In recent election cycles, Democratic candidates have consistently outspent Republicans. In 2004, John Kerry spent more than George W. Bush. In the last weeks of the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama, the greatest money-machine in the history of American politics up to that time, reportedly outspent John McCain by five to one. Democrats boasted of their fundraising prowess, and Obama vowed to raise an unprecedented billion dollars for his reelection campaign.
But then things started to go awry. Obama’s policies have devastated the economy and convinced many millions of Americans that he has to go. Americans are voting with their wallets, supporting Mitt Romney’s campaign to the point that Romney is significantly outraising Obama at this stage of the campaign. Which has caused Democrats to go completely insane.
Democrats love both money and rich people, as long as the rich people are sending the money their way. Remember Barack Obama’s celebrity dinner with Anna Wintour and the actress whose name I can’t remember? But they can’t seem to get used to the idea that fundraising is a two-way street. So in recent days, they have intensified their attacks on Republican donors.
American Crossroads has run a number of very effective ads; not only that, it was co-founded by Karl Rove. So the Democrats hate it more than almost anything. Yesterday, a coalition of secret big-money liberal donors funded a march on American Crossroads’ Washington headquarters:
The Washington Free Beacon has the story:
Liberal protesters funded by secretive, big money non-profits marched to the headquarters of a conservative super PAC on Wednesday to protest the influence of secretive big money in politics.
Starting from a downtown Hilton in Washington, D.C., protesters marched more than a mile in sweltering heat before arriving at the headquarters of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the political group cofounded by Republican strategist Karl Rove.
The event was sponsored by such liberal groups as the Campaign for America’s Future, Rebuild the Dream, People for the American Way, Public Campaign, The Other 98%, Health Care for America Now, Alliance for Justice, Public Citizen, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
According to the event flyer, which included a picture of Karl Rove in an orange prison jumpsuit, the groups held a “march to indict” American Crossroads “for the crimes of trying to buy our elections and keep people from exercising their right to vote.”
This is the picture of Rove that was featured in the group’s flyer:
For reasons that I can’t fathom, the Democrats seem blind to their own hypocrisy:
“Here, groups are marching for donor disclosure, but many don’t disclose their own donors. Some are actually funded in part by SEIU, the dark money kingpin of the left which itself doesn’t disclose donors,” [said American Crossroads communications director Jonathan Collegio].
For example, the Campaign for America’s Future, which describes itself as “the strategy center for the progressive movement,” does not disclose its donors. It could not be reached for comment.
Billy Wimsatt, the partnerships director and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, was unsure if his organization released its donors. When asked if he knew who funded the group, he said, “That’s not my job.”
Rebuild the Dream was co-founded by former Obama green jobs czar and 9/11 Truther Van Jones, with help from the liberal activist group MoveOn. The organization was not available for comment to disclose its donors.
Jones’ other organization, Color of Change, does not reveal its sources of funding.
Barack Obama himself got into the act with this undignified tweet:
“Hell no” doesn’t offer much of a clue, but the link goes here, to a blog post by Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina. The post is, of course, a plea for money–Obama is obsessed with money–but the plea is remarkably dishonest:
Something big happened in Richmond last week—and a couple millionaires and billionaires are hoping you didn’t notice.
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed last week that groups like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS should have to disclose exactly who’s behind the millions of dollars they’re spending to influence this election.
Messina referred to a case called The Real Truth v. Federal Election Commission, which was decided by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 12. Messina’s description of the case is laughable. It never mentions the Koch brothers, or Americans for Prosperity, or Karl Rove, or Crossroads. It merely upholds a particular FEC regulation in the light of Citizens United, and therefore effects no change whatsoever in the law. Barack Obama and his advisers evidently believe that Obama’s donors are ill-informed, and will swallow the most implausible falsehoods.
This kind of nonsense has become a constant, hysterical theme of the Democrats’ campaigns. Thus, Matt Canter, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a press release that included a crazed attack on the Koch brothers:
Right wing special interest groups are at it again. This time it’s Americans for Prosperity – a shadowy group funded by Charles and David Koch, two controversial Republican oil tycoons who got rich violating a trade ban by doing business with Iran – who are launching a round of attack ads designed to prop up Republican Senate hopefuls in Missouri, Florida, Montana, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Virginia.
The Democrats have no shame whatsoever. Any smear that comes to hand, they are happy to fabricate or propagate. Koch Industries calmly rebutted Canter’s lie on its KochFacts site:
The comments made by DSCC Spokesperson Matt Canter on June 20 about Koch’s historical business in Iran are inaccurate, disingenuous, and hypocritical. As has been pointed out in the past, including on this site, Democrats in general and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in particular have for years accepted campaign contributions from companies that have done extensive business with Iran. That includes a major Fortune 500 company with longstanding business connections with Iran whose CEO is one of President Obama’s top supporters. A number of Democratic elected officials also are actively accepting contributions from companies doing business with Iran, such as Sen. Jon Tester and Mr. Canter’s former boss, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Indeed, among the top contributors to Senator Gillibrand are two entities that were fined for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Koch previously explained in detail the limited business that a foreign subsidiary of Koch did many years ago in Iran. This has been corroborated by multiple media outlets. The DSCC’s statement that Charles and David Koch “got rich violating a trade ban by doing business with Iran” is patently false. As previously explained, the foreign subsidiary at issue had in place protocols to ensure compliance with U.S. law concerning Iranian sanctions, and neither the thoroughly discredited Bloomberg Markets article nor the follow-up story by ABC News ever pointed to any violation of U.S. law. In fact, Bloomberg Markets conceded that it was not claiming Koch violated U.S. sanctions.
As we have explained previously, several years ago Koch voluntarily adopted a policy more restrictive than U.S. law that no Koch entity will do business in Iran. That policy remains in place today. Given that other companies and Democratic party contributors continued doing business with Iran at a much higher level and for a longer time period than Koch, Mr. Canter’s statements should be taken for the dishonest and shameful hypocrisy that they are. If he and the DSCC truly believe what he has said, then they should renounce those donations that they have accepted and refuse to accept any in the future.
Sadly, logic carries no weight with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee or with the Obama campaign.
Examples of the Democrats’ hysterical reactions to Republican fundraising can be multiplied on a daily basis. Here is just one more, from Jill Abramson, who, as managing editor of the New York Times, functions as a semi-official member of the Obama campaign. It, too, relates to the Koch brothers, whose names (like Karl Rove’s) Democrats bark like Tourette’s sufferers, thinking that if they smear them enough, it will somehow carry weight with voters, perhaps by distracting them from President Obama’s sorry record.
Speaking to a trade group on June 16, Ms. Abramson said:
I’m tremendously proud of the enterprise stories we’ve done [because] the Koch brothers may be the most important behind-the-scenes players in this election, especially considering Watergate history, an environment where there are giant, secret campaign contributions is ripe for even more investigations.
Watergate? Huh? Have the Koch brothers been carrying out burglaries? That would be a real scoop, one that would win the Times a Pulitzer! But of course the supposed analogy between the Kochs and Richard Nixon is sheer fantasy. Again, from KochFacts:
Abramson’s analogy is false, misleading, and ludicrous in several respects. Every contribution to a state or federal political campaign made by Koch or any other person or group must be disclosed to the government and publicly catalogued. Indeed, Koch scrupulously complies with all disclosure requirements, which the New York Times and other partisan media have used as a way to harass and attack us in the past.
There have been many commentators over the past few years who have blurred the distinction between constitutionally protected speech and campaign contributions. Considering that the Times has written more than 100 articles in the last year mentioning Koch, it’s surprising that Ms. Abramson is still confused about the distinction.
There’s little doubt, however, that Ms. Abramson differs with our long-held and publicly expressed views concerning economic freedom, individual liberty, and limited government, and journalism integrity. After all why single out Koch and not the many progressive advocacy groups that advocate concerning public policy issues using the same lawful approaches that Koch does? But to liken our efforts to Watergate, with no basis other than her own imagination, is yet another malicious and irresponsible attack by Ms. Abramson and her newspaper against Koch for exercising its First Amendment rights of free expression.
“Malicious” and “irresponsible” are apt descriptions of the New York Times.
What to make of the Democrats’ fevered attacks on those who contribute to Republican candidates and conservative causes? In part, of course, they are trying to motivate their own base, which naturally tends to be dispirited by the Obama administration’s record, to contribute more money. But the constant calls for disclosure of the names of donors to conservative groups, where such disclosure is not required by law and no such disclosure is made by liberal groups, is illuminating. No doubt the Democrats think that if they can somehow force such one-way disclosure, they may be able to deter conservatives from exercising their constitutional rights. The recent use of harassment techniques like “SWATing” by Democrats offers a clue to the sort of illegal conduct that they have in mind. Beyond that, however, it seems that the Democrats’ outpouring of hysteria is caused mainly by the perception that the 2012 election is slipping away from them.