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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 in Guest Contributor, Media, Politics | 1 comment

Koch Brothers Front Group Smearer Used to Front for Tea Party Express

One thing most Kochian front groups have in common is that they get nasty when you call them out. Case in point, ThinkProgress‘ Lee Fang:

Koch Brother Front Group Americans For Prosperity Pushes Smear Campaign Against Me

By Lee Fang on Nov 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Levi Russell, Americans for Prosperity Director of Public Affairs, contributed to a blog post calling me a “liar.” Russell, however, erroneously quoted the conversation and has refused to issue a correction.

Yesterday, Americans for Prosperity, the corporate front group founded and financed by the Koch Brothers, posted a blog post titled: “Lee Fang Lies.” The post, which was Tweeted and promoted by other conservative groups, accuses me of misrepresenting myself at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the Dream Summit last Friday. The allegations are all demonstrably false. I called AFP on the phone today to explain that their post was false and gave them an opportunity to retract it. The Americans for Prosperity’s Levi Russell, the press person involved in the smear, responded: “No, I’m not going to correct it.”


And in the back of my brain something clicked. It said, “Wasn’t Levi Russell …?”

Wasn’t he the Tea Party Spokesman and PR flak for the “Sarah Palin” Searchlight, Nevada Tea Party Express tour last year?

Yup. From “April Fool’s Day Came Early This Year” 28 MARCH 2010 · 4:24 PM:

We begin with the panties in a bunch kerfuffle of which “Founding Bloggers” and the “Official” press release got the vapors about. F[ounding]B[loggers]:

The “official” Press Release from PR firm “paramount communication” (seemingly):

Harry Reid Supporters Egg Tea Party Express Buses in Route [sic]

“Paramount Communication”?

Yeah, registered by Proxy (i.e. anonymously) through Godaddy in 2005. Their “mission” is to:

As the email marketing industry grew, emphasis shifted from a “batch and blast” mentality toward increasing relevance through targeting and segmentation. The proprietary database we access through our relationship with Digital River (NASDAQ:DRIV) gives us a real competitive advantage by allowing virtually unlimited segmentation capabilities. As marketers learned more about the possibilities Paramount’s unique database configuration offered them straight out of the box, we began attracting large retail clients who were eager to tap into our strategic knowledge … [from their “overview” page]

Yeah. Straight email publicity group. Which tells you how straight up corporate this operation is, right up front. The actual URL is the first time I’ve ever seen an emailed Press Release at the top of Memeorandum: [and a lot of coded numbers follow, indicating the hosted email account, in this case, Levi Russell, or Levi AT

So, somebody knows how to “game” the system, in this case TPE (Tea Party Express, The Bus] spokeserpent “Levi Russell” of Frontline Strategies, LLC, whose email address appears on the press release.

There’s a bunch more, including a photograph of Levi Russell.

Interesting link between the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Express. Not definitive. Merely suggestive.

But yeah, I THOUGHT I recognized that name.



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.

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