…but alas, it won’t happen.
The Democratic National Committee has recently lent its voice to the false charges being laid against the Chamber of Commerce and American Crossroads, a group that Karl Rove is associated with. Spokesmen at the DNC and Crossroads are engaged in a war of words that started yesterday with DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse:
Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse is helping lead the Democratic charge against GOP groups like American Crossroads. He sent an email Thursday decrying the “growing and pernicious effects of secret, special interest money being used to determine the outcome of our elections.”
American Crossroads’ spokesman Jonathan Collegio replied today:
A spokesman for American Crossroads tells CNN that Woodhouse is being hypocritical, because before going to the DNC, Woodhouse ran a Democratic outside group called Americans United For Change, which accepted contributions without disclosing its donors.
American Crossroads is a 501(c)(4) group. And so was Americans United For Change. Along with CNN, Politico’s Ben Smith got this from Woodhouse:
The group I ran and the one Karl Rove runs may fall under the same area of the tax code, but that’s where the similarity ends. While Rove’s group has run dozens of political attack ads assailing candidates just in the past few weeks, Americans United in six years in business has never run a single such ad during the election season. Not once. Americans United was never under the jurisdiction of the Federal Elections Commission, but Rove’s group is because running political attack ads is all it does. And, Americans United would not have been subject to the Disclose Act, which we have supported and which Republicans blocked to benefit groups like Rove’s, because it doesn’t run political ads while Rove’s would have been. The two groups could not be more different.
I understand that Karl Rove and groups like his are taking on water on this issue and that he wants to drag others down into the mud with him, but he’s going have to find another pig to wrestle with. This dog don’t hunt.
Don’t you sense that smell of mendacity coming out of Woodhouse? He’s for the DISCLOSE Act (and against the First Amendment), and acknowledges his old group wouldn’t have been affected by it.
Smith’s got a 2007 AUC ad at his link, sent to him by Collegio, that attacked former Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN). CNN mentions this ad as well. And what does Woodhouse say?
Woodhouse insists that ad is very different from the ads American Crossroads is running this close to an election, calling for voters to throw out Democratic candidates.
Oh. I get it. It’s bad to run ads calling for voters to throw out Democratic candidates. Uh huh. But ads like the one Woodhouse’s group put out, ads calling for voters to throw out Republican candidates, are alright.
Woodhouse’s arguments don’t wash. Stuart Smalley Al Franken had already put his hat in the ring for the job to be a U.S. Senator from Minnesota, Coleman’s job, a few months before that AUC ad came out, so the ad was an attempt to convince voters to get Coleman out of that seat regardless of when the ad was released.
Smith has the appropriate conclusion:
The real difference: AUC never spent anything like the money that the Crossroads groups have.
Of course we’ll never know since AUC never disclosed its donor list, including any foreign donors that may have funded their ads.
Good job by Ben Smith and CNN.