Friday, February 16, 2007

Who pays?

"Members" create the ILLUSION of grassroots... "It’s a myth that today’s protest culture is an ad hoc gathering of like-minded citizens. ...Most anti-technology activists, whether complaining about biotechnology or global trade, do their best to feed the twin illusions of “grass roots” momentum and “protesting on a dollar a day.” The truth, though, is that the modern Protest Industry has an increasingly centralized command structure; its best-kept secret is its multi-million-dollar cash flow."

Remember Stoen, Gallegos and Salzman's Plan to place full page ads in the San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times to solicit special interest money from "environmentally involved" celebrities in order to privately fund the public prosecution of Pacific Lumber Company?

At the time, the cost of a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times, at open rate is $103,200.00. ($800.00 per inch) $129,000.00 if the ad runs on Sunday ($1,000.00 per inch) and the cost of a full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle, at open rate is $73,788.00. ($572.00 per inch) $77,529.00 if the ad runs on Sunday ($601.00 per inch).

Who was going to pay for these ads? Each one would pay for a staff person in the DA's Office (maybe two), at a time when Gallegos was claiming to be losing people due to budget cuts.

Surely Salzman would have been soliciting your money, just as he solicited your membership and your money to keep Paul in office - to protect the PL Suit. And to use you to claim "grassroots" status.

But it's unlikely he could've raised that kind of money on top of what he has already drawn from this community.

So who would pay?

Activist Cash describes a series of 25 full page ads that appeared in the Times

"...As any advertising executive will tell you, that kind of exposure is expensive. Within a few months of the campaign’s beginning, guessing the source of its money became a popular East Coast parlor game. Even in the pages of the Times itself, columnist Paul Krugman (an M.I.T. economist) asked: “Who’s paying for those ads?”...

An initial answer seemed to be provided at the bottom of each ad, where a partial list appeared of “coalition” members (examples included Greenpeace, Earth Island Institute, the Humane Society of the United States, and Friends of the Earth). Its first ad claimed that Turning Point was “a coalition of more than 50 non-profit organizations.” As the campaign marched forward, the claim grew to “more than 80.” Turning Point’s web site, still operating after nearly two years of advertising silence, now lists 108 “participating organizations.”

In the Fall of 1999 the standard commercial rate for a single full-page ad in the Times was in excess of $117,000. Some reports suggest that Turning Point got a more favorable rate of $87,000 per page, but the group only reported spending $1,164,563 on advertising during its campaign -- making the cost of each ad just over $46,500 -- that breaks down to more than $10,700 for each of Turning Point’s 108 “participating organizations.” This is not an unreasonable sum for today’s big-money environmental groups to come up with, especially considering how easy it is to move money between tax-exempt organizations (Turning Point is one, as are over 90% of its “participating organizations”).

Case closed -- or so it seemed. But tax filings recently released to the public indicate that over 95% of the Turning Point Project’s financing came from one source. It’s not listed among the “participating organizations.” In fact, its name appeared nowhere in any of the advertisements."
Turning Point Project.

Despite the Turning Point Project’s bluster indicating otherwise, its year-long splashy ad campaign was little more than paid political promotion for the radical worldview of Deep Ecology. The vaunted Turning Point “coalition” is an well-conceived smokescreen, but nothing more than that...."

Most businesses here struggle to pay for what little advertising they do. Very few can afford the cost of a full page ad in the Times Standard at about $30 an inch - significantly less than the LA Times & Chronicle.

So who would pay for those full page ads in the Chronicle and LA Times?


Related:
Salzman's Plan
Gallegos Request for Opinion
Tim Stoen's letter to the FPPC
The FPPC's Response to Stoen

126 comments:

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