Astroturf King Jack Bonner's Long History of Deceitful "Grassroots" Lobbying

As you’ll recall, Bonner & Associates – the D.C. Astroturf shop busted for mailing at least a dozen forged letters to Congress this summer prior to the House vote on climate and energy legislation – has found itself under the media spotlight lately, struggling to defend its sullied brand.

Tomorrow morning, Rep. Edward Markey’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will hold a hearing on the Bonner and Associates forged letter scandal and it can’t come soon enough.

But the forgery scandal is just one example in a long career of anti-democratic Astroturf jobs for which Jack Bonner’s firm is responsible.

Public relations firms like to try to shape the news, not appear in the headlines themselves. Jack Bonner knows this as well as anyone in the business, and is rarely quoted in news stories, preferring to keep a low public profile. But when his firm was caught sending forged letters to Congress this summer while working on contract for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and its parent company the Hawthorn Group, Jack Bonner ended up in the uncomfortable position of defending his own firm rather than the interests of his corporate clients.

The gaffe appears to have cost Bonner a great deal of business, including the lucrative contract with Hawthorn.

Sources close to Bonner’s operation say that the firm furloughed several key staffers in the wake of the ACCCE scandal, informing them that there is currently not enough business to keep them on staff. And Jack Bonner’s much-anticipated appearance before the Congressional committee to answer questions about his firm’s role in the forgery scandal will not likely help the Bonner firm’s portfolio, either.

Monster List: Skeptics Have Touted "Global Cooling" Theory Anywhere They Could

As word spreads about the Associated Press blind test examining the global cooling theory, which I wrote about earlier this week, I began to wonder how many times skeptics have tried to push this global cooling myth recently on the Internets.

So I perused the first 10 pages of results on Google for the term “global cooling” and discovered plenty of examples of skeptics hawking their global cooling theory on the usual suspect blogs and media outlets (with a few exceptions like the much-ballyhooed BBC News article earlier this month). Here is a sampling of the results of the search:

[Editor’s note: this is just the beginning of the monster list. Our research team is adding a ton more over the next couple of hours]

Investor’s Business Daily | October 12, 2009
Title: “Three Decades Of Global Cooling”
“Earth’s climate is influenced by many things, the least of which is the internal combustion engine. We and reputable scientists have noted the earth has cooled during the last decade, a period in which the sun has grown very quiet with little or no sunspot activity.”

BBC News | October 9, 2009
Article title: What happened to global warming?
“This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.”

Christian Science Monitor | October 10, 2009
“The Earth isn’t warming right now, is why. It may even be cooling down somewhat. Five major climate centers around the world agree that average global temperatures have not risen in the past 11 years, according to the BBC. In fact, in eight of those years, global average temperatures dipped a tad.”


WaPo to Inhofe: "It must be very lonely being the last flat-earther"

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes today about how very lonely it must be, to be one of the only dinosaurs left in the US Senate who actually believes climate change is some kind of hoax or socialist conspiracy to take over the world.

I am referring of course to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK).

Milbank writes:

“It must be very lonely being the last flat-earther.

Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, committed climate-change denier, found himself in just such a position Tuesday morning as the Senate environment committee, on which he is the ranking Republican, took up legislation on global warming. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was in talks with Democrats over a compromise bill – the traitor!”

Great Climate Cover Up Review in the Sun Today

There is a great B2 front page review of Climate Cover Up in the Vancouver Sun today by columnist Stephen Hume. You can check it out here: New book outlines the PR effort behind climate-change skeptics.

My favorite quote:

“Climate change skeptics regularly denounce me as a disgrace to journalism for declining to accept their dogma, which is mostly received wisdom from sources that I’d trust to evaluate the published science about as much as I’d trust a plumber to perform open heart surgery.

Nothing against plumbers, mind you. They’re just not heart surgeons. And the economists, statisticians and agenda-driven politicians routinely cited by the skeptics aren’t glaciologists, botanists, biologists, oceanographers, atmospheric physicists or computer modelling specialists.”

Frank Luntz: Can you trust this man?

Hint: No

It would be easier to dislike, distrust and dismiss Republican pollster Frank Luntz if not for the evident quality of his work. But the most recent leaked example of that work shows again both his capacity for intellectual excellence and his willingness to rank tactical advantage above forthrightness.

Luntz achieved fame in the environmental community when someone leaked a 2002 report that he prepared for the Republican party. Although he has since backed away from the odious positions in that document, he was not shy at the time about instructing his political masters on how most effectively to continue denying the truth of climate change.

In the current example, Luntz is updating his “Global Language Dictionary” for the Isreal Project. There is nothing climate related in the content, but there are many lessons for any student of linguistic manipulation.

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