Astroturf Telecom Groups Exposed

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New from the media reform team at Common Cause:

Back in March, Common Cause released its first “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” report, detailing the activities of nine groups masquerading as think tanks and public interest organizations, but controlled by telephone and cable companies. Since then, we’ve gotten the dirt on five more.

For example, Hands off the Internet sounds like activists wanting to protect the Internet. Actually, it’s a telecommunications industry-backed organization that was spending $20,000 a day on television commercials aimed at eliminating long-standing net neutrality protections so that telephone and cable companies can maximize profit and minimize competition on the Internet.

These groups have managed to convince some members of Congress (with, just possibly, a nudge and a wink) that they enjoy public support. The Common Cause website allows people to go on the record and tell their Senators they oppose the telecom reform bill, which is, to quote CC, is “riddled with giveaways to the phone and cable companies.”

See the new report here.

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FOLLOW THE MONEY

Corporations and billionaires don’t fund journalism like ours that exists to shake things up. Instead, support from readers allows Mother Jones to call it like it is without fear, favor, or false equivalence.

And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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