super PAC

United Liberty Owner Going Grassroots

pensive rand paul

Concerned American Voters is making waves as the new Super PAC on the block. Beyond filling a need in the Rand Paul campaign, it’s also gathering talent from all around the liberty movement. United Liberty’s own Martin Avila is joining the team as their Senior Tech Strategist - a generally unsurprising move since Avila did work for the Ron Paul 2008 campaign.

Avila will be joining Matt Kibbe, who is leaving FreedomWorks to join the newly formed Super PAC as their Senior Advisor. “Politics is more decentralized today and that makes insurgent candidates like Rand Paul more competitive,” Kibbe stated. “This is a big test for the liberty movement and I think our moment to deliver is now.”

As for the United Liberty family of writers, while Avila will be working with Concerned American Voters PAC, the UL site will continue to offer free thoughts on free markets and smaller government, even if the writers don’t happen to agree with the PAC. “I think we deserve all fair scrutiny just like any other organization,” Kibbe explained.

While Avila is not leaving UL behind, he also isn’t starting work with strangers. He and Kibbe have both worked together before, and with the PAC’s president, Jeff Frazee. Kibbe comes from FreedomWorks, Frazee comes from Young Americans for Liberty, and Avila has worked with both organizations.

Mother Jones: FreedomWorks isn’t a grassroots organization promoting Liberty…they really want to fight cancer

Tea Party Movement

Mother Jones, best described by Erick Erickson as a far-left magazine eager to destroy everyone on the right, just released another leak of “internal docs” relating to FreedomWorks’ challenging the organization’s billing as a grassroots outfit – then charging that they are bankrolled and run by big-money donors.

Mother Jones essentially claims FreedomWorks is astroturfing:

FreedomWorks, the national conservative group that helped launch the tea party movement, sells itself as a genuine grassroots operation, and for years it has battled accusations of “astroturfing”—posing as a populist organization while doing the bidding of big-money donors.

These are pretty common charges. During Tea Party protests in 2009 and 2010, leftists and the mainstream media frequently made charges of astroturfing. God forbid people actually be pissed off enough with Washington to actually take a stand.

Some of the comments on the Mother Jones article encapsulate their argument even further:

— “Good Lord this is scary. We must stay on top of these people.”

— “It all boils down to the money.”

Wait! It gets better:

Clint Eastwood returns in new ad for American Crossroads

Clint Eastwood

On the final day of the Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood turned his speech into a humorous, but also odd, conversation with “Barack Obama,” an empty chair on stage beside him. Eastwood overshadowed Mitt Romney’s night, but the “empty chair” reference to Obama was adopted by many Republicans and meme became a hit on social media sites.

While he hasn’t had huge role in Romney’s campaign, Eastwood is back on the political scene in a new, 30-second ad for American Crossroads, which is spending heavily in swing states. This particular ad is part of the pro-Romney super PAC’s $12.6 million ad buy across seven swing states.

Talking over video of closed manufacturing plant, presumably unemployed Americans, and containers with Chinese written on the side being unloaded off a cargo ship, Eastwood explains, “In the last few years, America has been knocked down. Twenty-three million can’t find full-time work. And we borrow $4 billion every single day, much of it from China.”

As the video cuts to President Obama getting on Air Force One, Eastwood says, “If someone doesn’t get the job done, you gotta hold ’em accountable,” adding, “Obama’s second term would be a rerun of the first an our country couldn’t survive that.”

Eastwood closes by pitching Romney, explaining, “There’s not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake.”

You can view the ad below:

Are Super PACs Good for Democracy?

See Video

Story behind anti-Romney ad falling apart

anti-Romney ad

The ad produce by PrioritiesUSA, a pro-Obama “super PAC” is still making waves. As explained yesterday, the ad features Joe Soptic, a steelworker who lost his job after Bain Capitol stepped in to stop the bleeding from the company’s financial losses in 2001. Soptic’s wife, Ilyona, died a few years later from lung cancer.

Soptic blames this on Mitt Romney, who founded the private investment firm. The only problem is that Romney didn’t have a hand in the day-to-day operations at Bain Capital at the time. Yes, he was still listed as CEO, but he had stepped away in 1999 to run the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. What’s more, Jonathan Lavine, a bundler for President Obama, was managing Bain Capital during the time at which the steel mill was closed.

While the pain of losing a loved one is indeed great, it doesn’t excuse the errors in the story Soptic is telling in this ad and elsewhere, including a separate ad and conference call for President Obama’s campaign (emphasis mine):

The ad features Joe Soptic, 62, of Missouri, who lost his job when GST Steel of Kansas City—owned by Bain and other investors for eight years—was closed. As melancholy music plays, Mr. Soptic says that when the plant closed, he and his family lost their health-care coverage and “a short time after that, my wife became ill.” Her illness was diagnosed five years later. “I don’t think Mitt Romney understands what he’s done to people’s lives by closing the plant,” Mr. Soptic says in the ad.

Obama campaign refuses to condemn anti-Romney ad

anti-Romney ad

On Tuesday, Priorities USA, a pro-Obama “super PAC,” launched an ad in which Joe Soptic claims that Mitt Romney killed is wife. The allegation has to do with Bain Capital, a private investment firm that Romney founded, bought the company for which Soptic worked. His job was bought out and his pension was cut. Because Soptic, who has promoted pro-union causes, had to take a new job where health insurance wasn’t offered to his wife, Ilyona.

While the ad is potentially damaging, it’s also very misleading; if not blatantly false considering that Romney left Bain in 1999 to run the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, though he remained its CEO “in name only” until 2002. From 1999 to 2002, Romney was preparing for the Olympics or campaigning to become Governor of Massachusetts, not overseeing the day-to-day aspects of Bain Capital.

Not only that, but CNN points out that Soptic’s spouse had health insurance through her employer, after her spouse lost his job, but was forced to quit in 2003 because of an injury. Unfortunately, she passed away from lung cancer in 2006.

But as Doug Mataconis notes, blaming Romney for the failure of Soptic’s employer isn’t just misguided, it’s flat wrong:

Mitt Romney Killed Your Wife

Hide your kids, hide your wife… Romney will kill them.

This is an actual ad from President Obama’s Priorities USA Super PAC:

If Lee Atwater was alive today, I doubt he could compete with this level of ugliness.

PayPal founder gives $1.7 million to Super PAC backing Ron Paul

While Newt Gingrich has Nate Adelson propping up his “Super PAC,” an organization supporting Ron Paul’s bid for the Republican nomination is getting some more love from PayPal founder Peter Thiel:

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel donated another $1.7 million in January to the super PAC supporting Ron Paul’s presidential bid, according to documents released Monday.

Thiel, a billionaire who runs the hedge fund Clarium Capital, has donated a total of $2.6 million to the pro-Paul group Endorse Liberty since it was founded on Dec. 20.

He’s the largest contributor to the super PAC, which reported bringing in $2.4 million in January in addition to its late December haul of $1 million, according to the reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Thiel has described his views as libertarian and has promoted libertarian causes in the past. And While I’m familiar with Revolution PAC, Endorse Liberty PAC is new to me. They don’t have a website from what I can tell, but they’ve put together a half-dozen web ads promoting Ron Paul’s candidacy and views.

Here’s Endorse Liberty PAC’s most recent ad:

Gingrich preparing scorched earth campaign against Romney

During his classless concession speech last evening, Newt Gingrich claimed that his campaign stayed positive, unlike others in the race. This has been a complaint in the last of couple weeks from Gingrich. During a TV interview yesterday, Gingrich called Romney a “liar,” a charge that stems from attack ads against him from a “super PAC” supporting Romney.

Reading between the lines from last night, Gingrich certainly seems ready to run a scorched earth campaign against Romney the rest of the way. It’s going to get nasty, folks:

After criticizing Romney for running a negative campaign and promising to stay positive, Gingrich appeared before supporters to criticize the former Massachusetts governor as someone who couldn’t bring change to Washington. He also planned to run television ads against Romney in the next three states to vote - New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

The former House speaker called Romney a “Massachusetts moderate who, in fact, is pretty good at managing the decay.” He said the ex-governor has “given no evidence in his years in Massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure.”
Gingrich’s planned a full-page ad in the New Hampshire Union Leader that was to appear as he touched down in the state early Wednesday. It labels Gingrich a “Bold Reagan Conservative” and Romney a “Timid Massachusetts Moderate.”

At least one pro-Gingrich super PAC also was getting into the mix.

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