Law Allows Astroturf Roots Cover-Up

September 9, 2009

While federal law requires most Gucci-shod K Street lobbyists to disclose to the public whom they are working for and taking money from, no such law applies to Astroturf.

Fake grass-roots lobbying — called Astroturf — garnered headlines recently when news accounts revealed that a coal industry (ACCCE) campaign to stop climate legislation had sent forged letters to members of Congress, pretending to be from minority and community organizations.

The watchdog group OMB Watch notes that:

"The public currently has little or no information about who is funding such lobbying blitzes. Under the current disclosure law, there are no disclosure requirements for grassroots lobbying campaigns, including the fake, Astroturf kind, even if specific pending legislation is mentioned and members of the public are encouraged to contact Congress."