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Lobbyist secretly taped revealing all of the right-wing’s dirty tactics to energy execs

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Lobbyist secretly taped revealing all of the right-wing’s dirty tactics to energy execs
Nov 04, 2014 1:05pm PST byWalter Einenkel

NYTimes put together a piece on a recording of Richard Berman soliciting millions from energy industry execs, back in June.

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.“Think of this as an endless war,” Mr. Berman told the crowd at the June event in Colorado Springs, sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance, a group whose members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “And you have to budget for it.”

Berman didn’t know he was being secretly taped by one of the executives at the meeting. The executive found Berman’s presentation offensive.

A transcript of the hour long power-point presentation can be found here. But here are just a couple of the comic book type quotes from the first ten minutes:

Concerning the ACA:

…And so we put this ad in the New York Times,and basically said, “Hey, you ought to be concerned about the health care bill.” But, we didn’t really say “why”. All we said is “seniors might have to pay more money”, or “your premiums might go up”, but there wasn’t any fact here. So this is an attempt at creating public opinion about something. Kind of soft top-line.

About “being on the offensive”:

…we’ll take the labor unions for example. I am well known for going after the labor unions for a thousand different reasons. And people say, “Well, what’s your offense?” I say, “I get up every morning and I try and figure out how to screw with the labor unions. That’s my offense.”

Attacking minimum wage:

We’re not experts and so you don’t want them [the general public] trying to be experts. But if you put enough information out there and say, “Well it could go to $10.10, but you could also lose a lot of jobs, the Congressional Budget Office says you can lose a lot of jobs.” And again, we got a lot of ads on this thing.You get in people’s mind[sic] a tie. They don’t know who is right. And you get all ties because the tie basically insures the status quo.

On using repetition to create “common knowledge“:

That’s common knowledge. And that comes from people hearing something enough times from enough different places, people repeating it to each other, that you reach a point where you have solidified your position.If we can solidify the position on drilling, fracking, etc. We have achieved something the other side cannot overcome because it’s very tough to break common knowledge.

It’s very tough to break first opinions. You know the guy that gets to make the first opinion, the first impression, has a huge advantage because people don’t want to admit they were wrong the first time.

If you have some Alka-Seltzer or some Tums, and a strong constitution, read some moreDr. Evil dialogue from Mr. Berman:

Things like:

  • Playing “hardball” and diminishing people’s moral authority the way you would if you were “attacking Mother Teresa.
  • How wealthy kids who help fund “left-wing” activism have lost their way.
  • How the public doesn’t have “the time or the brain to understand initiatives.”
  • Owning and running the websites that are sourced in attack ads.
  • Using humor when you are attacking someone or something in a nasty way.

And the always classic:

  • Gay jokes about public figures.

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