Justin Elliott writes at TPM Muckraker Wednesday April 21, 2010:
Rent-A-Front: New Group Wages Stealth Battle Against Wall Street Reform
In the last few weeks, a new player entered the financial reform fray with a $1.6 million ad buy, a respected economist on board, a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning websites, and a message, cooked right into the group’s name — Stop Too Big To Fail — that liberals could love.
But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.
The group’s leader has a long history running a rent-a-front operation: offering up his services to large corporations who are willing to pay top dollar for a “consumers group” that will engage in stealth advocacy on behalf of industry. The group refuses to divulge its funding sources. The respected economist whose support the group touts now says he was deceived. And Stop Too Big To Fail has links to DCI Group, one of Washington’s best-known astroturf operators.
Besides all that, Stop Too Big To Fail’s real goal is clear: kill the financial reform bill.