Wednesday, March 10, 2004

More on the Wingnut Billionaires' Campaign Fund

Democrats forming parallel campaign
Led by veterans of presidential and congressional campaigns, a coalition of Democratic Party interest groups, armed with millions of dollars in soft money, is rapidly constructing an unprecedented political operation designed to supplement the activities of Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign in the effort to defeat President Bush.

The newest visible sign of the coalition's activities will be seen beginning today, when a $5 million advertising campaign begins in 17 battleground states. But behind the scenes, Democratic operatives are moving to set up coordinated national and state-by-state operations that amount to the equivalent of a full presidential campaign, minus the candidate.
Why bother? It's because of "campaign finance reform."
This parallel Democratic campaign, already under legal challenge, grows out of changes in campaign finance laws. Those changes prohibit the national party committees from raising and spending soft money -- large, unregulated contributions -- on behalf of their presidential candidates. The Democrats have taken the expertise they developed in past campaigns and applied it to the new, separate operation. By law, coalition members cannot coordinate with the campaign of Kerry (Mass.), the presumptive Democratic candidate.
The Democratic coalition includes many of the party's most experienced strategists, spokesmen and fundraisers, as well former staffers for Kerry's campaign and the campaigns of several of his rivals. They include Ickes, who was deputy White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, Steve Rosenthal, a former political director for the AFL-CIO who is executive director of ACT, and Jim Jordan, formerly Kerry's campaign manager, who heads Thunder Road Group.

Bill Knapp, who did ads for the Gore and Clinton presidential campaigns the past three elections, oversees the advertising operation for the Media Fund. Five pollsters, several with presidential experience, are sharing the coalition's survey research work.
Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge. Say no more.

And where are they getting the dough? All the usual wealthy wingnuts:
The Democratic 527 organizations have drawn support from some wealthy liberals determined to defeat Bush. They include financier George Soros and his wife, Susan Weber Soros, who gave $5 million to ACT and $1.46 million to; Peter B. Lewis, CEO of the Progressive Corp., who gave $3 million to ACT and $500,000 to MoveOn; and Linda Pritzker, of the Hyatt hotel family, and her Sustainable World Corp., who gave $4 million to the joint fundraising committee.
If it were Republicans doing this, we would be hearing about the tyranny of the wealthy plutocrats evading the campaign finance laws until the cows come home. As it stands now, the Republican war chest is made up of many small contributions although as the article relates, if the Federal Election Commission doesn't stamp out these shenanigans, they plan to start their own "separate" organizations to keep up.

Oh yeah, who were the big backers of "campaign finance reform?" George Soros and the Democrats. Are they simply crooks or is their position just nuanced?