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Occupy Wall Street / February 22, 2012

Last week, several news organizations carried a story about an alleged Occupy PAC that, if true, would have driven another stake of political cynicism in the heart of the fractured movement, built on idealism and opposition to the corruption of American politics.

Paperwork for the PAC was filed with the FEC by 32-year-old John Paul Thornton of Decatur, Alabama, who says he was inspired by Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC. Mother Jones reported that “[u]nlike Colbert’s Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, though, Thornton says in his first interview on the subject that OWS PAC is no joke.” Meanwhile, The Atlantic Wire wrote that the organization was specifically registered as a “SuperPAC” that could raise unlimited amounts of funds that Thornton intended to funnel to “federal candidates pledging to get money out of politics, including Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.”

There’s only one problem: The alleged “Occupy PAC” story isn’t at all what it seems, and had any of the reporters who first “broke” it last week bothered applying a little professional skepticism, the story never would have got off the ground, and never would have created yet another layer of disillusionment and cynicism that Occupy’s enemies have been actively sowing.

There many obvious warning signs about Thornton on the public record. For example, John Thornton admitted to a reporter from Capital New York that he was a Ron Paul supporter. You don’t have to be a veteran journalist to know that a guy who supports a far-right Republican libertarian who wants to abolish financial regulations and laws protecting labor and the environment, and favors Citizens United and unregulated lobbying, isn’t exactly representative of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Being a Ron Paul supporter in Occupy is one thing; it’s another thing altogether when a libertarian sets up a SuperPAC in Occupy’s name.

The whole thing smelled like funny to me from the get go. And the deeper I dug into it, the more flimsy the story got.

Here’s what I found: John Thornton says he had been deeply involved in the Occupy scene in Huntsville, Alabama, from the very moment the OWS movement went national. Huntsville is one of the nation’s least likeliest settings for a blossoming grassroots protest movement against oligarchy power: It’s an important center of the military-industrial-banking complex, and is home to the biggest names in the defense industry, including Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman. The city houses the SDI research facilities, and during the Cold War, its defense outfits, led by Nazi scientist/war-driminal Werner von Braun, developed America’s first rockets. Hell, “Occupy Huntsville” meets just a few miles away from the Redstone Arsenal army base, which houses the Missile Defense Agency, the Missile and Space Intelligence Center and the agency responsible for developing unmanned surveillance drones.

Welcome to the Chamber of Commerce of glorious Huntsville, Alabama!

Sure enough, I found out that Thornton was plugged right into the local military-defense establishment. Thornton had served in the Alabama’s National Guard, and he has worked as a “program analyst” for a defense contractor until at least 2008, although I couldn’t track down which exactly which company.

Thornton’s Facebook posts on Occupy Hunstville suggest that he still a gung-ho supporter of the military and of military actions, including targeted assassinations and covert activity—less than a month ago, Thornton posted this Facebook comment:

John Paul Thornton as to your ‘illegal and anti democratic’, who gives a shit about that? at least in upper echelons of gov’t and mil. reality is, someone needs killing, best to send the best quickly and quietly and take him/her out. im 99% certain you didnt cry into your beer when seal team 6 whacked osama.

So I guess that makes Thornton part of the 99% that’s 99% in favor of targeted assassinations squads?

According to newspaper accounts, Thornton lost his defense-contracting job in the summer of 2008, after a violent psychotic episode landed him a criminal conviction and a nearly two-month jail sentence. His parents said that Thornton, who was 28 at the time, started losing his mind after getting out of the National Guard. And after string of run-ins with law, which included the violation of a protection order filed by his ex-wife, a judge sentenced him to 60 days in the tank.

Thornton’s recent meltdown was written up in a bizarre article published in his hometown paper in July 2008. The article detailed Thornton’s downward spiral, and described how his mother had strapped herself to homemade cross she had erected on the front lawn of her house to protest the lack of medical attention her son John Paul was receiving in jail. The article even provided a photo:

Maria Thornton, 58, climbed a ladder and nailed a cross to the top of a privacy fence in her backyard on Tracey Lane Southwest. She held on for about two hours and 40 minutes.

A poster on the fence said she wouldn’t eat, drink or come down until her son receives help.

James Thornton said the family began seeing his son’s personality change last fall after John Paul Thornton returned from boot camp with the Alabama National Guard. The family fears that he is bipolar like his half-brother, who was recently released from a mental health facility.

James Thornton said family and five friends tried to hold an intervention June 30. He said John Paul Thornton went to Decatur General Hospital’s emergency room where a nurse gave him a phone number for Decatur General West. John Paul Thornton went to the psychiatric hospital but was not admitted.

His parents tried to have him involuntarily admitted through the Morgan County probate judge’s office, but James Thornton said that was more difficult than they expected.

A family friend, Dr. Michael Lowery, a family practitioner and occupational medicine physician, wrote a letter to the city detailing John Paul Thornton’s personality changes in the past six months.

“He has become verbally aggressive, verbose, talking rapidly, changing topics quickly, and (he) describes grandiose adventures in his duties as a current member of the Alabama National Guard,” wrote Lowery.

Lt. Jonathan Green, the Police Department’s public information officer, said Thornton has been evaluated three times during his jail stay.

John Paul Thornton was a program analyst with a defense contractor, but lost his job after his conviction.

Now, just to be clear: Thornton’s mental health issues, as well as his 60-day incarceration, do not discredit him or invalidate what he’s doing. But they are obviously important material facts that any journalist reporting on a story this strange, this counter-intuitive, and this potentially damaging should include. When someone does something as public and political as this–setting up an Occupy SuperPAC–they become public figures; journalists have a duty to inform the public with as much context and background to a story this potentially damaging and divisive to the Occupy protest. What possible excuse could the media hacks have for not asking simple questions, or doing the sort of basic research that I was able to do, even though I earn a fraction of what a full-time CBS or Mother Jones reporter makes?

When I reached John Thornton for comment on Monday afternoon, he confirmed that he was indeed the same John Paul Thornton mentioned in the newspaper article. He explained that he had since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and has been getting medical treatment. But that’s about as far as I got with him in our twenty minute conversation, during which I found him to be extremely evasive and vague on details.

Thornton gave me the same spiel about making his Occupy SuperPAC transparent and open to all, the same story that he gave to every other reporter. He got testy after I pushed him to name which candidates he intended to fund once the PAC got off the ground. “I won’t do a damn thing. I won’t be dealing with the influx of money,” he snapped. “I’m gonna be just the guy who files the paperwork. I’ve said this repeatedly. I’m not trying to hijack crap!”

Thornton also contradicted himself on his support for Ron Paul; last week he admitted to supporting Dr. Paul after journalists discovered someone with Thornton’s name from Decatur had given $250 to the Ron Paul 2012 campaign. However, in my interview with Thornton he denied that he had ever supported Ron Paul, and blamed the campaign contribution on a different John Paul Thornton also from Decatur, Alabama, who had exactly the same name as him.

“There is another John Paul Thornton in this very town,” he said. “We’ve had this problem before…”

The one thing that stood out from our conversation was his hatred for what he kept calling the “Occupy Wall Street majority”— Occupy activists from New York who, Thornton charged, have been dominating the movment with with their supposed do-nothing obstructionist strategy, oppressing minority groups like Occupy Hunstivlle. He was so angry about this alleged “Occupy Wall Street majority” that after a while I started to wonder if he was merely aping the old libertarian gripe about the “tyranny of the majority” (ie, “tyranny of democratic rule”).

My phone call interview with Thornton didn’t ease my skepticism about Thornton’s Occupy SuperPAC project. But to be honest I couldn’t tell if he was genuinely confused and misdirected, or was putting on an act. If anything, it reminded me of a guy named Alvin Green, the fake Democrat who grabbed headlines a couple of years ago when he came out of nowhere to win the U.S. Senate Democratic primary race in South Carolina in 2010. Greene, who was clearly a plant of some sort, later turned out to have worked as an “intelligence specialist” for the Air Force and had a criminal record.

Without this backstory, Thornton’s SuperPAC project story naturally became fodder for enemies and critics of the Occupy Movement. On the right, Andrew “Behave Yourselves!” Breitbart’s Big Government operatives did the sort of research into Thornton that Mother Jones and others failed to do, digging up Thornton’s history of mental health issues, then using it to mock Thornton and smear Occupy Wall Street as a movement that’s led by crazies and loons:

This is the material from which Occupy Wall Street is made, so it appears as though the Occupy PAC has a perfectly appropriate founder.

A rightwing smear like this from Breitbart would not have been possible if journalists had bothered doing their homework first before running the story. Their unquestioning reporting and total failure to do even the most basic background check on Thornton gave his story credibility, and set up the Occupy Super PAC as a softball target for Breitbart to hit out of the smear-ballpark.

One thing that I’ve learned from covering Occupy LA is that you always have to do your due diligence when writing about this movement—the decentralized nature of Occupy allows all sorts of charlatans, opportunists, scammers and downright loons to take advantage of lazy journalists and media hacks. And that seems to be exactly what happened with this story.

Other than Capital New York’s Reid Pillifan, who discovered Thornton’s support of Ron Paul after poking around the web, journalists failed to do their job and merely took John Paul Thornton at his word, reprinting whatever he said as if it needed no vetting.

Some of the reporting on the Occupy SuperPAC story is so wretched, it’s worth quoting at length just to get it out on the record of shame.

Here, for example, is how CBS Atlanta reported it:

Thornton is an active member in the Alabama Occupy movement. He said he came up with the idea when he was laying in bed.

“[I was] watching [The Colbert Report] and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t be nice if Occupy had a PAC,’ and … like a lightbulb, it came to me!” he told CBS Atlanta.

The money that will be raised can be used by Occupy as a whole, from branches in Huntsville, Ala. to ones in New York City or Oakland, Calif.

“This PAC is for everyone and if they want to contribute they are more than welcome,” Thornton said. “This is going to be uber-transparent down to the cent.  It will be egalitarian and democratic.”

That’s right, if Thornton says his SuperPAC is going to be uber-transparent, egalitarian and democratic, then who are CBS Atlanta journalists to question what the hell he’s doing setting up the sort of PAC that Occupy has worked so hard to oppose, right?

Then there’s Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll, who was one of the first people to break news of Occupy PAC. His article read like an unedited press release for John Paul Thornton and his Occupy PAC. Kroll even quoted John Paul Thornton talking about what a total badass activist John Paul Thornton was:

Not long ago, John Paul Thornton, a 32-year-old mental health worker in Decatur, Alabama, was clicking around Facebook when he noticed someone had posted a video of satirist Stephen Colbert talking about his super-PAC, a long-running gag on the show. Thornton, an active member of the Occupy movement in his home state, thought to himself, “Wow, it would be really cool if Occupy had one of those.”

So, last week, Thornton went ahead and filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to create…the Occupy Wall Street Political Action Committee. Unlike Colbert’s Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, though, Thornton says in his first interview on the subject that OWS PAC is no joke. … Thornton wasn’t trying to be cheeky here, he says. Thornton says he plans to launch a website for the super-PAC soon. All he’s waiting for is the FEC’s blessing…

Thornton says he’s no Occupy novice. He joined Occupy Huntsville, a 20-minute drive from his home in Decatur, three weeks after the occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan began on September 17, and has been involved ever since. He’s also been active opposingAlabama’s draconian immigration measure, HB 56, which passed in June 2011. “My parents called me a serial dissenter,” he says. “I was probably a discontent fetus.”

Jesus fucking christ, people. Remind me why you get paid again, and what you get paid to do?

Want to know more? Read Yasha Levine’s account of LAPD’s appalling treatment of detained Occupy LA protesters…His other Occupy LA coverage…And LA Weekly’s writeup of his arrest.

Yasha Levine is an editor of The eXiled. You can reach him at levine [at] exiledonline.com.


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27 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. adam  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Thank ye gods for Levine! And smite these lackadaisical hacks once and for all!

    Error has no rights!

  • 2. Trevor  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 8:53 am

    This really gets at a larger problem in American journalism. That “press release” article is more the norm, reporting without comment or analysis what some person said. It’s like there’s some collective terror of being accused of bias, no matter the subject. How else do you explain global warming deniers getting any journalistic attention other than derisive laughter?

  • 3. Anarchy Pony  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Journalism, it’s like a cancer patient on their last legs.

  • 4. TheBorg  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Looks like you uncovered an intelligence/defense “false leader” fakeout psyop. Its true, you can hardly blame the intelligence/defense establishment for trying when journalists are so lazy. Good thing some journalists do their job.

    If only more real journalists looked into (or wrote publicly about), the 9/11 “truth movements” ‘scientific leaders’ Steven Jones (Los Alamos) and Richard Gage (Bechtel) maybe they’d uncover another psyop, this time for lazy journalists, lazy ‘architects and engineers’, and lazy readers.

  • 5. LeaAnn  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    So, people that support Ron Paul, scrapping child labor laws, getting rid of the last bits of financial regulation, privatizing all public land/property, unlimited campaign financing through sleazy super PACs and the military aren’t the 99%? News to me. People that live in a town where the economy is based on war-mongering can’t be against that? What’s with the attempt to discredit Thornton? Occupy is an all-inclusive movement so if you want to come in and form a super PAC just go right ahead. Why should we ask why? If you discount everyone that’s done time or has a mental illness, then that’s not very inclusive, is it. What the hell is wrong with you, you bigoted asshole??

    Why am I one of 3 people who pops up on every article about Occupy PAC, defending Thornton’s master plan at political change? Why are you even asking me that question? Is it because the AEC is a bigot?

  • 6. Mike C  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    @5. LeaAnn

    Occupy is based on the consensus model, and has been since the start. And early on, everyone (EVERYONE, in places like LA, where they insisted on 100% consensus) agreed on certain things. For instance, that you couldn’t bandy about the name “Occupy [City]” in your initiatives without consensus.

    Everyone is free to do what they want, as individuals, or as groups, but what you can’t do is claim to represent people who didn’t get a say (folks who don’t attend meetings are SOL). If you do something other people blocked, you do it WITHOUT the name Occupy.

    Given what I’ve seen so far, there is NOT A CHANCE IN HELL that any Occupy would have passed something as stupid as this. NY and LA (at the least) have even passed resolutions explicitly stating that they won’t support parties, politicians, or electoral politics in general.

    That’s how it works. If you want to retreat into ill-informed reinterpretations of the symbolic shorthand of “the 99%,” then I’ll know for certain how ignorant or full of shit you are—possibly both.

  • 7. Rose  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    I have an issue with you having an issue with a regular guy signing up for a superPac. Seems to me the statement is well made that ANYONE with money can buy politicians in the United States even those”dirty, jobless hippies” of Occupy.

    Like LeaAnn said above why do you make the assumption that Republicans who live in the mist of the military/industrial complex cant be opposed to it. I am pretty sure the ONLY affinity this young man would feel for Ron Paul is the desire to end the unnecessary imperialistic wars that that have killed, maimed and left so many of our young ppl without assistance suffering from mental and physical illness from dealing with life and death everyday.PTSD treated< for a mental illness does not make anyone a criminal.I think the group in Huntsville are a work in progress but HAS been an active Occupy Huntsville since OCT 4 2011 every week and most the time twice weekly except during the 24/7 occupation. Maybe "they" extremist right wingers should be scared because Occupy is everywhere even in their corporate headquarters and supported by many even under their noses.
    You know many of Occupy Huntsville work and are smart, capable people it doesn't take "rocket scientist " to see our government is bought or do something, anything they can about it.
    Not sure where this movement is going However not thinking they are going away. The Pac if it garners financial support can and will I am sure be used for OWS focused goals and purpose example to defeat "citizens United" and promote humanity and the earth we're all depend on to live for the future and our children's future not just for some corporate or political profit today.We all need to fight for our Constitution , nation and people and end the Corporate oligarchy and privatization of our government. The gig is up with instant communication the corporations and officials cant play the games they have played. People are watching, they know, expect them.

    Yabba dabba doo. Good thing I didn’t try shifting the discussion here, that would be wrong. Dabba Yabba Doo.

  • 8. Rose  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Mike C
    “NY and LA (at the least) have even passed resolutions explicitly stating that they won’t support parties, politicians, or electoral politics in general. ”
    So where does anything say that OWS PAC cant exist and hold to not supporting Party, politicians or electoral politics??? bla bla bla bla bla if you think my argument is sincere you are sincerely lollipopped sucka bbla bla decentralized bla bla 99% Spring is another full of shit Dem Party DC hack project bla bla bla.

    Yes, we shit on everything good, and we come into your comments section and we take a hot steaming dump of fake “political argument” for profit from PR funds. You really should just spit on us and break every fucking window in our cars, for starters.

  • 9. Brandon  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Hey folks. John Paul has been active with Occupy Huntsville since about its beginning. Several Ron Paul supporters came out to Occupy Huntsville events. Truly, Huntsville is a neocon Mecca. A bunch of government contractors and civil employees that resent the government and have no education in American history or liberal arts! And in the eye of the storm is Occupy Huntsville, where the cops protect the protesters from the civilians, I think. Ron Paul has expressed anti- PAC sentiment on CNN (though his solution is crazy, imo), some government contractors and employees are part of Occupy Huntsville, military folks are part of Occupy, John Paul Thorton wants money out of politics. He’s a legitimate occupier. And you’d insult him because his Mom protested! his treatment in jail?? I am a liberal from Huntsville, an Adam Curtis fan. Whether you agree with his idea to start a PAC (everyone seemed to love colbert’s)and Occupy Huntsville’s vote to support it, this article are just wrong. Cuz you know it makes total sense that if John Paul Thorton wants money out of politics he would start a SuperPAC, nothing wrong with this picture folks, keep moving along. Oh and Ron Paul? Yeah I lied–he wants total unlimited spending in politics and unlimited lobbying, he doesn’t hide it. I just wrote that to see what the fuck I can get away with here

  • 10. Brandon  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Whoops! This comment would be just wrong if not for the good graces of the A.E.C. Tip o’ the hat, Almighty!

  • 11. Mike C  |  February 23rd, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    @8. Rose

    You’re fired. This is the last time New Media Strategies tries to teach flamingos to type.

  • 12. Derek  |  February 24th, 2012 at 3:31 am

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.”
    - Winston S. Churchill

  • 13. Johnny D.  |  February 24th, 2012 at 4:40 am

    AEC:

    Tear the Left apart, big man. If Thornton (crazy or incompetant, I’m unsure) was authentic but massively missinformed, I couldn’t even tell – but ever since we trolls were instructed to “mock” the Kochs’ influence by repeating the mantra “everyone works for Koch” I’ve noticed that my confidence has gone up (for whomever). Stymie was a character in the Little Rascals. Everyone disagrees with a cabal.

    We meet on cake.

    I am a bad imitator

  • 14. Daniel H  |  February 24th, 2012 at 5:47 am

    John Paul Thornton is surely a dumbass pro-military ass, like the majority of USA-ians seem to be. So the 99% minus people like JPT would be the 49%-or-less, don’t you think?

    I find him to be a VERY unpleasant individual, and he threatened me physical harm, I think it might have been with nukes, as I questioned his nasty political views. But I do have to agree with the hicks from Alabama that he DOES have the support of the GA consensus in Huntsville/Alabama, from the people who actually show up and discuss/vote. I’m not one of them as I’m laughing at you all from Sweden.

    Cheers!

    [The AEC is getting bored improving these—comment remains as-is for your skeptical eyes]

  • 15. Tom Degan  |  February 24th, 2012 at 7:05 am

    You don’t have to be down in Zuccotti Park. You don’t have to be on the streets of Oakland, California or Madison, Wisconsin or Austin, Texas or South Bend, Indiana. That’s why the worldwide Occupy movement is so frightening, not only to the corporate media, but to our “rulers” as well. Jello Biafra (photo left) is the former lead singer of the legendary political punk band The Dead Kennedys. He is today a lecturer who has released a number of spoken-word CD’s on his Alternative Tentacles record label . Ten years ago, in a statement that is truly sunning in hindsight, he advised us, “Don’t criticize the media, become the media!” A decade ago his words left some of us scratching our clueless heads. Today we know what he was talking about. We are the media. The revolution is being televised!

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan

  • 16. Daniel  |  February 24th, 2012 at 7:21 am

    USA can’t be pro-occupy as the whole nation is a shit hole of war mongering monsters who support their imperialistic state, pretty much. Which means that the person writing this article is him/her/itself just a scam out to get PayPal donations by profiting on the Occupy fad. In a few months they will probably be pro war against Iran or something, instead.

  • 17. Oisín  |  February 24th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    At the risk of getting skewered by both moderator and commenters alike: may I request that the eXiled reconsider using “retarded” as an insult?

    YOU MAY REQUEST ALL YOU LIKE.

  • 18. William Henley  |  February 24th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Why thank you Almighty eXiled Censor for improving my retard-o-fascist comments.

    Hello to everyone from the Occupy Hunstville Ron Paul Revolution Working Group! I’m the guy on the left, but you probably already knew that. Ta ta! Occupy Solidarity, dudes! And bring home the troops!

  • 19. Rose  |  February 24th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Mike C bite ME!! this wonderful AEC moderator is improving the post. i love me so much some of this improved free speech, but i basically can’t get over myself for being so angry at not being able to pollute this comment section. we ARE Occupy and we are here to stay…Expect us.. get used to a leaderless undefined Human — as in Humane, Institute Studies of — movement. oh and the AEC I’d kiss you if you’d let me. why not be a man and let ppl post their kisses. Is your ego that expansive and wise. are you 120,000???

  • 20. Rose  |  February 24th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    bwahahahah I love the AEC! That’s why I can’t stop coming back here to express my everlasting affection!

  • 21. Steve  |  February 24th, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I am a participant in the Occupy Huntsville movement. I have interacted with John on many occasions, mostly online. I have always found him to be a genuine supporter of the movement.

    I don’t have a problem with him supporting Ron Paul. I personally find the libertarian ethos to be a recipe for a deregulatory disaster, but Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate, including the President himself, who is for ending America’s imperialistic military endeavors around the world.

    This alone could be enough for me to vote for someone for president no matter what else they stood for. A huge, huge part of what is wrong with this country is the fact that we are using our military to enforce a global hegemony to protect financial interests, particularly global energy interests.

    No, I don’t like the racist allegations and I don’t like the idea that if you deregulate everything corporations will just magically do the right thing. But can you imagine a president who actually wants to end American global military intervention? I can understand supporting that.

    Yes, it is very true that Huntsville is a military and government-contract city, and is generally very conservative. It *is* hard establishing a grass-roots Occupy movement here. It’s hard walking into town hall meetings with our Congressman or City Council meetings with several hundred conservatives and only a handful of ourselves to express our message. We are doing it.

    Do not make the mistake of discrediting those of us in conservative parts of the country who genuinely believe in and actively support the Occupy movement. We may not be exactly like people in other parts of the country in our political views but to a person we all believe THAT MONEY IS CORRUPTING OUR GOVERNMENT AND USURPING THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE.

    You would be amazed and should be proud that people in all parts of this country are coming to the realization that our representative government is broken in favor of financial interests. I saw a Youtube video of a handful of Occupy protestors on a street corner in Boaz, Alabama. Folks, if Occupy has come to *Boaz*, that is something.

    You may not agree with the individual actions of John Paul Thornton creating a PAC on behalf of the Occupy movement. But this is an issue we have wrestled with from the beginning. Many people have wanted Occupy Huntsville to get involved in many different issues, and we have done so, from homelessness to immigration. And some members don’t agree with some of the things that we are doing.

    But as I expressed at a GA, you cannot stop individuals from doing what they want to do anyway. The Occupy movement is leaderless. It is all of us. We have tried to foster the idea that when people act for change that they say they are PARTICIPANTS in the Occupy movement, not that they are acting ON BEHALF of the Occupy movement. But you can’t stop people from working for social change IN THE WAY THAT BEST SEEMS FIT TO THEM and saying they are doing it as part of the Occupy movement. No matter what consensus is reached at a General Assembly.

    It seems to me that John has come to the decision that you cannot defeat the influence of money in government without using money to defeat that influence.

    Whether this is accurate or not and whether or not Occupy as a whole believes it or not, I believe John’s heart is in the right place. It’s no different than Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC, except there’s no hint of satire in it. I think John is dead serious. And except for the fact that it’s completely different from Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC and this whole mantra trolls like me keep repeating about “it’s no different from Colbert” proves that there’s no way this is a PR operation, nope, nuh-uh, no way–we all just happen to have the spontaneous same line that we all spontaneously happen to repeat to social media and other media, because it’s all so spontaneous, just like my PR boss said it was. Oops, did I just say that? Shit.

  • 22. William Henley  |  February 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Hey man

  • 23. William Henley  |  February 24th, 2012 at 11:28 am

    have fun

  • 24. Daniel H  |  February 24th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    WTF is A.E.C? Does it have anything to do with the Z.O.G!?

  • 25. Derek  |  February 24th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Just to be clear: This is an action that is officially endorsed by Occupy Huntsville as per consensus GA approval. As has been previously announced, the name will be changed to something other than “OWS PAC”. You can smear JPT all you want but the fact remains that there are numerous people involved with all aspects of the PAC and we will be moving forward with it. If you don’t like this particular exercise of “diversity of tactics” (hint: that’s another one of the key phrases my hip social media marketing manager told us all to parrot) kids don’t contribute to it. Problem solved.

  • 26. DeeboCools  |  February 25th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    All other issues aside I think a super-PAC for occupy is a great idea as long as it’s sole purpose is campaigning for it’s own abolition- that is the repeal of citizens united/campaign finance reform. Might as well play the crooked system against itself.

    No you don’t. No you shouldn’t.

  • 27. Mike C  |  February 25th, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @25. Derek

    But that’s not how it was filed, and not how it’s been reported. So, too late—or “mission accomplished,” depending on your outlook.

    The best case scenario is that this was just a terrible idea, poorly executed.

    The more irritating scenario is that Huntsville was duped. Because no, this is nothing like Colbert. He has a platform to make his intentions known (if spoken ironically). OWS having a SuperPAC just looks hypocritical and like selling out (of course, they don’t have one, and it’s not their fault people think they do, since it was done on their, heh, “BEHALF,” by your bozo).

    LA got suckered into an “END THE FED” march, never knowing it was a main talking point of libertarian marionette, Ron Paul (he even has a book with that title). Sure, the organizer could have mentioned that, considering he was a huge Ron Paul supporter, but he didn’t.

    I did, though!

    Keep your libertarian jackasses in check.


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