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Oct 09, 1998

Former Consumer Reporter Sells His Name And Signature To Utility Company Campaign Against Consumer Prop. 9

David Horowitz Earns $106,000 from Utility-Funded Campaign
Los Angeles, CA - A company led by David Horowitz, formerly a consumer reporter with KNBC and the syndicated program "Fight Back!," earned $106,000 from the utility-funded campaign to defeat Proposition 9, the electricity rate reduction initiative. Horowitz signed the ballot argument against Proposition 9 in the voter guide, and the utility campaign uses Horowitz's name in ads and press statements against the consumer-backed initiative.

While the utility campaign refers to Horowitz as a "consumer leader" and "consumer advocate," Horowitz has long been available for hire as an "advisor" or "consultant" to companies willing to pay. MCI hired Horowitz last summer to serve as the company's spokesman in a battle with local phone companies. MCI trumpeted the project as "Fight for Your Phone Rights with David Horowitz." A vitamin company called Pro-Caps also hired Horowitz for a television commercial endorsement in 1995 - he appeared before a backdrop that read, "Fight Back with Pro-Caps." He also was an equity partner in the company.

In 1988, Horowitz had received an annual fee of $60,000 from a company that produced publications for local Better Business Bureaus. Advertisers complained that the publisher made false claims about the book circulation, which eventually led to the demise of a local Better Business Bureau. When Horowitz reported the story, he did not disclose his connection to the incident, and he refused to speak to another consumer reporter covering the issue.

"Fight Back Inc. should be renamed Front Man Inc.," said Harvey Rosenfield, co-chair of the Yes on 9 consumer-backed campaign. "David Horowitz is willing to parrot the utilities' false claims, scaring consumers for money. No one should confuse him with a consumer advocate or leader. He's simply another campaign front man for the utilities."

"An increasing number of the people we trust and turn to have sold out for cash," Horowitz said in an interview with the Washington Post, August 20, 1979.

"The utilities' payments to David Horowitz in this campaign reveal that statement to be a premonition of Horowitz himself," said Harry Snyder, senior advocate of Consumers Union and a supporter of Proposition 9.

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