Notorious Corporate Lobbyist Rick Berman Caught On Tape

Posted by Jay Riestenberg on October 31, 2014

When big business wants to attack their opponents but keep their hands clean, there’s one man they know they can call - Rick Berman or as he’s been nicknamed, “Dr. Evil." For decades Berman has relied on lax disclosure laws to run smear campaigns but keep secret the corporate funders directing these attacks - and their goals.

But you don’t have to take our word for it - Berman himself admitted it while speaking at a fossil fuel industry event in Colorado, “We run all of this stuff through nonprofit organizations that are insulated from having to disclose donors. There is total anonymity. People don’t know who supports us.

“Dr. Evil” hasn’t found a new love for transparency or openness. No, luckily for democracy, someone at the meeting didn’t agree with Berman’s dirty campaign tricks and this week released audio from the meeting to the Center for Media and Democracy.

And that’s not all Berman had to say. He went on to tell conference attendees:

"you can either win ugly or lose pretty," a statement that rings true of his deceptive practices.

He urged the corporate lobbyists and executives to “demolish the moral authority” and “marginalize” their opponents.

And if there was any question as to his driving goal, he added, “I get up every morning and I try to figure out how to screw with the labor unions.

Berman’s comments clearly show how he conducts his shadowy attack business, all the while  undermining the public interest to push his secret corporate funders’ agenda. For two decades Rick Berman has been there, using what we don’t know to hurt us. He’s attacked labor unions for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big business, gone after environmental organizations for Big Oil, undercut minimum wage workers for the National Restaurant Association, launched a smear campaign against Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the alcohol industry, and undermined smoking regulations for Big Tobacco.

You can read more about his dirty tricks in the New York Times article or at The Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

Tags: Disclosure

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