"One of the smartest things President Bush did to reduce recovery costs in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita was to suspend Davis-Bacon Act rules in the hardest hit states. But Congress is frantically trying to overrule the president, which would add billions of dollars to the already staggering recovery costs."
-- the Yuba City Appeal-Democrat
, the Jacksonville, North Carolina Daily News
, the Kinston, North Carolina Free Press
, the Colorado Springs, Colorado Gazette
, the Lima, Ohio Lima News
, the Fort Wayne, Indiana News-Sentinel
and the Harlingen, Texas Valley Morning Star
, in a display that would make Kreskin green with envy.
A large number of these anonymous editorials - written by GOP operative Sean Paige
and presented as the spontaneous points of view of their respective paper's editors - have all come to light at once, as a bill overturning Bush's repeal
of Davis-Bacon has been pushed to a vote in the House. 37 House Republicans signed a letter in support of the measure.
The vast majority of the papers in which this astroturf editorial appears are owned by Freedom Communications, Inc.
, although they usually list some other 'Freedom'-aligned company on their respective websites. Freedom has been criticized in the past for running 'joint content
' - articles that appear local but aren't:In a widely criticized move earlier this year, The Gazette's owner, Freedom Communications, based in Orange County, Calif., launched an exercise in what it calls "joint content." Essentially, the suits upstairs decided that film reviewing, travel and food were pretty much the same wherever you go.
Evidently, political opinion is the same wherever you go, too. That's the way Freedom, Inc. likes it.
** A quick update: You can keep abreast of GOP astroturfing campaigns here