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Tea Party

by on October 20, 2010

I don’t have much to say here except GO TEA PARTY.  Um, yeah.  I’ll let quotes do most of the rest of the work.  From Mother Jones:

[Shai] Pritz also owns UniqueLists, a data management company that sells the contact information harvested through the online ads.

The companies are part of the Internet advertising industry known as affiliate marketing, which, like MLM, has a reputation for relying on unscrupulous practices. In 2009, the Federal Trade Commission sued several affiliate marketers for hosting web sites designed to appear like they belonged to official federal entities, which offered “government grants” after last year’s stimulus bill passage. Visitors who signed up to receive grant information for a few dollars allege that they later found their credit cards charged monthly for memberships and services they didn’t ask for. (A federal judge shut down several of the sites, and more charges were added in April. The case is ongoing.) The industry is plagued with allegations that affiliate marketers are infecting consumers’ computers with spyware and adware to surreptitiously boost click revenues.

So what does that have to do with the Tea Party? You’ll have to read more, but I’m not done… For one thing,

There’s no evidence that TPP is selling its contact lists. But the Tea Party Patriots’ own privacy policy indicates that it has the option. It says, “TPP may use Individual Information to advertise, directly or indirectly, to individuals using direct mail marketing or telemarketing using telephones and cell phones and such contact shall be deemed to be with the permission of individuals covered by this Privacy Policy.”

and the most important part,

The parallels between the Tea Party Patriots and a multilevel marketing company don’t surprise FitzPatrick, the pyramid scheme expert, who says that tea party rhetoric is similar to that of MLM companies. MLM operations and pyramid schemes, he says, “aren’t just about money. They are about how you are part of an elite group of people who are enlightened.” He says that in their recruiting, the top leaders of these types of companies often give a false narrative about eminent economic collapse, how Social Security won’t be there to save you in old age, and how the government keeps the average guy from getting ahead. And when the companies draw scrutiny from regulators, they often invoke the same kind of language as the tea party about “jack-booted thugs” and oppressive regulation. The tea party and multilevel marketers, he says, are a perfect fit in many ways: “MLMs claim to represent freedom-lovers. They are an economic match to the Tea Party’s political message.”

Nonetheless, the Tea Party Patriots is “moving to the next level,” as they say at Herbalife. In late September, its top organizers met with a secretive group of far-right movers and shakers to make a fundraising pitch for the group’s multi-million-dollar “40-year-plan” to change the country. The group, the Council for National Policy, is funded heavily by the DeVos family, the owners of Amway, one of the largest MLM companies in the country. According to the TPP fundraising memo, the money would fund more rallies, to recruit more activists, to fund more rallies, to recruit more activists, to fund more rallies.

From → Politics, US Politics

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