New York Times: New Groups Form to Raise Millions for Democrats

Written by admin on April 16th, 2011

The Republicans and the Democrats begin their argument over which party is more hypocritical.

New York Times

“Outside groups have spent tens of millions of dollars on outright lies and misinformation about the benefits millions of Americans are already getting,” said Eddie Vale, who left his job at the A.F.L.-C.I.O. to become the spokesman for the new groups. “But they no longer have the playing field to themselves, and we’re going on offense.”

Both efforts will join three other groups — one, called the Majority PAC, will seek to defend Democratic senators against attacks and single out Republican senators for defeat.Two former White House officials — Bill Burton, who was a deputy press secretary, and Sean Sweeney, who worked for Rahm Emanuel, then the White House chief of staff — are putting the finishing touches on another group that will focus on financing ads on behalf of Mr. Obama. And American Bridge, a third group, will focus on the presidential campaign and other key races.

Together, the emerging list of Democratic groups suggests that party leaders have decided to join the somewhat unseemly search for unlimited sums of money from just about wherever they can find them.

During the last election cycle, Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders condemned the conservative groups for their refusal, in some cases, to disclose their donors. Now, some of the Democratic-leaning groups will accept the charge of hypocrisy and go after that kind of money themselves.

Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Mr. Rove’s group, Crossroads, said in a statement this month that Mr. Burton’s plans amounted to “stunning hypocrisy” since the White House attacked Crossroads for nondisclosure while Mr. Burton worked there.

“The Democrats have never had any integrity whatsoever on the nondisclosure issue,” Mr. Collegio said. “Burton has simply jumped into the hypocrite bin with Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, Bob Bauer, Brad Woodhouse, and other prominent W.H. and D.N.C. operatives who either ran, worked for or publicly supported nondisclosing groups before they were against them.”

Mr. Burton responded that “today is not the day Democrats are going to start taking cues from Karl Rove’s cronies on issues of integrity.” He declined to comment about the group he is forming with Mr. Sweeney.

A Democratic strategist familiar with Mr. Burton’s effort said that the name of the organization and the legal structure had yet to be determined. One possibility would be to form two related organizations — much like Crossroads does — one that has to disclose its donors and one that does not.


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