ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

4 January 2002


The themes of are strikingly similar to those presented by aka GuestChoice, which are part of Rick Berman's PR operation.

According to GuestChoice:

"In a letter to The Washington Times last week, Christopher Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute blows the lid off the environmentalist/anti-consumer movement.

"In truth, most if not all 'green' groups are industry funded. Traditionally, industries fund green pressure groups because they're basically told, 'Nice place you got here; sure be a shame if we said you're killing children.'"
GuestChoice launched a new website in December, - "the first and only online resource exposing the funding sources of the most notorious and extreme groups that conspire to restrict the public's food and beverage choices."

And to celebrate the new year this industry front group now has a new name: the Center for Consumer Freedom -

Berman aggressively represents the interests of such corporate heroes as Big Tobacco and Big Booze. Some say Berman certainly knows all about keeping congress under the influence and lubricating the corridors of power.

According to 'Common Cause', a public-interest group seeking to promote open, honest and accountable government:

"The alcohol lobby... retains some of Washington’s best-connected insiders. A case in point is Ann Eppard, longtime aide to House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bud Shuster, and now a registered lobbyist. Eppard represents Berman and Co. in Congress, whose president, Rick Berman, has been a vocal opponent of the blood alcohol content law for the American Beverage Institute (ABI). In a recent Washington Post story, she was described as the "eyes and ears" of the alcohol industry during the BAC fight.

Of course, the ABI‚s Berman has his own connections to political power. According to the Los Angeles Times, Berman was approached by then-Representative and soon-to-be Speaker Gingrich in 1993, and asked to give financial support to Gingrich’s college course, "Renewing American Civilization."

On July 1, 1993, the day that Berman sent a $25,000 check to Gingrich on behalf of one client, the Employment Policies Institute, he included with the check a note thanking Gingrich for help with another client, the ABI. His note, "Newt ­ Thanks again for the help on today’s committee hearing," referred to Berman’s testimony that day on behalf of ABI against reductions in the BAC level.

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