Proudly Non-union Lobby Shop for Google and Wikipedia Targets “Union Thugs” With Dirty Tricks
The Google-dominated NetCoalition lobbying group is run by this man:
This is Markham Erickson, who, in another life, might have auditioned for Paul Revere & The Raiders. This time, though, Markham Erickson’s NetCoalition (backed by Google and Wikipedia) is distributing hate pieces on “union thugs”. And yes, that is the same Markham Erickson who ran another Google front group, the Open Internet Coalition and who wrote many of the emails that got former Google lobbyist and former White House deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin reprimanded and may have gotten him fired. You can read these emails from 2010 here, but I’d suggest skipping over the Ben Scott (Free Press) emails where he makes suggestions for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Those were just citizen communications, not improper lobbying contacts, don’t you know. But don’t bother trying to find a connection to Google in Opensecrets, it’s not there.
Here’s a few excerpts from the Erickson/McLaughlin emails: “Meeting Victoria [Espinel, IPEC] this morning to discuss IP matters” at 9:57 am, then later the same day “Startling disturbing meeting, I wonder if we can chat?” A couple weeks later, a helpful copy of Erickson’s letter to Victoria Espinel. You get the idea. Just staying in touch. Chatting. Coffee.
Update–According to the Wilshire to Washington blog, Mark Lindsay…I mean, Markham Erickson…issued a non-denial denial:
“Markham Erickson, the executive director the NetCoalition, issued a statement on Thursday in which he said that the coalition ‘neither wrote nor approved’ the blog post. But he said that one of its media consultants, Black Rock Group [the conservative lobby shop], prepared the handout ‘in connection with an appearance before a conservative organization [Americans for Tax Reform].’
‘This should never have happened and we are stunned and deeply sorry that it did,’ Erickson said. ‘Throughout our efforts on piracy legislation, we have kept our objections focused on policy rather than politics [you mean like threatening Paul Ryan in Reddit and Marsha Blackburn with primary challengers?]. We remain committed to achieving consensus on legislation to address the issue of online piracy. We recognize that consensus is achievable only when all the parties are treated with respect. The events of yesterday have no place in that effort and we again sincerely apologize for them.’”
The blog post all but leaves the impression that the legislation was a Democratic-motivated effort to please the donor base in Hollywood, when anti-piracy legislation traditionally has drawn bipartisan support and, in the most recent case, has also incited bipartisan opposition. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was its chief backer in the Senate, while opponents ranged from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif).”
Well, you know. Kicks just keep getting harder to find, so to speak. Markham Erickson didn’t do the hit piece, you see–someone who works for Markham Erickson did the hit piece and put NetCoalition’s name on it. Wow, now that explains it, right? You don’t suppose that this is part of Google’s rumored “Republican outreach, ” do ya? Sureley conservatives know that 99% of Google thinks they are vile and dangerous people. Even thugs. But, not according to Markham Erickson–nothing to see here, move along.
Erickson’s puppetmasters must think that conservatives are so dumb that they will be deceived by a few pounds of red meat and believe that when Google is not selling advertising to push oxy to their kids, they will be lobbying to keep Gitmo open. So if you think that Mark is off base, just make the musical statement that “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone.”