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Pelosi: Tea parties are part of an ‘astroturf’ campaign by ‘some of the wealthiest people in America.’

By Ryan Powers on April 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

"Pelosi: Tea parties are part of an ‘astroturf’ campaign by ‘some of the wealthiest people in America.’"

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This morning on San Francisco’s KTUV News, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained that today’s tea party protests are not by any means an organic grassroots movement. Rather, she said, they are a deliberate astroturf campaign organized by two well-funded right-wing think tanks intent on obstructing the Obama agenda:

PELOSI: What they want is a continuation of the failed economic policies of President George Bush which got us in the situation we are in now. What we want is a new direction. … This [tea party] initiative is funded by the high end — we call call it astroturf, it’s not really a grassroots movement. It’s astroturf by some of the wealthiest people in America to keep the focus on tax cuts for the rich instead of for the great middle class.

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As ThinkProgress has documented, the principal organizers of the local tea party events are the well-funded right-wing think tanks Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. Both of which provided logistical support and public relations assistance, including “sign ideas, sample press releases, and a map of events around the country.”

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