Monday, August 23, 2004

Nothing to see here, MoveOn (er, move along)

A Special Relationship:
On Friday, Kerry campaign spokesman Debra Deshong was telling any reporter who would listen that there was a big difference between the negative advertisements being run by George Soros-funded and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: " is an independent organization that existed well before the Kerry campaign," she said, whereas the veterans group "is not an independent group."
No word on whether she also had a bridge in NYC to sell.
In fact, according to a Kerry campaign volunteer, staff members and volunteers of the Kerry campaign in New York, Washington, and Los Angeles have been in almost constant contact with staffers, including advanced viewing and reviews of television commercials, online ads, and web content. As well, staffers provided the Kerry campaign with opposition research within the past two months, as well as advance looks at speeches made by speakers, including former Vice President Al Gore.

"We're always running into those guys," says a Kerry campaign volunteer in Washington, about staffers. "We socialize with them, we see them at meetings, we can't avoid it. And of course we talk about the campaign. In some cities, we get our volunteers from MoveOn. No one has ever raised an issue about it."

In some cases, it isn't just volunteers that the Kerry campaign is getting from They are hiring them too. In April, the Kerry campaign hired MoveOn's special projects and research director Jack Exley [aka Zack - ed.] to oversee Kerry's campaign's website. At the time, the Kerry campaign made a point of saying that Exley was joining the campaign with not a single scrap of paper or computer disk from his time with MoveOn.

But Exley didn't need to bring much. According to another Kerry adviser, there were already so many back-channel relationships between the two organizations, Exley's presence to foster more was unnecessary. "As soon as it was clear Kerry had the nomination, we began coordinating. It's all done through the DNC and the AFL-CIO, which is financing many of the other groups out there running anti-Republican advertising. We will sit on conference calls, but we won't take part. We just take notes, then confer with our folks inside the DNC. That's the way it's done."
And George Soros provides the lubrication.