Thursday, December 06, 2007

Press release of the day

I'm starting to get the hang of knowing which press releases are from astroturf groups - just look for the one with the counterintuitive position.

Today's press release is from The 60 Plus Association.

The first paragraph of the press release -
A report documenting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is understaffed, underfunded and underperforming is all the evidence Congress should need to reject proposed legislation that would add responsibility for tobacco regulation to that overburdened agency.

Sounds awfully considerate of this group that purports itself to be a "national senior advocacy organization."

Perhaps a little out of its bailiwick, but considerate nonetheless.

Then the release goes on the urge Congress to reject HR1108, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, because, besides adding workload to the already overburdened FDA, it's "unnecessary or already handled by other agencies."

Why would a "senior advocacy" group care about tobacco regulation?

That kind of inspired me to look a little further.

According to Public Citizen's, The 60 Plus Association is an astroturf lobbying group, headed up by Jim Martin (a Bush associate for nearly 40 years), funded primarily by the pharmaceutical industry, advocating for Republican candidates and causes.

Besides the electioneering cited in Public Citizen's profile of the group, it also gives out phony, campaign bio-puffing awards (here, too), involves itself in court cases while presenting themselves as a senior advocacy group, while in fact working to protect corporate interests, lobbies for the shutdown of the Legal Services Corporation, and advocates for the release of two would-be murderers with badges.

How does any of that benefit the elderly, other than elderly wealthy Republicans?

Note: CD5's Harry Mitchell is a cosponsor of HR1108. In fact, every AZ Democrat in Congress cosponsored the bill; none of the Republicans has signed on.

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