Don’t be fooled by Astroturfing

There’s a name for efforts by big corporations to manipulate public opinion by creating fake “grassroots” citizens’ organizations. It’s called Astroturfing, and now we have our very own example, the “Whidbey Consumers for Affordable Energy.” Would it shock you to learn that this group has no known “Whidbey consumers” as members, and is financed entirely by puget Sound Energy? Perhaps you’ve seen the hundreds of red “Pull the Plug” signs they’ve blanketed the island with (which, according to the county, will have to be removed at taxpayer expense).

There’s a name for efforts by big corporations to manipulate public opinion by creating fake “grassroots” citizens’ organizations. It’s called Astroturfing, and now we have our very own example, the “Whidbey Consumers for Affordable Energy.” Would it shock you to learn that this group has no known “Whidbey consumers” as members, and is financed entirely by puget Sound Energy? Perhaps you’ve seen the hundreds of red “Pull the Plug” signs they’ve blanketed the island with (which, according to the county, will have to be removed at taxpayer expense).

Make your decision about creating a public utility district here on its merits (noting that other PUDs in the state seem to be doing fine, giving their customers lower electric rates than for-profit companies like Puget Sound Energy). But don’t be fooled by corporations trying to protect their profits by hiding behind phony “Astroturf” groups.

Rob Lewis

Langley

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