The Guardian: Americans For Prosperity sponsors Tea Party workshop

Rightwing campaign funded by Koch brothers has funded seminar on how to exploit social media to attack politicians

October 13, 2010- Americans for Prosperity, the rightwing campaign funded in part by the energy billionaires the Koch brothers, is working with the Tea Party movement to increase its impact through the use of new media and social networking.

At a Tea Party convention in Virginia this week, the AFP sponsored a workshop called Online Activism 101 to train members in the political use of the internet. Delegates were given an AFP publication called Grassroots Activist Handbook as well as detailed advice on how to set up their own blogs, spread the word through Facebook and Twitter and lobby their local politicians.

Erik Telford, AFP's director of online strategy and a leading figure on the right in the deployment of the internet as a political tool, exhorted Tea Party members to attack politicians through their blogs.

"Pick your least favourite public official and beat the crap out of him every day," Telford told the audience. "It's fun, and people will start to notice and you will have a tremendous impact.

"The way to beat the left is to link more and more to one another and to link to articles that are in tune with our ideology and that will push the articles to the top of Google search."

Telford was once dubbed by the liberal MSNBC news anchor Keith Olbermann as his "number two worst person in the world". He is an expert in the political exploitation of the internet, an area in which the Democrats proved to be superior in the 2008 presidential race but where conservatives have since regained the initiative.


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