hawthorn group

Fri, 2009-01-16 11:34Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Coal lobby PR firm memo boasts about manipulating Democrats and Republicans

UPDATE: we also just found a 2004 strategy memo from the head of a coal lobby group to the CEO of Peabody Energy.

A Virginia-based public relations firm called the Hawthorn Group sent out a newsletter to their “friends and family” outlining the work they did on behalf of a coal industry lobby group called the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.The newletter outlines in quite a bit of detail about how Hawthorn spindoctored coal during the Presidential election.

The newsletter starts:

“We thought the most fixated of the political and communications “junkies” might find interesting some highlights of a recent grassroots campaign Hawthorn created and managed for the American Coalition of Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).”

Hawthorn celebrates the fact that their coal-is-clean campaign was a success:

“In September 2007, on the key measurement question—Do you support/oppose the use of coal to generate electricity?—we found 46 percent support and 50 percent oppose. In a 2008 year-end survey that result had shifted to 72 percent support and 22 percent oppose. Not only did we see significantly increased support, opposition was cut by more than half. Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain addresses a crowd wearing “Clean Coal hats” in Pennsylvania.”

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