[O]ne Nashville-based lobbyist says paid “grassroots” movements are becoming a part of every major civic project.
Southern Beale counts the ways:
• It’s been revealed that many of the “real people” who phone in to talk radio programs are actually paid actors reading from scripts.
• Candidates for office have hired temp workers from staffing agencies to hold campaign signs and look like supporters.
• Corporate sockpuppets working for D.C. lobbyists are given phony titles at made-up front groups, then write op-eds, letters, and even make personal appearances to promote their clients’ viewpoint.
• Political campaigns pay thousands of dollars to promote certain candidates and positions via paid professional blog commenters.
• Campaigns routinely hire ghost writers to pen Letters To The Editor as “real citizens.”
The next step, of course, is fake threats from your opponents. I’m not usually one to speculate but this doesn’t real to me.