New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio…and Sherrod Brown is | February 21, 2008

I have to admit at the outset that I have been very cynical about this Presidential election cycle. On a personal level and on this blog I have looked for and spoken about/posted the downside of both Hilary and Barak. Devils advocate of you will. I was an ardent Kucinich backer because he came across to me as a man who wasn’t flinching while being battered in the eye of the storm. The video clips of Rep Kucinich reading his articles of impeachment into the Congressional Record ought to be required viewing for anyone who thinks they have a progressive bone in their body. He is, & that is including his known flaws, a real serious progressive.

Pundits on the right and left derided him, first as the boy Mayor of Cleveland and then, in this years campaign, because he said there was some legitimacy in the unexplained sighting of UFO’s . The democratic party in Ohio is freaked about him enough to be backing candidates who are running against him in his home district. But Dennis could never get the traction he needed, he was cut from the debates, read the writing on the wall and went back to his district to defend his seat, a crucial bulwark in the pantheon of corruption and special interests that is the US House of [Dis-] Representatives.

And then there was John Edwards, who I had supported for president in ’04. A good mass message, a populist free trade restrainer with working class roots. In the Main Stream Media even the friggin NY Times barely covered him until it nearly at the end of his campaign rope. He’s gone.

Which brings me to the “survivor’s”, Senator’s Obama and Clinton. Selling a message I haven’t been buying from either one of them.

Most of the antipathy I feel is toward the senator from NY. I’ve tried real hard to watch her and her opponent’s speeches on C-Span as much as I could. Did as much reading as time allowed. Never felt the fire. I end up thinking that the highest praise that seems to come from her compatriots is the she is a “good” Senator. She does what a Senator does to get things done, she triangulates. Not my idea of a president.

And then there’s the War in Iraq. Need I say more? WRONG!!…’nuff Said.

Which leave us with Barak Obama, who, I will acknowledge, gives a very good speech, an oration ripe with plenty of rousing applause lines. But he too has a problem when it comes to deeds and actions. Two points. Regardless of his stated early opposition to the War in Iraq Mr Obama has consistently voted for funding bills in the senate that have prolonged that disaster. And, just recently, both he and Senator Clinton failed to be present to vote on the FISA bill that the Bush and the Wingnut Association were so eager to ram right up the Constitution’s ass.

In the latter case both failed to take a stand on a crucial civil liberties issue and on the role, culpability and guilt of the giant telecom’s in violating those rights through their cooperation under the cover of extreme violation of the existing FISA statutes.

What are they afraid of? Can you read payoff into any absence of this foul failing to fulfill a responsible role as a progressive???

Even so, I have been moved by his speeches, and the message of hope that is projected by his campaign.I’m still very cynical, but, given a choice between hope and duckin’ ‘n weavin’…I have to choose hope.

Too bad I can’t say the same choice was made by Sherrod Brown.

New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio

February 20, 2008 9:33 AM

ABC News has learned that a group of Democratic politicos have set up a new independent 527 organization called the American Leadership Project (ALP) with the express purpose of helping Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, beat Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in Ohio, and possibly Texas and Pennsylvania as well.

Free from campaign finance rules, ALP will not be legally permitted to coordinate with the Clinton campaign, but it is clearly intended to help her.

The group is targeting through TV ads, mail, and phone communications white women under 50 in the Ohio area — specifically Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown, Charleston (WV), Wheeling- Steubenville, Zanesville, and Parkersburg (WV).

White men will also be a focus, and if there are any excess funds Latinos in Texas and middle class families in Pennsylvania will also be targeted.

ALP has developed three ads aimed at pushing the idea that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, is a talker and not a doer — the ads are called “If speeches could solve problems” — and they will contrast Obama and Clinton on issues of importance to middle class voters, such as the economy, health care, and the mortgage crisis.

“Our purpose is to encourage audiences to look beyond the campaign speeches and political rhetoric to specific proposals to address these core issues,” says an ALP mission statement obtained by ABC News.

The plan right now is for the TV ads to never actually mention Obama — rather, the statements about rhetoric vs. reality will go after him through implication, the contrast between Clinton and Obama already being so well-known.

Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic this morning first reported that a pro-Clinton 527 had been set up. Per Ambinder, the group is “canvassing Clinton donors for pledges of up to $100,000 in the hope of raising at least $10M by the end of next week…A Democrat who was briefed on the project said that Pennsylvania attorney William A. K. Titelman is leading the effort to solicit money. Titleman, who raised money for Gov. Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign, has not contributed money to Clinton. He did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment…A Clinton spokesman said he knew nothing about the 527.”

ALP is being run by the following people:

Jason Kinney, of California Strategies, LLC, a former senior communications advisor and chief speechwriter to former California Governor Gray Davis;

Mattis Goldman of SeaChange Media, a former ad maker for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, who works for . (Samples of Goldman’s ads can be seen HERE).

Erick Mullen, a political consultant with lots of Capitol Hill experience who has worked for the presidential campaigns of Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret.) in 2004 and former Sen. Bill Bradley, D-NJ, in 2000, as well as the successful 1998 Senate run of Chuck Schumer. (Mullen’s website is HERE).

Paul Rivera, founder of Britton Marcy, LLC, senior political adviser for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, and a Clinton- Gore White House advance staffer from 1994 through 1999.

Roger Salazar of Acosta|Salazar LLC, who worked in the Clinton White House from 1994-1999 as assistant press secretary, national spokesman for then-Sen. John Edwards’ 2004 presidential race, national spokesman and deputy press secretary the 2000 presidential campaign of Al Gore, and press secretary for Gov. Davis’ successful re-election.

The law firm representing the group is Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLC. Accounting and bookkeeping is being handled by Nancy Warren of the San

Francisco-based Warren & Associates LLC.

How does this play with the Senators comments to writer/editor Katrina vanden Heuvel in The Nation 02/11/2008:

Q: How are you approaching any endorsement decision?

I will not endorse before the Ohio primary. I’m weighing what my state does, that’s certainly part of it. Also, my conversations with both Barack and Hillary, and with Governor Sebelius calling for Barack, and with Bill Clinton calling for Hillary, and Dick Durbin – all the people who have called for them, in addition to talking directly with the candidates… [we] talk about trade, talk about a populist, progressive message in Ohio, talk about privatization and anti-privatization, and all the things they need to do around tax and trade policy.

Both of them are obviously significantly better than Bush Republicans, McCain. They’re close. I’ve talked to Barack a lot about his Patriot Corporation Act, which is not trade per se, but it’s certainly part of the economic package around globalization. The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts. Jan Schakowsky first came to me… I co-sponsored and worked on it with her in 2005 or 2006. And Barack has been a sponsor of it in the Senate. Hillary is not on it as of now, but those are the kinds of things I want to see them talk about and do and I am hopeful – and pretty much expect – that they will talk about those issues in Ohio.

Seems to me that this fits right into what the funk band Cameo called “talkin’ out the side of your neck…” Whassup Sherrod? Did you think no one read your interview on how to win in Ohio? Why are you not taking your own advice?

It always saddens me when one of my political heroes makes what is in my judgment a bad move. Endorsing Hillary at this late stage qualifies as a very bad move for the Ohio Senator.

Payback for her support in 2006 during his run against incumbent Mike DeWhine no doubt plays a big role. And, not being privy to insider stuff in the Senate, I would still have to assume there are alliances, and then there are alliances…some more costly than others.

My gut tells me that Hillary is going to get trounced in Ohio. Obama has won a string of primaries & caucuses, in several cases by two to one margins. MSNBC gave the raw data the other night in stark, vivid detail. Clinton has to win in Ohio and Texas by a margin of at least 65% just to stay even with Obama in delegates, an uphill battle at the very least.

Participating in what will almost certainly be viewed as political swift-boating is not something that is going to help polish Brown’s credentials as a populist and progressive. And, like his vote on the Military Commissions Act while still a US Rep earned him the ongoing enmity of progressive bloggers, this will likely have the same effect.

Regardless, I think we can expect to see Brown out on the public stump for Clinton.

Paybacks are [political] hell…

Reinforced maxim…trust, but verify, especially w/ MSM: The raw truth is:

New Pro-Clinton 527 to Ding Obama in Ohio…and Sherrod Brown is [Apparently] NOT involved


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