Liberals Find Answer to Dirty Conservative Money

posted at 12:00 pm on November 23, 2010 by Jazz Shaw

During the last election cycle one of the more nefarious actions by those nasty conservative interest groups was the flushing of millions of dollars into “independent expenditure” advertisement campaigns. This horrible, society threatening practice was loudly criticized by liberal watchdogs of democracy such as Media Matters.

Still stinging from the loss of more than three score seats in the House of Representatives, Democratic supporters seem to have finally found a way to blunt these attacks and set things to rights in our electoral process. The Gray Lady reports:

Effort for Liberal Balance to G.O.P. Groups Begins

In what may prove a significant development for the 2012 elections, David Brock, a prominent Democratic political operative, says he has amassed $4 million in pledges over the last few weeks and is moving quickly to hire a staff to set up what he hopes will become a permanent liberal counterweight over the airwaves to the Republican-leaning outside groups that spent so heavily on this year’s midterm elections.

Mr. Brock said in an interview that he planned to formally file papers with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday to set up American Bridge as what is known as an independent-expenditure-only political action committee, meaning it will be able to take in contributions of unlimited size from individuals and corporations but must regularly disclose its donors.

I see. So when conservative groups were channeling funds in this fashion it was “shady outsider money influencing our elections,” but now that Mr. Brock is doing it, it’s “liberal balance” and a much needed “counterweight,” eh? Well, at least he can maintain the moral high ground and make sure there aren’t any of those nasty anonymous contributions.

Oh… wait.

Certain to set off debate, however, is that Mr. Brock appears to be positioning his new organization so that fund-raising consultants can raise money for Democratic-oriented media efforts not just through American Bridge but also via one of the nonprofit organizations Mr. Brock currently runs, Media Matters Action Network, which does not disclose its donors.

Fans of irony should find themselves applauding in delight over this story.

For what it’s worth, I spent the last year of my life shepherding a congressional campaign which was the beneficiary of millions of dollars in independent expenditures from American Crossroads. (And yes, we still lost 51-49. Thanks for reminding me. Why don’t you just give me a nice paper cut and rub some lemon juice in it.) If there was any sort of “grand conspiracy” going on between these groups and the campaigns they invested in, we were never invited to the party. We found out about the American Crossroads investment from an article in the Wall Street Journal just like everyone else and they never contacted me about it.

The advertisements they ran were slick and well produced, but the expected dirty tricks and gutter politics which our opponent complained so bitterly of never materialized. They quoted facts and figures regarding the deficit, tax rates and votes our opponent had cast. If that’s what passes for dirty politics today, then there’s no such thing as a clean race left in America.

Still, none of that stopped our Democratic opponent from issuing public demands that we “denounce” the American Crossroads ads before the first one ever hit the airwaves. I’m not sure, but there may be a lesson in there for you somewhere.

It will be interesting to see what sort of ads come from this “counterweight” and how they stack up in the fair play department. Be sure to stay tuned to Hot Air during the next cycle, as I have no doubt we’ll be keeping you up to date on this group’s activities.


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Who’s going to contribute to this? The rich people who are going to get smacked in the face with the coming Obama tax increases?

Hope he can do it with small donors – he’s gonna have to.

Aside from Soros that is.

HondaV65 on November 23, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Still, none of that stopped our Democratic opponent from issuing public demands that we “denounce” the American Crossroads ads before the first one ever hit the airwaves. I’m not sure, but there may be a lesson in there for you somewhere.

American Crossroads was completely overrated. They didn’t do much to win these elections.

HondaV65 on November 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Thanks for reminding me. Why don’t you just give me a nice paper cut and rub some lemon juice in it

Princess Bride food fight!!!!

“He’s not dead. He’s only mostly dead.”

ncc770 on November 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM

… and so it begins… the first money salvos in the 2012 elections!!

Khun Joe on November 23, 2010 at 12:10 PM

americanbridge.com, americanbridge.org, and americanbridge.net are all taken. He’s going to have to buy one of these guys out. Wonder which one it will be?

unclesmrgol on November 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Why don’t you just give me a nice paper cut and rub some lemon juice in it.

Jazz, that was unfair! I respect you too much to rub lemon juice in your paper cut!

I’d definitely use lime juice.

stonemeister on November 23, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Who’s going to contribute to this? The rich people who are going to get smacked in the face with the coming Obama tax increases?

Do you really believe that the greatest capitalists in this country are trust fund families like the Waltons?

Yes, at some point you could see Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and many other great American entrepreneurial capitalists pour money into a left-leaning PAC. All of the above are generally apolitical Democrats, but if they believe that the system is tilting too far to the right, you never know what to expect.

Reform should require full disclosure of political contributors to these funds before our political system turns into an even bigger money-driven circus.

bayam on November 23, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Pledges are not the same as donations. I’m sure plenty of liberals pledged to make contributions out of anger and embarrassment from the “shellacking” Democrats just took in the mid-terms.

I don’t expect many of those pledges will come to fruition though.

ButterflyDragon on November 23, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Thanks for the link the Media Matters Jazz. It’s been a while since a looked around over there. First pick was a real whopper. Their “FACT” is a total non sequiter to the story they are “refuting”.

FNC commentator claim: Half of the tax filers that would be impacted by a non-renewal of tax cuts for $200/$250k earners are small businesses.

Media Matters “FACT”: 98% of small businesses make less than $250k.

Huh? That doesn’t refute the original claim. Both statement could be true.

Who reads that crap? You’d have to be pretty stupid to think a point is being made there.

forest on November 23, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I thought the commies outspent the right last election

I guess it’s the results that matter and the spin

Sonosam on November 23, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Jazz, go to that “Muslim” compound in Hancock… they will lurv you. :-}

TC@LeatherPenguin on November 23, 2010 at 12:45 PM

#1. Shockingly, there is no mention in the article that unions outspent all of the outside conservative groups.

#2. David Brock does not wipe his nose without prior written approval of George Soros.

motionview on November 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

but must regularly disclose its donors.

Yeah, like “Lovin U”, and “Hope Change”, and “Loving Ya”. And never mind those odd cents in the ‘pledge’. No indication of foreign money/exchange rates there.

GarandFan on November 23, 2010 at 2:09 PM

The Dems have been way ahead of us in terms of raising money via the web through anonymous donors. This campaign, the GOP caught up, and naturally the Dems are screaming about the unfairness of the tactics that they themselves founded.

hawksruleva on November 23, 2010 at 3:38 PM

he hopes will become a permanent liberal counterweight over the airwaves to the Republican-leaning outside groups that spent so heavily on this year’s midterm elections.

Golly, that sounds just like what Soros did when he set up and paid for “AirAmerica Radio”

DSchoen on November 23, 2010 at 3:47 PM

FNC commentator claim: Half of the tax filers that would be impacted by a non-renewal of tax cuts for $200/$250k earners are small businesses.

Media Matters “FACT”: 98% of small businesses make less than $250k.

Huh? That doesn’t refute the original claim. Both statement could be true.

Who reads that crap? You’d have to be pretty stupid to think a point is being made there.

Both statements are true. It depends on how you define the data. You know the old adage, “Figures lie and liars figure.”

The FNC figure uses the fact that many small business owners use Schedule C’s to report their income. These SB owners represent half of all reported income tax earners over $250K.

The Media Matters figure is based on using all Schedule C filers to represent “SB owners.” All the Pampered Chef, Silpada, eBayers, etc., representatives are counted as SB owners.

The FNC report is a proper representation of the affect that a 7% increase in taxes will have on SB owners in America. The MM statement is a deliberate distortion of the impact of the looming tax increase. They know that the average American will not do any research to dispute the statement.

RedinPDRM on November 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

The FNC report is a proper representation of the affect that a 7% increase in taxes will have on SB owners in America. The MM statement is a deliberate distortion of the impact of the looming tax increase. They know that the average American will not do any research to dispute the statement.
RedinPDRM on November 23, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Sounds like MM/Olbermann and all are going for a 2nd attempt to re-write reality.

Back in September MM/Olbermann tried to claim “S”- corps and “Small business” were one in the same, there not, that’s why one is called an “S”- corps and “Small business”.

“Small business” has a specific “IRS” definition.

To be classified as a small business it MUST have “less than $7 million in annual receipts for most non-manufacturing businesses”

“generally specifies a small business as having fewer than 500 employees for manufacturing businesses”

Obviously MM wants to claim “their” definition is correct despite the IRS laws/rules.

Schedule C filers are “sole” proprietor’s. There is no definition of Schedule C filers that says they are a “Small business”.

DSchoen on November 23, 2010 at 8:27 PM