Monday, March 26, 2012

Sleeping with the enemy: is AARP about to betray its senior citizen members still another time?


This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged that AAARP appears to be betraying its members. You’ll find one of my my cranky complaints about AARP here

Now it would appear they’re at it again. Once more, my source is an e-mail from at FiredogLake.com below, which I encourage you to read in full.

Which raises another question. I’ve noticed some TV spots lately in which AARP members are invited to come to meetings and express their opinions. For what purpose? None is stated.

If AARP is trying to get an accurate sense of what its members think about Social Security and Medicare, it would be far more cost-effective to commission some reliable market research than to run a national advertising campaign asking self-selecting members to show up at meetings.

My guess: if AARP is actually planning to agree to cuts in Social Security and Medicare, they’re going to use the claim “we listened to you” as part of their excuse.

Don’t let them get away with it. Click on the link in the letter below, and let AARP know how furious you’d be.

Dear friend,

AARP is holding back-room meetings to strategize with social security opponents.

The Huffington Post reports that AARP CEO Barry Rand is inviting outspoken safety net opponents to an "off-the-record, salon style" meeting on March 27th on the future of social security, called The E Street Exchange, including US Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue, Merrill Lynch Executive Harold Ford Jr. and former MI Gov. John Engler from the Business Rountable for corporate CEO's.1

Once again, AARP is working behind the scenes to build support for benefit cuts while masquerading about as an ardent defender of the safety net to its massive, dues-paying membership.

This is outrageous, and AARP should immediately call off the event and disavow this shameful attempt to throw its weight behind benefit cuts. Can you join us in demanding AARP CEO Barry Rand cancel the back-room E Street Exchange meeting on cutting social safety net benefits?

Tell AARP CEO Barry Rand to cancel the E Street Exchange event and abandon his efforts to throw AARP's support behind benefit cuts.

Click here to add your name: http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/aarp-rand
Last summer, our campaign of over 32,000 activists was successful in getting AARP to backtrack after their board voted to drop its opposition to social safety net cuts.2

But while AARP is offering a pathetic 6-question survey and 'town hall series' called "You Earned A Say and We're Listening" as a gesture towards "listening" to their 40 million+ membership, it seems they are most interested in adopting the same kind of off-the-record, unaccountable negotiations over benefit cuts that have characterized numerous attempts to dismantle the social safety net over the past few years -- from the Catfood Commission to the Super Committee.3

Laughably, while Rand's E Street Exchange is holding "relaxed and robust" discussions on "Strengthening Social Security: Facing up to the Challenge" with Washington's 1%, AARP's 6-question online survey assures its members: "...AARP is taking the debate about the future of these programs out from behind closed doors in Washington, so you can make your voice heard."4

Clearly, just from looking at the invitation to their salon style talk, nothing could be further from the truth.

Tell AARP CEO Barry Rand to cancel the E Street Exchange event and drop his efforts to throw his organization's support behind benefit cuts.

http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/aarp-rand
The E Street Exchange is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on March 27th, and we're going to do everything we can to stop this silent assault on the social safety net. I hope you will join us in once again holding AARP accountable for its actions.

In solidarity,

Brian Sonenstein
Director of Online Activism,
Firedoglake.com

2 comments:

Buce said...

AARP isn't an interest group. It is an insurance company. Twas a stroke of genius to rebrand itself as an interest group but the skull smiles through.

Susan Dress said...

I let my membership lapse after one year because I was so disgusted by all the sales pitches they sent me. Buy this life coverage, get your car coverage here, buy,buy, buy. That, and really disliking their 'magazine': a few really brief articles, and lots of ads. Lots of ads for 'increasing ones sexual pleasure', all showing gray haired men and {apparently] much younger women. So, sexist sob's as well as product pushers.
I don't trust them to be anything but a money making machine.