'Dr. Evil' takes on ACORN
Beneath the "voter fraud" campaign lies Rick Berman.
Berman told a trade magazine for restaurant chains: "In effect, our work is restricted to and focused on issues that affect shareholder value. These big issues include labor costs as they relate to health insurance and the minimum wage. . . . Our offensive strategy is to shoot the messenger. Given the activists' plans to alarm beyond all reason, we've got to attack their credibility as spokespersons. . . . We always have a knife in our teeth."
60 Minutes 2007 segment "Meet Rick Berman, A.K.A. 'Dr. Evil' ":
Berman is accomplished at "creating a political action group that tries to mislead voters, in part by pretending to be an aggrieved grass-roots movement" (Willamette Week, May 28, 2008):
Now, back to the Berman's Employment Policies Institute. The 2006 tax return for its foundation shows that Berman, as executive director, worked an average of 14 hours a week and was paid $5,000.
Pretty damn selfless. And Berman & Company, of which he owns 100 percent, spent one hour a week as the institute's management company. Berman's company, however, got paid. It took home almost $700,000 in compensation and more than $300,000 in health benefits and deferred compensation, according to tax records.
The institute itself works 24/7. The 2006 tax records show that it spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertisements with circulation leaders Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Metro Networks (which buys broadcast time). Those are just the top four media outlets on which Berman's outfit spent money.
And what were the accomplishments of his nonprofit "institute"? The tax records say:
Berman's empire, according to IRS records, also includes the FirstJobs Institute, which produces "public-service" ads and more than a million coasters a year. From the tax records:
While Sarah Palin sneers at Barack Obama's links to evil community activists like ACORN, Rick Berman puts business money where her mouth is.
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