He's the Invisible Puppet-Master Behind the “Grass Roots” Astroturf Movement to Sell Off Public Lands. Who Is Richard Berman?
When it comes to exerting an unimaginably huge political influence while staying out of the public eye, Richard Berman is a one-man Koch Brothers. The choreographed public “groundswell” for returning federal public lands back to the states — which Congress has jumped on like stink on shit — was orchestrated by the Environmental Policy Alliance, Richard Berman's latest Astroturf front group.
Click on the Environmental Policy Alliance link if you dare. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll smash your computer screen, you'll send them a threatening e-mail; or maybe all of the above.
Richard Berman's main specialty throughout his checkered career (if “career” is the right word) has been sabotaging environmental and animal-rights causes with an endless parade of deceptively-named Astroturf groups. A few of his more illustrious front groups have been: Humane Watch (dedicated to libeling and derailing the Humane Society and other animal-rights groups) and the Center for Consumer Freedom (protecting the interests of the high fructose corn syrup industry).
Richard Berman gave a speech last October — which was secretly recorded and leaked to the New York Times — telling fossil fuel executives that they needed to fight dirty and be merciless toward those commie environmentalists, and promising that he could show them how to make huge political contributions without revealing their identities:
“...if the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities...you must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because you can either win ugly or lose pretty. Think of this as an endless war. And you have to budget for it.”
According to a Bloomberg report on the same speech: “Berman offered companies a way to anonymously target their environmental foes — at a cost of as much as $3 million.”
So when you hear the current GOP slogans about “federal government overreach” and “giving government land back to the taxpayers,” yada yada yada — consider the source.
Below is a photo of Richard Berman. Please print out a few copies and pin it up on your dartboard or some other target, line the bottom of your birdcage with it, etc.
“Hi, want some candy, little boy? Come sit on Uncle Richard's lap. Don't worry, it'll be our little secret.”