Recently an “AstroTurfed” (fake grassroots) group entirely funded by Crystal Geyser sent out a semi-slick mailer to Siskiyou County voters. The mailer links to a new website for a group no one ever heard of before, “Committee for a Strong Siskiyou Economy”.
While this website lists a few local supporters, evidently recruited as a front for CG, its finances are managed by campaign consultant Kelly Lawler of Hilmar, CA. Here’s a link to an article about her being served a search warrant in a political corruption investigation.
We learned it was Crystal Geyser money from a campaign finance report filed with the Siskiyou County Clerk on September 30, before the mailer (likely costing $6-8,000) was sent. But we had already guessed it was them – CG and its multinational corporate parent Otsuka Pharmaceuticals use the PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, which is well known for AstroTurfing. The firm represented Union Carbide in the 1984 Bhopal, India gas leak that killed 2,000 people, the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear reactor’s builders, Babcock & Wilcox, and others including tobacco companies and even the Argentinian junta.
If you vote in Siskiyou County, you should understand who’s really behind this mailer, and not be conned into believing it was from a real community group – if they can’t tell the truth about this, how can you believe what they say about Measure H?
These materials are full of flat-out untrue statements about Measure H, and in the absence of real arguments, personal attacks on the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center and the Siskiyou Forward Movement PAC. The Ecology Center has issued a statement responding to these attacks.
We are glad to compete for voters based on factual information, and hope citizens will spread the truth about Measure H on social media and through direct person to person conversations. We don’t have anywhere near the financial resources as Otsuka, so we hope you can donate to the Siskiyou Forward Movement right away for this election, and to build a positive future in Siskiyou County.