The excellent Ken Silverstein has a good post up at Harper's on the sprawling tentacles of corporate lobbyist Richard Berman, the man coordinating the business offensive against the Employee Free Choice Act.{C}As Silverstein notes, Berman runs a network of 15 front groups -- all generously backed by his corporate clients -- that have carpet-bombed the media with press releases, studies and "expert opinion" against the labor legislation that would make it easier for employees to join unions.

Too often, the media falls for it: As Facing South reported in March, dozens of outlets covered a study by "noted economist" Anne Layne-Farrar claiming that the EFCA would destroy 600,000 jobs.

But almost none of them reported that Layne-Farrar was a hired gun for a business front group opposing the bill, the Alliance to Save Main Street Jobs -- a group made up of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other fiercely anti-EFCA business associations. (Fewer yet looked at Layne-Farrar's bad methodology.)

Silverstein catches the Orlando Sentinel making the same kind of mistake this week:

The Orlando Sentinel ran an item Monday, "Growing Number of Dems Opposing EFCA," which cited a political consultant named Joe Kefauver and another local political official -- "both longtime Democrats who supported Obama" -- as being stern opponents of EFCA, with Kefauver adding that support for organized labor shouldn't be the only "litmus test for being a good Democrat." The article was instantly posted on a website run by Berman's Center for Union Facts.

What the article didn't mention is that Kefauver has long and close ties to Berman. The most recently available public disclosure forms list Kefauver as both a director of Berman's Center for Consumer Freedom, and as a compensated "director of development" for Berman's Employment Policies Institute Foundation. Berman and Company has also paid Kefauver's firm for consulting services.

Up until early-2007, Kefauver was in charge of all of Wal-Mart's state-level lobbying efforts in Florida. "Joe was responsible for prioritizing and developing the company's legislative and political agenda, their interaction with Governors, Attorneys General, Mayors and legislative leaders, as well as executing the company's aggressive store expansion program," says his firm's website. Wal-Mart is one of the vocal corporate opponents of EFCA.

The Sentinel also ran a piece by Berman himself attacking the Employee Free Choice Act in February.