Grass-Tips Renters

New Orleans        A call had come into the national ACORN office looking for comment on a story being researched by the Wall Street Journal.  One angle touched on foreclosures and the bailouts of Wall Street and other angles seemed to look at whether or not a campaign along these lines was on the level.
    
    It was a surprise still though to read about Dick Armey, the former hating-baiting Congressman and Steve Forbes, the flat-taxing former Presidential contender for the Republicans, as guiding lights and sugar daddies behind a web-based campaign for Angry Renters (www.angryrenters.com).  The basic thrust of the “campaign” had been whether or not Congress and the Federal Reserve should assuage the “moral hazard” of lenders and borrowers around the foreclosure crises by arguing that renters would be less likely to afford to buy new homes for the first time because the water had been fouled before they could get in the swim.  Or something along these lines, because I’m not sure I followed their argument exactly.
    
    400,000 people according the WSJ signed the petition.  That’s a truckload of people!
    
    Is this legit?  Clearly they were tapping into some passion.  Looking at Google the tenor of their website and the reaction was stirring something:

Angry Renter: Oppose the Mortgage Lender Housing Bailout
All we hear these days is whining from reckless home borrowers and their banks. But did you know that renters are 32 percent of American households? …


Angry Renter: Sign the Petition
: We Will Deliver to Congress
Sign the Petition to Congress. WHEREAS: Most Americans rent or own their home outright, and the vast majority of homes (98%) are not in foreclosure. …

The Pelican File – News Headlines
AngryRenters.com is an amateur-looking Web site that claims to speak for renters fed up with mortgage bailout programs. But it’s actually the brainchild of

Delenda est Carthago: AngryRenters.com
AngryRenters.com. As a slumlord, I would probably qualify as "overexposed" in the housing market. But I am morally certain that taxpayer-funded bailouts of …

Angry renters say ‘hell no!’ to government bailout | Inman News
Apr 16, 2008 … Angryrenters.com is pitching itself as a grassroots thing, but it’s actually backed by FreedomWorks, a conservative think tank headed by …

    
    The issue was whether or not the disclosure that Freedom Works, a conservative think tank was behind this was somehow too deceptive and in effect flimflamming the public.
    
    Is this a fair play?  It some ways it seems consistent with web campaigning in general and “is what it is?”
    
    This kind of campaign is exactly why ACORN had to marshal 100 people to make sure in Missouri that voters knew they were signing a petition against affirmative action.
    
    My guess is that this is part of “modern” political life, as it becomes more “dog eat dog.”  Maybe in the end people will be forced to pay more attention to real citizens and their voices, which would be great for ACORN, but in meantime, we all have to be ever vigilant that our voices are not only heard, but that they are in fact OUR voices.

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