Tim Phillips, lobbyist and chairman of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is in Europe and Oslo to endorse and teach the Norwegian right wing party (Fremskrittspartiet) how to organize so-called grassroots campaigns. But the grass root campaigns such as those the Tea Party Movement and AFP holds aren't bottom-up crowds, but pure lobbying campaigns financed by billionaires with a clear political agenda.
When the financial crisis was a fact Mr. Phillips and AFP among others funded and organized campaigns to spread disinformation, fear and hatred. Crowds called the American president a Marxist to fight against government intervention to counteract the financial crisis. To the contrary Newsweek interviewed our Party Leader and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg this week about the financial rescue that really worked.
The campaigns have also traveled the country with a bloody hand logo to deny poor Americans the right to health insurance, and launched the "Hot Air Tour" to claim that the climate crisis is conspiracy and carbon cap and trade is the expressway to national bankruptcy. These so-called grass root movements and Mr. Phillip's salary is for the most part paid by the oil and gas company Koch Industries. This week he shared the podium with Party Leader of the right wing party Ms. Siv Jensen, called Scandinavia's Margaret Thatcher by her own International Secretary. Next week he shares the stage with non other then the Tea Party queen herself, Sarah Palin, to fight their common goal of tax cuts and limited government.
Until now we in Europe have watched this absurd political theatre from afar, but now I truly worry that the right wing party will learn from these extremely reactionary forces and adapt the same strategies, in Norway and Europe. It represents a form of campaigning that the Norwegian Labour Party fears. I am truly afraid that our society will not be recognizable in 20 years if the right wing party comes to power, with the help of a speculative American lobbyist - far away from the real grass root.
I ask you American progressives and people from the real grass root movements. How can we disclose and prevent these pure lobbying campaigns financed by billionaire's political influence? Please tip me on Twitter or Facebook.
Raymond Johansen, Party Secretary of the Norwegian Labour Party, which is the senior partner in the current Norwegian government, with Jens Stoltenberg as the current Prime Minister of Norway. The Labour Party has been the central actor in building the Norwegian Welfare State after the Norwegian Model post World War Two.
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