60 Plus Association

60 Plus Association

 Background

The 60 Plus Association describes itself as a “non-partisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, less taxes approach to seniors issues” and the “conservative alternative to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).” [1]

The group has sought to privatize Social Security, end the federal estate tax, and strengthen gun rights. They oppose aspects of health care reform, federal energy standards, and tax increases.

The president of 60 Plus is Jim Martin who had done advocacy work with groups including the Public Service Research Council also known as Americans Against Union Control of Government. He was also involved with the National Conservative Political Action Committee. [2]

According to some sources, 60 Plus acts as a front group for the pharmaceutical industry, and has actively opposed government health care.

PRWatch reports that the Association regularly advocates positions on issues that benefit big corporations and stakes out positions that explicitly favor the pharmaceutical industry. [3]

Stance on Climate Change

  • “The global warming threat is the latest science fiction adventure. Senior citizens especially need to be diligent and concerned with the current efforts of politicians and bureaucrats seeking greater regulatory power by scare tactics over so-called global warming. The alarmists are using faulty science to reach untenable conclusions. If we allow the government to enact restrictive measures, whether by law or by a treaty agreed to by the U.S., we will face an energy crisis which will make the energy/oil crisis of the 1970s look like a minor league event.” [4]
  • “Although global warming alarmists believe carbon dioxide and other man-made greenhouse gases contribute to global warming, they’ve never documented that case with hard science. In fact, CO2 is a vital component in the air we breathe and a life-necessity for every plant and animal on Planet Earth.” [5]

 Funding

According to the Washington Post, in 2002 60 Plus received an unrestricted educational grant from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, also known as PhRMA. [6]

Republican strategist and consultant Carl Forti said “I don't believe PhRMA has ever given 60 Plus money,” and that the organization “is funded by individual private donors/members; they are not funded by corporations or interest groups.” [7]

According to StealthPACs, known funders of the 60 Plus Association include: [8]

Key People

According to the 60 Plus website, as of May, 2012: [1]

  • James L. Martin — Chairman.
  • Amy Noone Frederick — President.
  • Pat Boone National — Spokesman.

 Actions

Ongoing

60 Plus spends a significant amount on lobbying. According to SourceWatch, it spent $100,000 on lobbying in 2007, $400,000 in 2008, and $100,000 in each of the first two quarters of 2009.

Their in-house lobbyists include Amy Noone Frederick, listed as 60 Plus' Executive Vice President; James L. Martin, President; Hugh C. Newton, Public Relations Contact; and Roger H. Zion, Honorary Chair. They also retain two lobbying firms: Beau Boulter LLC and Greener and Hook, LLC.

May 21 - 23, 2012

60 Plus is listed as a Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

November 4, 2011

Chairman James L. Martin came out ahead of demonstrators at the White House protesting the Keystone XL pipeline.

“60 Plus urges the Obama administration not to appease the environmental activists scheduled to descend on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue this Sunday and avoid delaying further the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. We simply cannot afford to leave our future energy and economic prosperity in the balance any longer,” said Martin. [9]

November, 2009

Spent over $2 million on an advertisement that described proposed cuts to Medicare being “to pay for a plan that could lead to a government takeover of health care.” [10]

May 19, 2005

The 60 Plus Association submitted testimony to The House Energy and Mineral Subcommittee to discuss “Energy Supply, Energy Costs and the American Consumer.” [11]

According to 60 Plus, “those who would impede the important work of this Committee and this Nation.. .go under the names of groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Friends of The Earth with the help of organizations like MoveOn.org. These feel-good activists, both nationally and internationally, have done a simply marvelous job at swaying public opinion and building walls and roadblocks that stymie the vitality of the energy industry. And by and large, they’ve done it all with smoke and mirrors! Under the guise of something called 'global warming' …

This sort of anti-supply bias has to stop for the good of seniors and consumers of all ages. This wonderful country of ours has abundant energy wherewithal, much of it renewable, some of it biodegradable.”

February 26, 2003

Roger Zion, Honorary Chairman of the 60 Plus Association testified to the U.S. Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee.

According to Zion, “The US must increase its domestic production of natural gas” and “Congress should also enact legislation to streamline natural gas pipeline construction to enable gas to enter the mid-continent and Northeastern markets, enhance gas supply and distribution capabilities, and relieve system constraints.” [12]

2003

According to an article in the AARP Bulletin, Members of Bonner & Associates, a Washington-based lobbying firm, paid callers who identified themselves as representatives of 60 Plus to urge residents to ask their governors to veto legislation that would defeat prescription drug legislation at the state level.

Bonner & Associates admitted that they had been paid by Pfizer Inc. to make the calls. [13]

Related Organizations

 Resources

  1. About 60 Plus,” 60 Plus Association. Accessed May 11, 2012.

  2. 'The Rachel Maddow Show' for Monday, August 10, 2009,” (Transcript), MSNBC TV.

  3. Anne Landman. “The 60 Plus Association: A Corporate Assault in 'Good-for-Seniors' Clothing,” PRWatch, September 15, 2010.

  4. “Statement on Global Warming” (PDF), The 60 Plus Association. Retrieved from Greenpeace Research Documents.

  5. Roger Zion. “Ultra Liberal Scientists on the Environment,” 60 Plus Association, September 9, 2004. Archived February 5, 2010.

  6. “High Drug Prices Return as Issue That Stirs Voters,” Washington Post, October 15, 2002, A8.

  7. Jonathan Tilove. “National health care debate complicates Louisiana politics,” The Times-Picayune, November 16, 2009. Accessed at nola.com.

  8. Known Funders of: 60 Plus Association,” Public Citizen. Accessed May, 2012.

  9. Seniors Group Protests Activists Demonstrating Against Keystone XL Pipeline,” 60 Plus, November 4, 2011.

  10. David Dayen. “Big Pharma Front Group 60 Plus Scaring Seniors With $2M Ad Buy,” FireDogLake, November 1, 2009.

  11. Statement By 60 Plus Association President Jim Martin Submitted To The House Energy and Mineral Subcommittee,” 60 Plus Association, May 19, 2005.

  12. Statement Of Roger Zion, Honorary Chairman, 60 Plus Association, To Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Senate,” 60 Plus Association, February 26, 2003.

  13. Pulling Strings from Afar: Drug Industry Finances Nonprofit Groups That Claim to Speak for Older Americans,” AARP Bulletin, February, 2003. Archived June 5, 2003.

  14. Jonathan E. Kaplan. “Industry shifts strategy on natural gas,” The Hill, November 16, 2004. Archived January 3, 2006.

  15. 60 Plus Association,” SourceWatch.

  16. 60 Plus Association,” Wikipedia.

  17. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: 60/Sixty Plus Association.

  18. Deniers:Organisations:60/Sixty Plus Association,” ExxonSecrets Wiki.

  19. 60 Plus Association,” FactCheck.org, October 12, 2010.