a small group of people holding up there signs and I asked them if they were letting us bring signs in and they said they weren't. So I stood there with them for awhile holding my sign. Fox News 11 came up and wanted some filmage of us holding our signs and I agreed to say something, which they did air some of , you can see it here -
Here's the good wife and I started walking toward the entrance and were stopped by 3 police officers. They said the posters weren't allowed and we'd have to take our "Free Speech" back to where we were standing. I asked, "so there's no Free Speech inside"? He replied, "No, the Free Speech is over there where you were standing, you need to talk your signs back there".

In the parking lot

Who are those people?

Green, blue where are the brown shirts around the sign up table. Don't see any planned event yet, do you?

On the door going into the hall. At least it wasn't free handed like at the Green Bay Library.

Looks like a packed house. Oh boy, music playing in room. Monkee's, I'm a believer. and I think Journey, don't stop believing. Hey, is that a sign in here? I thought no signs! See any astroturfing yet? I do have to say the libs do play some decent music before rallies. Somebody is turning up the volume on Tom petty, I won't back down.

As usual dems are always late. Steve Kagen and Dave Hansen
finally come in around 6;15.

Astroturfing? To disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction. Here we see a member of Wisconsin Operating Engineers local 310. Because of the camera I used they sure stand out in the crowd. Why are they wearing a safety vest? If you look at various pictures, local 310 were either ushers for the event, security for Kagen or were there to squash any right wingers that might get out of hand at their rally. If you look at my pictures you can see they surrounded the room. One every 10 to 15 feet around the room. Seemed like intimidation to me!

Update from the Bader Blog from one of his listeners

1)My wife and I attended last night's health care rally and was amazed at the strong-armed tactics the union thugs in their blaze yellow vests displayed. I was sitting in the back row next to the bearded union thug in the yellow vest shown in the Fox 11 story, 00:37 into the clip. The yellow vest goon told anyone who spoke against Kagan to be quiet or leave. There was a group of five or six of us that were not exuberant in showing our support and he was just staring us down with his arms crossed. I leaned over to my wife to have her take a look at this guy and commented I couldn't imagine union employees having to face this type of intimidation every day. No wonder they all drink the Kool-Aid. This was coupled with the fact that Randy Christopherson, Chief of Police at UWGB, was shaking hands and patting people on the back with several of the attendees. When someone would boo Kagen's handlers would whisper in Randy's ear and he would have someone stand next to them to quiet them down.

From WBAY TV 2
One of the speakers who cannot get insurance. Health Care Reform Rally Turns Into Noisy Debate - WBAY-TV Green Bay-Fox Cities-Northeast Wisconsin News:

From the Appleton Post Crescent.
"GREEN BAY — A roomful of supportive signs and voices — plus a handful of opponents — gathered Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to push for federal health care reform at a rally." U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen of Appleton meets friendlier crowd to discuss health care reform at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay | | Appleton Post-Crescent

Looks like half the people in this section did not want to stand up for health care. This section seated around 100 people. there were three sections of chairs and people standing in the back. I would estimate that there were around 400 people. From this picture multiply by three equals 200 pro protesters and 200 anti health care protesters. We were also told to be considerate of the speakers and please have respect for everyone there. So why did the left stand up and start chanting? The left can yell, you on the right, shut your mouth.

There's the security local 310 around the hall again. By the looks of them they were ready to break, sorry twist some arms in case the conservatives got out of hand.

There's local 310 again. The green shirt is from AFSCME.

Local 310, funny I didn't see pipes and bats. Maybe they had them ready in the back room.

Bad picture but I thought Kagen was the one on the left below the screen. I was wrong.

Meeting of the minds?

This poor guy got thrown out around 6:45. He got his hands on a sign and made his own anti health care sign.

Screaming and yelling from the left. You on the right, SHUT UP!

Huh, no signs allowed in hall?

I don't have this speakers name but she did say a prayer and had some silence for Ted Kennedy. I will paraphrase her prayer but I don't understand how can she pray for life in health care but had the nerve to be with all these liberals who are for abortion. Seems she is a little disingenuous with God here, hey what the heck, she's a lefty.

Someone from the AFLCIO telling us about his friend who didn't have insurance, struggled with his health care and passed away. We need to pass this health care plan to take care of people like his friend.

Security by the door.
Our friend right before he got thrown out.

It was 6:45 and that's all I could take. It was the left that called this rally so I thought they could enjoy their little love fest for Kagen and Hansen. Final thoughts.

If Nancy Pelosi and the left accuse the right of ASTROTURFING, what in sam hell do you call this UNION rally? If the unions were really behind this, to only get 200 to 250 people to attend this was a complete failure. The few in support of this were probably teachers and union reps. I think their rank and file are not happy going along with socialized health care. I think most rank and file were a lot smarter then those of their brethren who attended this love fest for Steve Kagen. By the way, what did I hear, 1700 people at a conservative health care rally in Madison. 1700 people against OBAMACARE Madison, 200, 250 at UWGB from the left, big whoop. Wonder if anyone from the Merc union showed up?
ASTROTURFING is only done by the left and the only ones that will back them on ASTROTURFING are unions.

PS, Dave Hansen attended and is now joined at the hip with Steve Kagen and Obamacare. Between the budget and now Obamacare, Hansen will have to explain a lot in his upcoming election.

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