Generation Opportunity first came on the scene in June of 2011. Touting itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan 501 c4 organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.”
They set up a Facebook page under the title “Being American,” and rapidly grew. After all, what red-blooded 20-30 something doesn’t like being American. Clearly, this was an effort at deception. Consequently, lots of people “liked” the page. After a few cleverly crafted manipulations, the Facebook page became “GenOpp,” with the following description:
“Generation Opportunity (GenOpp) is a free thinking, liberty loving organization of young people promoting opportunity, creativity and freedom.”
As of this writing, the group has had 2.6 million Facebook “likes.” Of course, they count these “likes” as supporters. However, after a cursory look through the comments, it becomes abundantly clear that is not the case.
The actual website associated with the organization is almost laughable in its attempt to appear youthful and “hip.” Their “Meet the Staff” page is an absolute riot. Resembling more of a Match.com type profile, each staffer answers questions like “What is your favorite beer? What famous person would you most like to have a beer with? What is your ideal date?”
A few months ago, Generation Opportunity made created quite a ruckus with their anti-Obamacare television advertising campaign. With over $5 million dollars in an account controlled by none other than the Koch brothers they were telling young people not to become insured, and that the fine would be cheaper. Never mind that those hired by the organization are provided with health-care. One particularly creepy ad brought bellows of protests. Check it out.
The former president of Generation Opportunity is Paul Conway who works with the Heritage Foundation an the Leadership Institute. He was replaced by the current president, Evan Feinberg.
Feinberg worked as an aid for both Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). According to Feinberg’s biography:
“After college, Evan accepted a job at the Heritage Foundation, researching and writing extensively on federal education policy and social and cultural issues such as the importance of stable traditional families. Evan’s main role at the Heritage Foundation was acting as a “one-stop-shop” for the school choice movement – managing a school choice website, coordinating events, and publishing research on the success of school choice policies.
“Evan then moved on to Capitol Hill to serve as Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) Legislative Assistant for Health Policy. During his three years working for Dr. Coburn, Evan helped lead the charge against Obamacare. In this role, Evan promoted substantive alternatives to a government takeover of healthcare.
“After the 2010 change election, Evan was offered a position with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to serve as his top policy aide on healthcare, education, labor and entitlement reform. Senator Paul depended on Evan to implement his policy goals in those four areas. While working in this capacity, Evan crafted several proposals to fundamentally reform our nation’s unsustainable entitlement programs.”
Matthew Faraci is the Senior Vice President for Communications. He is an anti-abortion activist who in 2010, was also named Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing for Americans United for Life (AUL).
Generation Opportunity is nothing more than, as blogger Kevin Bondelli wrote, “a conservative Astroturf frontgroup.” It is yet another example of re-branding and re-packaging by the Religious Right and their fundamentalist cohorts, in an effort to recruit and to legitimize themselves in the eyes of a not-too-discerning public.