Behind the scenes, as law enforcement officials tried to stem protests against the Dakota Access pipeline, alumni from the George W. Bush White House were leading a crisis communications effort to discredit pipeline protesters.
Emails show that the firms Delve and Off the Record Strategies, apparently working on contract with the National Sheriffs’ Association, worked in secret on talking points, media outreach, and communications training for law enforcement dealing with Dakota Access opponents mobilized at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. This revelation comes from documents obtained via an open records request from the Laramie County Sheriff’s Department in Wyoming.
As previously reported by DeSmog, the GOP-connected firm DCI Group led the forward-facing public relations efforts for Dakota Access via a front group called Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now (MAIN). Today MAIN has morphed into a national effort known as Grow America’s Infrastructure Now (GAIN).
Delve is an opposition research firm run by Jeff Berkowitz, former Republican National Committee research director and official in the George W. Bush White House. His company led research efforts on behalf of the National Sheriffs’ Association.