Just as we were so rudely interrupted, Richard was floating the negative talking points aimed at discrediting Ron Arnold's Wise Use Movement, along with activistcash.com. He may be interested in this transcription of a tape of an Environmental Grantmakers Association meeting where the discussion is focused on how to fight and discredit what they acknowledge is a TRUE grassroots movement...
They're talking about the people who have lost their jobs and their livelihoods due to increased environmental activism and regulations: "...this growing environmental backlash out there in the country that's really being fueled in large part by a lot of the economic stresses that have been brought to bear through environmental regulations or because people would like to think that they've been brought to bear because of environmental regulations and it's sort of the anti crowd is what we think of as wise use." People who say "your grants are taking away our jobs and that sort of thing."
The speakers notes, among other things, that: "...What we're finding is that wise use is really a local movement driven by primarily local concerns and not national issues. We tend -- you know, when you think of Ron Arnold and you think of Wise Use, you know, you think of command and control, top heavy, corporate funded, front groups that are organizing local people to get involved, get out there and attack environmentalists.
And that was the assumption I walked into this whole thing with. And in fact the more we dig into it, having put together a fifty -- really constructed over a number of months a fifty state fairly comprehensive survey of what's going on with respect to wise use organizing activity--we have come to the conclusion that this is pretty much generally a grass roots movement, which is a problem, because it means there's no silver bullets, it means this is, is, you know, something that is going to have to be confronted in states and communities across the country in different ways depending on what the various local issues are that those wise use groups are dealing with and campaigning on.
Ron Arnold and these other figureheads like Grant Gerber and Chuck Cushman and some of these other leaders -- Don Gerdts -- are not creating the movement. They're trying to get out in front of something that is going on, in fact. They're attempting to assert some control over this grass roots movement that's going on. And they're having a certain amount of success.
They're not having success in coordinating the national wise use grass roots community and coalescing it into one movement that has a common agenda, and works together to fight legislation or to pass bills or to defeat certain members of Congress... " (Unlike the environmental movement...)
They go on to discuss how they can discredit this REAL grassroots movement, try to regain the moral high ground, and you know "frame the debate" by, among other things, promoting class warfare, pitting the workers against the evil corporations, timber company owners and ranchers, convincing them that it is the environmentalists who really care about them and their livelihoods.
Twist and spin, and structure the debate - Now, you will hear how the environmental activists are really looking out for your interests, you Palco workers. Why, they're going to create "good timber jobs" and, you know, "timber yes, fraud no." Maybe they'll get a few of you to come on board so they can use you as cannon fodder in the next PR volley. Because Palco is not dead yet.
Full transcription Environmental Grantmakers Association 1992 Fall Retreat Session 26: "The Wise Use Movement: Threats and Opportunities"
recommended - An easier-to-read transcription