The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the current health care reform bill and the public option, is trying to entice people to join their anti-reform mailing list by offering the chance to win a $150 gift card to Hooters (screenshot here). As Rachel Maddow reported Tuesday night, this type of
grassroots astroturf organizing gives Congress a false impression of how widespread opposition to health reform really is.
Surprisingly, the PR firm that sent out the email on behalf of the Chamber contracts says it was not responsible for this particular snafu. Still, TPM reports,
The Hooters card is the draw. Blinking pop-up ads and
web pages offer readers the card in return for entering their names and
personal information, and filling out a survey asking if they want to
sign up for various offers. In this case, those offers range from
agreeing to receive information about getting your college degree
online, to signing up for the Chamber’s emails. (You can also click
‘no’ not to sign up for each offer, and still get the Hooters card. But
chances are you’ll sign up for a few.)
The Chamber has a history of disagreement with the Obama White House, and has opposed everything from the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act to stricter EPA emissions standards. It has been a major player in opposing health-care reform.
The irony? Hooters is among the 54 percent of American restaurants that did offer health insurance coverage to their hourly employees last year. The restaurant chain also offers dental, vision, and tuition assistance.
(In other news, someone at Talking Points Memo spent a lot of time filling out surveys to win a Hooters gift card…)
h/t to Katie!