October 14, 2006

Republican front group behind outrageous anti-Braley ads run by associate of Delay, Ken Lay

The head of the group responsible for the dispicably misleading negative attack ad running against Iowa 1st District Democratic candidate Bruce Braley has ties to disgraced Republicans Tom Delay and the late Enron CEO and felon Ken Lay.

The ads which are an insult to anyone's intelligence, suggest that Braley voted to strip every military man and women of all equipment but their boxer shorts. The group, like others of it's type, refuses to disclose its donors. Another such phoney "astroturf" group is set up and financed by the same guy responsible for the legendarily dishonest Swift Boat campaign.

Further evidence of the sickening hypocrisy of the outfit who produces and airs these deceptive and misleading ads is that they then call themselves, "Americans for Honesty on Issues"

About the only truth there is that they're Americans, though I'd check that out too.

From the NY Times (subscription needed)
A previously unknown group led by a Republican political consultant in Houston is financing television advertisements against nine Democratic House candidates from North Carolina to Arizona.

The group, Americans for Honesty on Issues, is spending more than $1 million on the advertisements, which accuse Democratic candidates of carpetbagging, coddling illegal immigrants, being soft on crime and advocating cutting off money for troops in Iraq.

The television spots appear to be the first wave of a boatload of negative political advertising that will appear in the weeks before the Nov. 7 election. Many of the advertisements will be produced by independent organizations known as 527 groups, after the provision in the tax code that allows such groups to spend virtually unlimited sums on political activity as long as it is not formally coordinated with parties or candidates.

The 527 groups had raised nearly $200 million as of June 30, much of which appears to be available to be spent on pre-election activities. And if past trends hold, the total raised and spent by the groups on this election will surpass $300 million, eclipsing the $258 million spent by such groups in the last midterm election, in 2002.

The increase is striking because the campaign finance law enacted in 2002 now forbids federal elected officials and candidates from operating their own 527 groups. In 2002, committees maintained by such officials raised about a third of the total dollars for the groups.

The leader of Americans for Honesty on Issues is Sue Walden, a close ally of Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader who left Congress amid questions on ethics and fund-raising. Ms. Walden has also raised money for President Bush and served as an adviser to Kenneth L. Lay, the former chief executive of Enron who died in July.

She referred a call seeking comment to Glenn M. Willard, a lawyer with Patton Boggs in Washington, who drew up the papers establishing the organization. Mr. Willard confirmed that Ms. Walden was the nominal head of the committee, but he declined to identify the group’s donors or say how much it planned to spend.

The group's Web site does not give an address or phone number, nor does it list any of the officers or sponsors. It says only, "Americans for Honesty on Issues is organized to engage in political issue communications in compliance with federal and state laws." (Bullshit is now called "issue communications" evidently. - ed.)
Another Democratic 527 organization, the September Group, founded by the longtime party operative Harold M. Ickes, is planning a late burst of anti-Republican spending, said Howard Wolfson, a political consultant working with the group. But Mr. Wolfson would not say how much money the group had raised nor how it intended to spend it.
Among the most active Republican 527 groups is the Economic Freedom Fund, which was formed this year and received a $5 million contribution from Bob J. Perry, a major Bush donor and an underwriter of the Swift boat veterans group in 2004. The fund is running advertisements on behalf of Republican candidates in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Oregon and West Virginia.


At 10/15/2006 9:33 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

These ads are quite scarey indeed with the false stuff Whalen is spewing out daily in desperation.

However, read Wooten's column about the electronic voting machines and watch the impact in Iowa for a real scare just in time for Halloween. I am aware of Republican poll watchers out there in Scott county armed with PDA handhelds that are supposidly linked to the "system" and directly aligned with the Rove machine out east....

Corruption in voting is growing like cancer and the friends of the GOP are getting rich making their clients "happy" in the name of "democracy".

At 10/21/2006 1:40 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Is there a link to Wooten's column you are referring to?

I was just thinking that in the 4 years since I last pollwatched, the age of wireless, (i.e. PDAs and laptops) has probably changed the game quite a bit. In good ways and but possibly in bad ways.

My experiences pollwatching had more to do with Murphy's Law and the lack of sophistication in the campaigns I was watching for.

At 10/22/2006 1:58 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...


I didn't refer to any Wooten column. Not sure what you mean.

And you bring up an important point. Switching voting systems involves far more than simply switching machines. It affects the entire process, including requireing that the many election workers are familiar with the entire system.

I was thinking the other day that one way to avoid voter confusion on these new machines would be to simply have a "practice" machine set up at every polling place and a person who could help voters try a practice vote before they went into the booths so that they could be familiar with what to expect and how it worked.

It would cost money, but would avoid a lot of people such as the elderly, etc. who may be baffled by the new system and not be able to register their intended votes due to confusion or inability to figure things out.

The system is well designed and fairly simple, but of course, nothing is so simple that some people can't mess it up.


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