The Press Herald has yet again been duped into quoting a left-wing astroturf group that purports to represent Maine small businesses.
The so-called “Maine Small Business Coalition” sounds like a group that represents Maine small businesses. If you only read the Press Herald, you probably think that’s what it is.
But according to records from Maine’s Secretary of State, the “coalition” is actually an assumed name registered to the Maine People’s Alliance, a left-wing nonprofit funded by international dark money.
Press Herald reporter Joe Lawlor credulously quotes “Selecca Bulgar-Medina, director of the Maine Small Business Coalition” in his story on the push for new taxes to fund a state-run paid leave program in Maine.
A cursory use of Google search would have revealed that Bulgar-Medina’s fake business group is headquartered at 565 Congress St., Suite 200. Portland, Maine 04101.
That just happens to be the exact address and office suite of the Maine People’s Alliance and a host of other liberal front groups.
Such a search would have also revealed that Bulgar-Medina has never run a small business in Maine or anywhere else.
A brief review of Maine campaign finance would have also shown the Bulgar-Medina is listed as a “decision maker” and “fundraiser” for a Maine People’s Alliance-backed ballot question committee to advance the paid leave tax.
Political groups created by operatives to appear like they are “grassroots” organizations are known as astroturf.
The Maine Wire has reported on the Maine People’s Alliance‘s deceptive use of astroturf since 2013.
For more than a decade, different causes, funded by dark money contributions, have used the name “Maine Small Business Coalition” to give the appearance that small businesses support left-wing policies, which invariably means higher taxes.
Throughout that time, Maine’s liberal newspapers have either been complicit in the deception or too lazy to question the motivations of the people they’re quoting.
The citation in this instance is particularly egregious considering that the Maine People’s Alliance was the group that organized tens of activists to turn out in support of the paid leave tax bill during the committee hearing for the bill.
Maine campaign finance records show that “Mainers for Paid Leave BQC,” the primary political group backing the ballot initiative, is also registered to the same office suite in Portland.
Lawlor is effectively quoting a paid political operative, who is funded by international billionaires, and participating in the fiction that she is somehow a representative of all Maine small businesses.
Press Herald readers would have no way of knowing, based on the lack of disclosure, that Bulgar-Medina, the ballot question operatives, the Maine People’s Alliance activists (including State Sen. Mike Tipping), are all working the same group and are paid by the same collection of dark money donors.
Those donors include billionaires like George Soros and S. Donald Sussman, former owner of the Press Herald, who give to Arabella Advisors, a left-wing pass through organization.
[RELATED: Swiss Billionaire Funds Tax-the-Rich Liberals in Maine…]
Associated Press reporting earlier this year revealed that Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss is also among the left-wing donors whose money has found its way into Maine politics vis-a-vis Maine People’s Alliance and other groups.
To put this in terms even a Press Herald reporter could understand: this would be like Exxon Mobil forming the “Maine Environmentalist Coalition” and then lobbying for higher taxes on wind power and solar power.
If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is.
You’d have to be a real rube to buy an obvious political deception like that.