For years now, millionaire lobbyist Rick Berman has been polluting the airwaves with his own particular brand of toxic waste, using front groups with benevolent-sounding names like the Center for Consumer Freedom and the Center for Union Facts to attack unions, the minimum wage – even Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Berman was richly rewarded by corporations such as Philip Morris to protect their interests, which apparently requires misleading the public.
But if anything, Berman’s latest effort – aired during the Super Bowl – seems to be the desperate act of a demagogue past his prime. While it wasn’t exactly a shock to see Berman’s Center for Union Facts spew its venomous fiction on the air, it did come as a surprise to see the once-slick, Washington insider cast himself as a union member, in a performance so fraudulent he didn’t even bother to lose the gold watch or rumple his shirt.
If you happened to watch the Super Bowl in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia or Maryland, you may have seen an anti-union ad. It was paid for by a nasty little front group called “The Center for Union Facts,” which, as you can guess, lies about unions.
This video exposes the ‘union’ worker as Richard Berman, head of the Center for Union Facts. Here’s what you need to know about him: His own son calls him a despicable person.
Wow. It takes a certain special kind of narcissism to star in your own astroturf campaign, but that’s exactly what Washington lobbyist Rick Berman did. And Berman didn’t star in just any old astroturf ad, he starred in an anti-union ad airing during the Super Bowl in a year and in a city where union-busting is front-and-center.
Berman specializes in creating nonprofit front groups that shill for corporate interests. His past clients include Phillip Morris, Coca Cola and Tyson Foods, and they hire Berman to shift public opinion in the form of issue-ads. Berman’s organizations always have innocent-sounding names like “The American Beverage Institute” and “The Employment Policies Institute” who push agendas like fighting minimum wage increases and pick fights with groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And now they union bust.
In the ad that aired a group of “auto mechanics” complained that they had never voted fro the union they’re in. One of the mechanics: Berman.