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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, September 3, 2010

American Crossroads, RNC Woes,and Issue Ads

David Drucker reports at CQ Politics:
Now, as the DCCC and DSCC are looking to reap the benefits of an Obama-run DNC — which has budgeted $50 million for the fall campaign, including $30 million on field operations and a combined $20 million cash injection to the two Democratic campaign committees, Republicans are relying in large part on third-party groups such as American Crossroads, a 527 with two former GOP campaign committee strategists at the helm and a former RNC chairman on its board.

“I have not heard one GOP operative or staff member who thinks that the RNC will have a dime for them,” said one Republican operative working on a Senate race. “In fact, we are setting up our own Victory Operation with the thought that there won’t be any money there at the end.”

Firedoglake is critical:

You can see all four ads, backed by “American Crossroads,” the Rove/Ed Gillespie outfit designed mainly to attract donors who want no part of the RNC, here. Two of them attack sitting Senators, Harry Reid and Michael Bennet. But while the spots clearly are generic, attacking the stimulus package and various studies to fund ant research and the effects of cocaine on monkeys (This is on the “McCain principle” that any funding involving animals is necessary funny and therefore wasteful), at the end of the spots, a billboard comes up at the end requesting the viewer to call their Senator and tell them to “vote no on S.Amdt 4594.”

Surely, every viewer watching this ad will know exactly what S.Amdt. 4594 is all about. But in case you don’t, it happens to be the small business lending bill, scheduled for a vote when the Senate returns from recess on September 13.

Nowhere in this ad does it mention the small business lending bill, or small businesses in general. The line right above “vote no on S.Amdt 4594″ says “Nevada needs jobs, not more spending.” The small business lending bill, which is fully paid for, is designed to provide credit to small businesses so they can expand their operations. I don’t think it’s bound to be particularly effective, the Independent Community Bankers of America estimated that it would create 500,000 jobs.

You don’t have to believe them, but my central point is a bit different. This doesn’t come close to being an “issue ad,” in any reasonable sense of the term. Rove’s group is giving the impression of one to avoid disclosure and probably keep the tax-exempt status of Crossroads GPS, the umbrella organization supplying the ads.