from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The disguising of an orchestrated campaign as a "grass-roots" event – i.e., a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion.
From AstroTurf ("a synthetic substitute for grass"), as wordplay on "grass roots", as if "fake grass roots". Attributed to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen in an unidentified 1985 public statement: "[A] fellow from Texas can tell the difference between grassroots and Astroturf." (Henry Young, "Astroturf Lobbying Organizations: Do Fake Grassroots Need Real Regulation", Illinois Business Law Journal, 2 November 2009) (Wiktionary)