BACKGROUND ON PHILLIPS
Phillips has a long career as a conservative operative
Timothy R. (Tim) Phillips is the president of Americans for Prosperity and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. He became president in 2006. He was formerly Vice President of Century Strategies, a political and corporate consulting firm. Tim Phillips is in fact Right-Wing Operative. Before replacing Koch Industries lobbyist Nancy Pfotenhauer as president of Americans for Prosperity, Timothy R. Phillips had a long career as a conservative operative. In 1992, Phillips managed Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-VA) first Congressional campaign and served as his chief of staff for four years.
Connections with Ralph Reed and sleazy ad campaigns
In 1997, Phillips co-founded public relations firm Century Strategies with Ralph Reed . There, Phillips oversaw “direct mail, telemarketing, coalition building and strategic services” for the 2000 and 2004 Bush for President campaigns, and specialized in “grasstops” operations to establish fake grassroots organizations. Among their “triumphs” was the 2002 smear campaign of Max Cleland. Tim Phillips was behind the 2002 TV ad for Saxby Chambliss that falsely portrayed his opponent Max Cleland a Vietnam vet with no legs and one arm as “not having the courage to lead.”
Connections to Jack Abramoff and Abuse of Chinese Workers
In 1998, now disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff hired Phillips’ firm to pressure members of Congress to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands subject to federal wage and worker safety laws.
A federal report “found that Chinese women were subject to forced abortions and that women and children were subject to forced prostitution in the local sex-tourism industry.” Nonetheless, Phillips sent out mailers claiming Chinese workers “are exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ” while on the islands, and many “are converted to the Christian faith and return to China with Bibles in hand.” The mailers then encouraged the recipients to contact lawmakers and ask them to oppose the Marianas labor reform legislation.
The Marianas stealth lobbying effort was not the only time Phillips worked with Abramoff. Reed and Phillips conspired to generate conservative Christian outrage towards gambling at Indian casinos in a cynical plot to encourage those same tribes to hire Abramoff to lobby on their behalf. While Phillips and Reed postured to be motivated by anti-gambling Christian values, the pair are alleged to have helped launder lobbying money from an Abramoff Internet gambling client called eLottery.
APPEARANCE ON RACHEL MADDOW SHOW TONIGHT
Tonight he appeared on the Rachel Maddow show. Americans for Prosperity is now promoting a bus tour Hands off my Health Care campaign. George (micaca) Allen former governor of Virginia teamed up with Americans for Prosperity and is now one of the speakers on its tour. Their next scheduled tour is through the state of Arkansas. George Allen now heads up his own lobbying firm and has refused to say whether or not his clients are health care insurance corporations. Rachel’s point tonight that it is unethical for Allen and indeed Americans for Prosperity to promote themselves as a grassroots organization when in fact they are funded by special interest groups.
For example part of the rhetoric of “Americans for Prosperity” is also a campaign to dismiss the threat of global warming–a Cost of Hot Air Tour. David Koch who founded and still funds Americans for Prosperity is the 8th richest man in America. He also owns Koch industries–one of the largest oil and chemical companies in the country. Are we not surprise that he is against an energy tax?
Rachel told Phillips tonight that he and people like him are parasites on the fears of Americans and concluded by saying that she hoped that his industry starves to death [as Americans wake up and are not motivated so easily by fear]. My sentiments are definitely with those of Rachel.
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