Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is the new
astroturf “grassroots” gun control movement out there. Yes, one tends to be a tad cynic about these things because of what we have seen in the past.
So where does MDAGSA (MDA for short) comes from. According to their own website, their initial name was “One Million Moms for Gun Control” and “formed within 24 hours of the Connecticut elementary school shooting” by Shannon Watts. So who is this person? According to the Huffington Post:
Shannon Watts is a 42-year-old mother of five children (two step-daughters, 23 and 19; two daughters, 17 and 16; and a 12-year-old son). For the past five years, Ms. Watts has been a stay-at-home mom in Zionsville, a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. Prior to that, she had a 15-year career as a communications executive for both public relations agencies and Fortune 500 corporations.
Well hell, she is Suzy Homemaker re-incarnated! You noticed that I highlighted (embolden) a section of the Huff Po profile where it mentions that she is a Stay Home mom because it contradicts what her Linkedin profile says:
VoxPop Public Relations is a strategic public relations agency that helps individuals, companies and organizations accelerate their growth, profitability, reputation and market presence through media relations, product launches, new media, events and promotions, messaging and media training, and issues management.
So the claim that she was basically doing nothing but staying put at home, baking cookies, attending PTA meetings and chasing the neighbor’s dog out of her flower patch suddenly takes a hit by her own words. But things start to get funky. Doing a bit of Google-Fu, the name Shannon Watts does not come associated with VoxPop but the name Shannon Troughton does. In fact, for the rest of the list of institutions where Ms. Watts says she worked, all come back associated with the name Shannon Troughton. Now, she may have had good reasons to change her name, but I am one of those that go by the motto “In God We Trust, everybody else keep your hands where I can see them” so let’s take a look at the other companies she worked for because it shows an interesting pattern: She is not just Suzy Homemaker or some low-grade employee at a small company but a heavy Public relations hitter, savvy on the ways of media manipulation and making her clients look good. Basically she “grows” astroturf for a living.
Vice President, Corporate Communications
WellPoint December 2005 – December 2008 (3 years 1 month)
Led communications team for the country’s largest health benefits company and provided communications support for the country’s highest ranking female chief executive officer. Responsible for enterprise-wide media relations, including investor relations.
Another fast Google-Fu search gives us an article of sudden insurance claim denied by BlueCross to a 13-year-old boy with heavy brain damage. The spoke-person for the parent company of BlueCross (Wellpoint) is Shannon Troughton. There are over 6,000 Google results for the words Shannon Troughton WellPoint.
Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts was also the Director, Global Communications
GE Healthcare from 2004 – 2006. GE Healtcare is the $14 billion healthcare (medical diagnostics and devices) business within General Electric, again not your local bake sale to raise funds for the school band.
This one is gonna give the hives to many a Hippie out there. For three years Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts was the Director of Global Public and Corporate Affairs for none other than Monsanto. She did her bit defending Genetically engineered crops, fought labeling of genetically engineered products and defended the company’s lawsuits against farmers.
The first entry of her Linkedin is revealing: Five years as Public Affairs Officer Missouri State Government where she worked for Governor Mel Carnahan, the Missouri House of Representatives, and the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Some older heads will remember that Gov. Carnahan died in a plane crash in 2000 during re-election campaign and that his memorial service became a freak show of political speeches and campaign stumping by Clinton and Gore against then Governor Bush and Senator John Ashcroft who was running against Carnahan and were present at the memorial.
OpenSecrets.org shows that Shannon Watts donated to the Democratic Congressional Committee, Barack Obama (7 times) and Rob Zerban who went against Paul Ryan in the 2012 the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin. Yes, had to look the guy up.
So, the initial and very amateurish research tells us that Shannon Troughton/ Shannon Watts is far from the image of a traditional mom who was baking cookies the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary Massacre and she was so horrified by the actions of Adam Lanza that she ripped off her apron and launched herself on to the streets demanding tougher gun control laws. If anything we have here a very experienced Public Relations operative with 20 years worth of experience in manipulating the message.
If all of this has a ring of familiarity to the Old Gunnies, you are right. You might remember Donna Dees-Thomases, founder of the Million Mom March who was also touted as a Suzy Homemaker who after watching on TV the coverage of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting, felt she needed to do something for Gun Control and founded MMM. What was never mentioned by the Media at the time (with the exception of the Wall Street Journal) was that Donna Dees-Thomases was Dan Rather’s publicist, CSB employee and sister-in-law of Hillary Clinton’s lawyer and political confidant during the Whitewater scandals.
Basically it seems that they are back to their old tricks.
I am gonna keep digging and see what else I find.