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Obama strategist David Axelrod owns "astroturfing" company (ASK Public Strategies)

Via [1] comes this article from Business Week about Barack Obama chief strategist David Axelrod:

From the same River North address, Axelrod operates a second business, ASK Public Strategies, that discreetly plots strategy and advertising campaigns for corporate clients to tilt public opinion their way... On behalf of ComEd and Comcast, the firm helped set up front organizations that were listed as sponsors of public-issue ads. Industry insiders call such practices "Astroturfing," a reference to manufacturing grassroots support...

Oddly enough, some months ago I noted a very strange blog comment in support of Obama, which seemed to me like something that had been typed out by a worker in India. I haven't seen too many comments using odd locutions like that since, but any comment thread at the Washington Post, Politico, and a host of other sites is filled with pointless comments promoting Obama.

And, of course, there's Digg. See this case for an example of an inaccurate smear that was transmitted by several blogs and by Digg. A look at one of those popular Digg posts will show an avalanche of similar pro-Obama comments, and with anti-Obama (or at least pro-truth) comments dugg down so most people will need to click a link first to see them. Could Axelrod's firm be engaging in astroturfing using sockpuppets in order to promote Axelrod's most famous client? Now, come on. Does anyone think someone linked to the Chicago machine would stoop that low?

To help out, I added the following line to the start of his Wikipedia page; let's see how long it stays there:

He operates ASK Public Strategies, a company that allegedly engages in "astroturfing" [http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/mar2008/db20080314_121054.htm].

9/29/08 15:55 PST UPDATE: At this exact moment, someone else has provided a full section on ASK at his WP page, what will happen to it is anyone's guess: en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/David_Axelrod_(political_consultant)#ASK_Public_Strategies

[1] jimtreacher.com/archives/001554.html

Politics · Thu, 09/11/2008 - 11:18 · Importance: 9

Fri, 09/12/2008 - 05:23
Vinay Patel

You are starting to see what many have been suspecting for a long time. Barack represents a new step forward to restoring our country's glory. No longer can we be silent and accept the status quo. Enough is enough. Obama 2008.

Fri, 09/12/2008 - 14:54
Fred Dawes
www.myspace.com/FredDawes1776/

Obama and McCain want the same thing you to disappear, the fact is you will disappear if McCAIN OR OBAMA Become the next so called president, The fact is we cannot win but we the people can fight back or some of us will if you know what i mean? And yes the political system owns the little black african and the little white boy McCain both hate you and want to rule over the third world people. After all we are the world right? just go and live in the third world without money and "fine", out how much you are loved without money in monkey land. Ask who owns the chicago political machine you will not believe it. Buy Guns.