Astroturf by Lobbyists: An Assault on Democracy?

Sometimes corporate people will create fake fronts for their cause, to convince Congress that there’s actually public support for their cause.

Common Cause, formed to speak truth to power, has a great report on fake sites Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Telecom Industry Front Groups and Astroturf

Cable, telephone and Internet industry giants are fiercely lobbying, using every tool at their disposal to gain a competitive advantage in telecom reform legislation. Some of those tools are easy to spot – campaign contributions, television ads that run only inside the Beltway, and meetings with influential members of Congress. Other tactics are more insidious.

One of the underhanded tactics increasingly being used by telecom companies is “Astroturf lobbying” — creating front groups that try to mimic true grassroots, but that are all about corporate money, not citizen power.