The big problem for Democrats, says Michael Isikoff, is that they’re just less competent at it. But is that true? Andrea Mitchell and Jeanne Cummings report that fundraising in the aggregate for Democrats exceeds that of the Republicans, and that they have more cash on hand now, too.
I guess we have an answer to the age-old question: If a liberal meme dies in a forest, will the media report it? Yes:
While President Obama and other Democrats have excoriated Republican “front groups” for using secret money to pay for attack ads, the party’s political committees have begun doing something similar: collecting cash from outside nonprofit groups that don’t disclose their contributors and using the money to pay for negative campaign commercials, campaign records show.
One group, Patriot Majority PAC — a Democratic political committee that has run a hard-hitting $1.7 million attack ad campaign against Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for Harry Reid’s Senate seat in Nevada — has gotten one of its largest donations, $250,000, from a left-leaning nonprofit that doesn’t release the names of any of its contributors, the records show.
Another newly formed political committee, America’s Families First Action Fund, which is running negative commercials against Republicans in House races across the country, recently got $1 million from a closely related nonprofit affiliate, the records show. Both organizations were set up over the summer by Democratic strategists, who emphasized in a memo to donors that contributions to the nonprofit could be kept anonymous.
These operations illustrate how Democrats have belatedly tried to mimic some of the same GOP money-raising tactics they have sharply criticized, exploiting a controversial Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that allows unlimited contribution to political committees from corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals. These donations can be kept concealed from the public if made to outside nonprofits, which can either run campaign ads directly or — as the Democratic groups are doing — make contributions to other political committees that run ads on their own.
“Belatedly”? Well, only if you don’t count the labor unions, I suppose, which flooded the zone in this election for Democrats as they did in 2008, 2006, 2004, and so on. The same practices that Democrats decried in this cycle were used by them in previous elections. Robert Gibbs helped run one of them in the 2004 election, targeting Howard Dean in the Democratic presidential primary, before serving as the chief mouthpiece at the White House attacking the practice in 2010.
What they tried to so was mimic the GOP’s success this cycle in doing so. And, according to Mitchell and Cummings, they succeeded:
“[W]e overlooked the fact that Democratic majorities have been building up war chests for the last year and a half.” They overlooked that fact, huh?