A lone photojournalist exposes the madness.

Organizing for America Bus Tour: Fabricating Consent

August 29 2009, Denver, Colorado  –  by EL MARCO

The Obama administration has sent out Organizing for America – the successor organization of Obama for America, Obama’s campaign organization – to create a false media show of support for his unpopular Obamacare initiative. The coast to coast bus tour arrived in Denver Friday. What I found when I arrived was the media manipulation technique known as Astroturfing in high gear.

Shockingly, opponents to Obamacare were bullied, and a Potemkin village of consent manufactured, by White House strategists and Obama campaign propagandists. Although the White House denies the single payer goal, that seemed to be the main message at the rally in Denver, where everything was tightly controlled.


I arrived early at North High School for Friday’s Organizing for America rally in Denver. OFA community organizers were hard at work.


Whatever happened to ” it’s my body it’s my choice”?  OR  “The government can’t tell me what to do with my body!!”. Lady, you’ve come a long way from personal choice, to choice for “nobody”.


This organizer was instructing volunteers to hand out signs to anticipated crowds. United States Congressman Ed Perlmutter is scheduled to arrive on the Obamacare Express to push the administration’s health care agenda to his constituents.


Here, hand-manufactured signs on sticks are mixed with a ream or two of signs without sticks. Approximately 50 signs. In boxes are printed signs with UPS One Day Air receipts on them. From D.C.?  Maybe.


Here another organizer gives similar instructions. Another 50 or so fake grassroots signs are waiting to be distributed.


I went to West 32nd Street, adjacent to the high school, and here is what I saw.




Some media arrived on the scene and zeroed in on the guy with the Ted Kennedy sign. The reporterette at center showed no interest in interviewing the man on the right or others.


I checked back at this same area about 20 minutes later to find that the Astroturf Brigades had arrived in force and were beginning to be a nuisance.


These two are Organizing for America people sent from the high school staging area which is approximately 300 feet to the right of the green shirt.


This proud DenverCrat was eager to pose for my camera. I’m pretty sure he made his own sign, which took tremendous initiative no doubt.


After posing for his portrait, he began to berate anyone who made eye contact with him. He spoke, er, bellowed eloquently enough. He sounded like Ted Kennedy on the campaign trail. He marshaled many of the main Democrat talking points quite admirably.


Democrat Party passion and a tightly clenched fist. With a makeover, he’d be a perfect candidate.


These green shirts blocked the north entrance to the high school parking lot. All who wanted to enter to hear Representative Perlmutter had to go approximately 1/4 of a mile to the west entrance. They said everyone had to sign in for security reasons. Following is an email from a severely disabled Denver Prager Listener Group member:

“I was at that rally and was parked inside the fence because I had arrived very early. I walked outside the west side of the fence to meet friends and then re-entered when they called and said they were on the other side of the parking lot. The “green shirts” came toward me with their clip boards and wanted to know where I was going. I told them I was going to my car and they reluctantly let me pass. When I got to the other end of the lot, several “green shirts” approached me and asked where I was going. I told them and they also reluctantly let me go past. When I met my friends I told them what had happened and that I was really afraid of those people because they came across so aggressively. One of my friends found a couple of police officers and he told them I was afraid these people wouldn’t let me back in to get my car. The officers talked to the “green shirts” and they were quite irate that I felt the least bit intimidated by them!! Well, a couple of hours later the Obama Bus arrived and a little while after that I needed to leave. One of my friends offered to walk me to my car. When we got to the gate the “green shirts” had tied yellow “CAUTION” tape (it looks like police tape!!) across the entire gate opening and it took a couple of minutes for my friend to convince them that I was just going to my car and he was walking with me.

It is so deplorably dishonest for these “astroturf” bullies with their professionally printed signs and buttons to forcibly extract signatures from people and then for Perlmutter (my Congressman also!!) to knowingly use those signatures ~ I believe that in any other arena this would be fraud!!!”

The woman who wrote this lives in constant extreme pain and is not a threat to anyone.


I headed over to the west entrance to see what was going on. I passed a group of grassroots supporters of Obama on the way. Others in the group had signs which were offensive sexual references attacking Obamacare opponents. Disgusting, really. So I have spared you the necessary after-viewing shower by not showing their photos.


A young mind is a terrible thing to waste.


At the western entrance I asked this young man what kind of liberal he is. “Jeffersonian” he replied with a big grin.

Below is the processing area inside the gate. Everyone was required to give name, address, phone number and email. Media had to sign a separate form with employer name, etc. I put “Pravda” as my employer. The tables on the left contain clipboards where all the information is gathered. Anyone who did not want to give their data was asked to leave under implied threat of police escort.



Outside the line proceeded very slowly even though there was no security check whatsoever. Only data gathering.

When I took this photo only a hand full of people had cleared the data gathering tables. This U-shaped line extended only to about where I was standing, so maybe an extra ten people that cannot be seen in this shot. Here we can see approximately 150 people. The Denver Post reported there were 1,500 people at this rally. Either the reporter wasn’t there, or has very little experience, or is a shill. I counted, with the systematic method I employ, 400-500 people when Perlmutter began to speak. Denver Post, you got it way wrong; wassup with that?

In this line I saw one person with a homemade pro-Obamacare sign. She can be seen below center in red. The two ladies on the right were told by two greenshirts they would have to leave their signs outside.



Here is an email forwarded by  another Prager listener:

“I just returned from a rally for health care reform held at North High School in Denver. As Erin and I were entering the staging area we were approached by people carrying clipboards. We were told we could not enter without signing our name and address on the form. I asked why they needed this information and was told they must know who was entering the area.This was a tax payer supported high school property hosting public speakers and I was being denied entry unless the clipboard form was completed. I was very uncomfortable with this request and remained outside the chain link fence to listen to the speakers. The first speaker was my very own repesentative, Ed Permutter who thanked all who had signed the clipboard form and stated that all these signatures would go on to to Washington showing support of the Obama Health Care Plan. I could not believe what I heard. Never was it stated that this form was a support of the health care plan. I just wonder how many people were dooped into signing this when they do not support the bill or do not know enough about it to make a decision.People carrying signs supporting the bill were permitted entry with their signs, those opposing had to remain outside.

Whether you support this bill or not please ask yourself……do I live in a free country where all are welcome to a public forum without restriction? Can a petition obtained with deception go onto Washington in support of a bill that no one can understand? Do our elected officials respect the wants of the people or are they ramming their agenda down our throats?”

In some third world countries this is a common union scam tactic. Invite workers to a meeting, insist that they sign a book at the door and they are trapped into the union without ever being asked if they wanted to join. When enough workers are signed up, their employer is shoved aside and the union sets up shop. Very sneaky.


This is the scene of the podium from the photographers stand.



The union workers were out in full force.


Here we see a green shirt distributing signs to astroturfers. This is the last step to create the “grassroots look’ that is the goal of David Axelrod, President Obama’s campaign manager and now his top advisor. This creates a false positive impression among the television audience. Organizing for America was created by Axelrod for exactly this type of activity: manufacturing consent (astroturfing) and stifling legitimate dissent. Not all signs found willing astroturfers to hold them. Some people came to hear their representative, not to play partisan stooge.


In Canada, national single-payer healthcare as a human right is enshrined in Canada’s constitution, The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was adopted in 1982, the first time Canada had a rights document of its own, independent of Britain. In 2005 the Superior Court of Canada, the equivalent to the American Supreme Court,  ruled that the Canadian government was in violation of every citizen’s basic human rights. Canadian Chief Justice, Beverly McLachlin, wrote that “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care.” Many thousands of people suffer in ways that are unheard of in the United States due to the rationing of health care.

A fundamental human right was violated here at this rally. And that, of course, is the now apparently antiquated right to free speech which was enshrined in the American Constitution in 1791.



Astroturf by Axelrod.


An organizer drones on as the crowd awaits the arrival of the OFA bus carrying Rep. Perlmutter. The bus is late.

A commotion in the parking lot caught my eye. A green shirt aggressively berates two dissenters in the parking lot. What does the green shirt think this is, The French Revolution?  “J’accuse de ne pas soutenir la nouvelle regime!!” “Vous etes un agent de l’ancient regime de Bush! Obama va changer le monde! Obama va sauver le monde! Vive Obama! Vive Obama!”


They are ejected by two male organizers in red shirts. While still on school property, the two ladies decided to hold their ground, resisting excessive trampling of their rights as law abiding Americans.


This is a standoff.


The red shirts stay to monitor the situation (above background left). At no time did I see these ladies argue or fuss. They appeared only calm and insistent on their rights.


Meanwhile, the Astroturfers who were sent to confront the legitimate dissenters on W 32nd St, are now among the crowd waiting to cheer Perlmutter, and perform for the cameras.


And here’s the bus. Police were positioned around our hardy dissenters, for the safety of the public no doubt.


WHOOPEE!!! Let the show begin!



The bus was followed by several black SUV’s. Looks like Tony Soprano sent some of the boys over in case things got out of hand. Oops, no this has to be the Chicago mob, not the boys from Joisey.


Perlmutter ranted about fighting and fighting and human rights and the Constitution. These political hackjobs put career and party over all else.


Organizers positioned this banner to block the view of the dissenters from the two camera platforms. The organizer in charge of Operation Media Shield should have sent a taller green shirt. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men…


If you want to see how OFA astroturfs for Nancy Pelosi here’s Nancy and The Astroturfers  –  by El Marco

El Marco’s Greatest Hits Islam Clouds Bali’s Horizon

and Barak’s Big Day Part II

Thanks for visiting! Never Give In and Never Forget.  El Marco

Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

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65 comments to Organizing for America Bus Tour: Fabricating Consent

  • Rachel

    Of course the Unions are forking out millions for this health care for all. SEIU pays 65 million to Obama campaign to ensure that their political puppet can push through government healthcare. That way the Unions can be relieved of the billions of dollars of healthcare that they have to pay for their underworked, overpaid, fat, lazy, unhealthy members, and push the burden onto the welfare payroll and small businesses. No offence to anyone who is in a Union…I just think Unions were ok back in the 1920s but have become out of control in a nation of laws that can legally protect workers now without the need for a Union.

  • Dianne

    They don’t have to read the bills it doesn’t affect them only the poor working stiff that takes care of them . If this passes I think we should all quit work and go on public assistance like the illegal immagrants and then the government will take care of us too then they will go to work and pay taxes to take care of us LOL what a grand idea

  • Chris Humphrey

    Great job, nice light touch. This control of the audience is scandalously one-sided for something organized by or for elected representatives.

    Everyone should see this. The Emperor has no clothes.

  • Caroline Heyward Jenkins

    Thank you for making this information available and for providing these photos to expose the work of the Organizing for America group.

  • Liberalists cannot tolerate dissent.

    Only in Western Civilization has dissent ever been tolerated.

    Now that a Marxist, racist, separatist, liberalist wields the power of Office of the President weak dissenters will be abused into silence.

    kowtow is word of the year.

    sycophants will be rewarded.

    abandon all hope all who follow him

  • this is just beyond shameful. manufacturing support and lying about gathering signature . . . pure communist tactics. these folks must want state-run media too, like the old russia and china.

  • What are the words … super, great idea

  • tarpon

    AstroTurf works best when no one is looking.

    Out in the sunshine, the rent-a-mob looks really sad.

  • The “union worker” holding the flag in the tie dyed shirt looks like he should be marching for doughnut reform!

  • ɐɯɐqo uıǝssnɥ ʞɔɐɹɐq

    This makes me so mad. Living in Tedachusetts leaves me voteless, but luckily I have a brand new outlet Anti-Obama Posters. I’ll try to do one on this subject. Click on my name to view.

  • ran aynd

    Cowardly Senator Casey of PA sent notice out late last night about a town hall early morning in Erie today. “First come, first served”, so his announcement read. Wonder how many Obama drones were there first, having undoubtedly been given a heads-up earlier…

  • susan in nyc

    “allowing the insurance companies to make giant profits that should be used to cure sick people”

    I like my health insurance and I’d prefer to reform state-to-state laws which prevent me from taking my personal health insurance plan with me wherever I go or which prevent me from purchasing health care in other states.

    For a change, I’d like to see insurance companies competing for our dollars rather than seeing us compete against one another for paltry government rationed death care.

    Secondly, it is the Federal Government which is making giants profits by stealing from its own citizens; stop blaming Capitalism for Government theft.

    Lastly, how dare you use emotional blackmail to extort money from Americans who work hard to provide for their own needs.

    Both my parents died from cancer; all the health care and money in the world would have not change this reality.

    SO for you to use sickness and death as a means to which you end up considering yourself entitled to extort both emotions and money for your own personal needs is disgusting and inhuman!

  • Elizabeth

    First of all, anyone who signs their real name on those clipboards is a fool.

    Secondly, these clipboards must be challenged. Ask them to show you the law that says that attendees to political events must sign in. Ask them, “do I have to SUE you and your organization for infringing on my rights as a citizen to hear my representative speak? And to congregate peacefully.

    Third, when they insist that you sign your name, you show them your clipboard and insist that they give you their names.

    Fourth – ask them why Babs Streisand and all of Hollywood is not out campaigning for single payer, mediocre healthcare. The answer is because they’re rich and won’t have to be shoved into it.

    Don’t give in to these bast*ards.

  • democratsarefascists

    Isn’t that bat**** crazy old hippie the same toothless idiot who got arrested for hitting a girl during the Denver convention?

  • Kirby Dunsmore

    Excellent photographs and reporting! Thank you!

  • George

    So glad to see the “natural” and “unsponsered” support for this joke of a Health Care Reform. Love the Union heavies in the crowd, they’re gonna need their health care for sure, the one guy must weigh 350 if an ounce. Nancy Pelosi and her crowd of clowns like Waxman are not going to get this thru Congress, too many Senators that have Common Sense won’t let this BS Bill pass the Senate.

  • Dawn

    My name is Dawn, and I was at the rally (in the picture “If you don’t read the bill, at least read the Constitution”). I have to admit it was disheartening that we didn’t have more show up. We had quite a few people literally SCREAMING at us. One lady walked up and said “there are too many people on this planet!” Apparently she and Holdren are related.
    Another in a car yelled at me something about not being giving to my fellow man and that she’s willing to help others. Perhaps I should have asked for her Schedule A and the proof she gives her own money, not just everyone else’s.
    On my walk into the rally, two ladies asked me if I was from “Organizing for America.” I smiled and said, “no, no I’m not.” Then the conversation followed:
    She said, “oh, you’re the opposition.”
    I said, “I suppose I am.”
    She said, “It must be nice that you have healthcare.”
    I said, “You have healthcare. You can walk into any hospital in our country and get care.”
    She said, “Yeah, but it’s expensive. I can’t afford it.”
    I said, “if the government removed itself from healthcare, it would cost much less. Medicare is broke. Maybe you should check into the other countries and how well socialized medicine is working.”
    She said, “I have been there!”
    I said, “If it’s such a great system, why are you choosing to live here? We all have choices. I choose to be free.”
    She decided she didn’t want to talk to me anymore. She didn’t say anything introspective for full of fact, just that “it must be nice that you have healthcare.”
    And on a final note, one man had a sign that said “Jesus would insure us all.” He stated the same to me and I said, “Have you read the bible? Jesus would take care of his fellow man, not tell the government to do it. Read the bible and see how well the Israelites lived when they let a king take care of them instead of self-governing. True salvation is in directly taking care of each other, not forcing other people to give their money so the government can do it.”

    Thanks for the article!!

  • I cross posted this on our site. We were there as well, check out our content and video. Cheers! @LiveFreeCO

  • A.

    More right wing bullshit.

  • lynne

    I was there as well because I support a far more universal health care program than was even proposed there but I am kind of weirded out by the strange misconceptions and perhaps giant exaggerations expounded on here. I was there for a long while and saw none of the nonsense described here and the thing i signed was of my own will not at all coerced. Truly, there must be some points whch we have in common and still I am completely amazed that anyone thinks that it is a good idea to continue allowing the insurance companies to make giant profits that should be used to cure sick people. Gouging the American public is icky but more palatable in car, home and business insurance but it is way past humane and reasonable for our fantastic nation t do this to actual humans. Have you known someone who had to suffer cancer without proper care? Have you known someone who has gone bankrupt due to medical bills?? ENOUGH ALREADY

  • Val

    Again thanking you so much El Marco, this will travel around the U.S. to every contact I have and just spread out from there.

  • Mary Hoffman

    From lower NYS – Great Job! I am sending this to everyone I know and some websites also. Teddycare opponents – do not let them intimidate you. Bring cameras and clip boards to all events such as this. Take photos, video clips. When they ask you to sign something say NO. Then ask THEM to sign something and put their address on it. Don’t let them say YOU can’t go in to the meeting. INSIST that you have every right to. Speak softly but well and don’t let any violence break out – that’s what they want. Make sure to get photos and vidoes of them getting off of buses.

  • CBDenver

    For those unfortunates in Perlmutter’s district – sorry you have to endure this guy and the idiots who support him. I guess that is the price to pay for living so close to the government worker’s complex. Those government employees sure do love their big government! If possible move down just a bit south to the 6th congressional district — Coffman is a rock-solid conservative

  • cayla

    I just love the non-organizational grass roots bus, don’t you? With all of the medical marijuana signs, I bet the bus smells really really putrid.

  • Timber

    Anyone comb Craigslist to see if they are paying people to make their fake homemade signs? How pathetic is that? FAKE HOMEMADE SIGNS????

  • KennedyCare!!

    What could go wrong?

  • JIMV

    The security is spooky…this fellow is simply a lowly Congressman. They do not rate this level of security on the taxpayer dime. Did our elderly so scare the left at the town hall protests that they now bring such security to their staged events?

  • Great photos! Made my day (in a depressing sort of way), please keep up the good work.

  • Momma Lou

    Is my representaive, Mr Perlmutter, paid to represent me or just to persue his political agenda? I am guessing he feels no need for Townhall meetings, his mind is made up regardless of what anyone thinks. Get off the bus , Mr Perlmutter and get back to work!!

  • Lenny Hoag

    I think its time for some of us to stand up and get arrested for exercising our 1st amemdment rights. We need some more martyrs. And some good lawsuits as well. We can’t let these people violate our rights. I’ll voluteer to get video taped for doing nothing illegal and get arrested. Then sue their backsides off. All the way to the Supreme Court if needed. What we are seeing are (and I thought I would never say this) Facsist tacits. Unfortunately my representative won’t even show his sorry face.

  • Ralph A.

    From Upstate NY, Same here…great job! Go Get them…you are not alone, hold the rope in this tug-o-war. 5 to 1 opposed in the bluest of states.

  • southdakotaboy

    What we on the right need to start doing is start having protests outside the homes of the local union leaders who organize these things. One of the key points we need to get accross to them is that when Obama Care fails we will hold them responsible and that we will punish them for causeing our family members and loved ones to be hurt.

    See how much support Obama gets then. Most of these people are in it for the money. Make them worry about the personal repercussions and they will change their tune but quick.

  • mad-as-H


    Immediately cancel all PUBLIC OFFICIAL plans, force them into the private sector AND pay for it on their own.

    Immediately cancel all UNION plans and FORCE them into the private sector, AND pay for it on their own.


  • Great job, Marco.

    I’m adding that little tidbit Jenny offered to my post. Changed the location at the last minute.


  • That said, we did have some interesting conversations with individual pro-whatever-it-is-reform folks. Some were civil, others didn’t quite manage. I actually need to scramble up the time and focus to write up my experience – maybe tomorrow!

  • This is disgusting – we must allert everyone – we can not allow this to happen – not again ! damned it no no no – I am cross posting this . Great job El marco. Great Job.

  • I am cross Posting this – keep up the good work.

  • Yet another great most by El Marco,

    What should also be mentioned is that the location was changed at the last minute from the Aurauria campus to this high school. It was only the determination of the anti obamacare activists who were on top of this fact that any of our counterdemonstrators showed up at all.

    The late breaking news on the OFA website the night before was noticed by one of the freedom groups and he alerted as many people as he could. No doubt, many showed up to protest at the other location and never knew of the change.

    Absolutely pathetic…

    Jenny Hatch

  • They didn’t seem willing to press the point on access; I walked in with a friend (well, he walked in and I tagged along) and while they verbally harassed us, our polite insistence that this was a public school and we could look around if we wanted to apparently set them back. They seemed to be under the impression that “we have a permit!!” somehow allowed them to block access.

  • Igor Marxomarxovich

    Who pay for those buses?

    Old Russian saying….You can tell the same lie 1000 time but not change truth

    Difference between USSR Communist media and USA “mainstream media”

    In Russia government make media say what they want – even if lie.

    In USA “mainstream media” try make government what they want – even if lie..

    …..eventually they become same thing?!

  • KansasGirl

    Unbelievable. We have a long road ahead of us.

  • Duck

    Thanks for the post!

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