As the Koch brothers attempt to counter the protests in Wisconsin with an astroturf bus tour of their own, brought to you by Tim Phillips and Americans for Prosperity, Rachel reminds us of Tim Phillips lovely past before he went to work for the Koch brothers -- working with Ralph Reed helping to rip off Indian casinos and fooling Christian groups along with Ralph Reed to support the exploitation in the Northern Mariana Islands because the Chinese workers there were being converted to Christianity. What a guy.
Here's part of a report on him from Think Progress' The Wonk Room from back in May of 2009 -- Tim Phillips, The Man Behind The ‘Americans For Prosperity’ Corporate Front Group Factory:
As a Virginia-based political consultant, Phillips got his first big break managing the campaign of Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). After serving as Goodlatte’s chief of staff for four years, Phillips joined former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed in 1997 to create an astroturf lobbying and campaign consulting operation called Century Strategies. The firm promised to mount “grassroots lobbying drives” and explained its strategy as “it matters less who has the best arguments and more who gets heard — and by whom.”
After being recommended by Karl Rove, Century Strategies signed its first major corporate client – Enron. Phillips and Reed were paid $380,000 to mobilize “religious leaders and pro-family groups” to push energy deregulation in Congress and on the state level, a policy shift that led to the energy crisis and economic meltdown of 2001. The Washington Post reported that the pair informed Enron that they had leveraged their relationships with members of Congress and “placed” articles in prominent papers like the New York Times.
Part of Phillip’s role at Century Strategies was to manage the firm’s direct mail subsidiary, Millennium Marketing. In 1998, now disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff hired Phillips’ firm to pressure members of Congress to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands subject to federal wage and worker safety laws. A federal report “found that Chinese women were subject to forced abortions and that women and children were subject to forced prostitution in the local sex-tourism industry.” Nonetheless, Phillips sent out mailers claiming Chinese workers “are exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ” while on the islands, and many “are converted to the Christian faith and return to China with Bibles in hand.” The mailers then encouraged the recipients to contact lawmakers and ask them to oppose the Marianas labor reform legislation.
The Marianas stealth lobbying effort was not the only time Phillips worked with Abramoff. Reed and Phillips conspired to generate conservative Christian outrage towards gambling at Indian casinos in a cynical plot to encourage those same tribes to hire Abramoff to lobby on their behalf. In some cases, Phillips’ anti-gambling crusade would simply be part of an effort to kill off competition to Abramoff’s clients. And while Phillips and Reed postured to be motivated by anti-gambling Christian values, the pair helped launder lobbying money from an Abramoff Internet gambling client called eLottery.
Though Phillips and Reed are best known in the campaign consulting world for engineering the dual victories of Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Republican Gov. Sonnie Perdue in Georgia (by associating images of Osama bin Laden with the incumbent Democratic senator), the pair can also be credited with the most below the belt tactics ever seen in modern Republican primaries. The duo “spearheaded” the telemarketing and direct mail efforts for George Bush against John McCain in the 2000 primaries. It is widely believed that Century Strategies executed the mass mailers and robo-calls which accused McCain of fathering an illegitimate child with a black woman, using the image of McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh.
Much more there so go read the rest.