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Norton Attack Ads Funded by “Grow Our Party”

August 8, 2010

This week, in the last days before the primary election, two very similar attack ads from the Norton campaign arrived in our mailbox, hitting on the sexism theme and urging women to vote against Buck. Both were addressed to my wife, who was disgusted by them.

On close inspection, they turned out not to be from the Norton campaign at all, but rather from a new Republican fund-raising group from California called “Grow our Party” and headed by “a group of former campaign consultants and aides to Sen. John McCain” according to ABC News.

Very interesting. The same Jane Norton who repeatedly said John McCain did not ask her to run and the same campaign that has been criticizing the Buck campaign because independent 527 organizations have been supporting him is accepting the same kind of support. She is supported by money from an organization chaired by Bill Bloomfield, a California business man who has donated heavily to Arnold Schwarzenegger and who both raised money and recruited volunteers for McCain, according to Grow Our Party.

This is not the first PAC that is supporting Norton. Allison Sherry of the Denver Post reported Thursday that Jane Norton is getting $200,000 in advertising help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It would be easy to miss the fact that these fliers don’t come from the Norton campaign. Although funded from California, they are postmarked Grand Junction. the content is exactly what the Norton campaign has been saying and the fliers point to the same YouTube video. I’m not saying the PAC coordinated with the Norton campaign on the message–that would be illegal–but they are very close.

I want to emphasize that none of this support is wrong or illegal in any way. One of the outcomes of the 2002 campaign finance reform–known as McCain-Feingold after the sponsors–is that money has shifted away from parties and candidates to independent 527 and various 501c organizations. The Democrats figured this out early on; the Republicans are playing catch-up. The independence of these organizations is guaranteed. They are not allowed to coordinate with campaigns by that law.

The problem is that Norton’s campaign chair Josh Penry has been calling this “shady 527 money” while at the same time accepting it. I contributed to Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund. Is my money “shady?” Of course not. Penry’s taking advantage of the public’s general lack of understanding of the complexities of campaign finance to make his opponent look bad. All the while doing the very same thing.

Shameful. “Whoa!” indeed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie permalink
    August 8, 2010 3:13 pm

    Playing the sex card is as dumb as playing the race card. What a turn off.

  2. August 8, 2010 4:33 pm

    Penry has harmed himself greatly by running this type campaign for Jane Norton. Jane has tarnished herself greatly by going along with it. No matter the outcome on Tuesday, we will remember the behavior of both. There will be a price to pay for this.

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