Mary Anne Marsh

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Mary Anne Marsh is a principal at the Boston-based, Democratic Party-associated lobbying and public relations firm, Dewey Square Group, and a commentator for Fox News. [1]

A biographical note states that prior to joining the Dewey Square Group, "Marsh was the senior vice-president of integrated services for the Boston-based company, FH/GPC." It adds that Marsh has "more than 20 years of experience in public policy, communications and electoral politics." [1]

An older version of the firm's website listed Marsh's clients as including "Liberty Mutual Insurance, Sovereign Bank New England, Heinz Family Philanthropies, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Harvard University. She has also worked with numerous political clients, including United States senator John Kerry, United States senator Edward M. Kennedy and Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien." [1]

Defending fake letters to the editor

In 2009, Dewey Square was outed for sending fake letters to the editor to newspapers. The letters promote Medicare Advantage, a private health insurance plan, and are sent in the name of local seniors. [2] The letters were part of a Dewey Square astroturf campaign under the banner "The Coalition for Medicare Choices," which also included "bringing seniors to 'Medicare Advantage Community Meetings,' featuring 'free food' and 'door prizes,' with congressmen and senators, and offering them sample letters to Congress or local newspapers." The campaign came after Democratic proposals, backed by President Obama, to cut funding to Medicare Advantage and use "the savings to expand health care coverage for all." [3]

When confronted about the campaign -- which involved at least two Massachusetts newspapers and multiple incidents of seniors' names being placed on letters they didn't author -- Mary Anne Marsh claimed, "No one's trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes." Instead, she suggested that "the time that elapsed between the meetings when the seniors saw the letters and the letters' arrival at the newspaper may have clouded some memories." [3]


Articles and resources

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Mary Anne Marsh", Dewey Square Group website, accessed April 2009.
  2. Matthew Nadler, "'Grassroots' letter campaign smells of fertilizer," Halifax-Plympton Reporter (Marshfield, Massachusetts), March 27, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ken Johnson, "Elderly used as front in letter-writing campaign: 'Grass-roots' effort looks more like Astroturf," The Eagle-Tribune (North Andover, Massachusetts), April 13, 2009.

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