09.28.2010 1

Front Page Report Slams Non-Profit Group in Veiled Effort to Undermine Republicans, Tea Party Activists

Non-profit advocacy groups that support private sector interests are operating by way of subterfuge and stealth to advance public policy measures that favor a select few, according to a front page piece that ran Sunday, September 26th.

Pejorative words like “cloak” and “hidden” are used in the headline to set the tone for a highly critical piece that probes into an organization called “Americans for Job Security” (AJS) based in the Washington, D.C. area. But the real targets are the tea party movement, the Republican Party and First Amendment freedoms.

AJS is supporting a referendum that would restrict the operations of a gold and copper mine located in Bristol Bay, Alaska. After the mine’s supporters filed a complaint, investigators concluded that the organization was set up to protect the indentity of wealthy activists, the report argues.

“With every election cycle comes a shadow army of benignly titled nonprofit groups like Americans for Job Security, devoted to politically charged `issue advocacy,’ much of it negative,” the report says. “But they are now being heard as never before — in this year of midterm discontent, Tea Party ferment and the first test of the Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited, and often anonymous, corporate political spending. Already they have spent more than $100 million — mostly for Republicans and more than twice as much as at this point four years ago. None have been more active than Americans for Job Security, which spent $6 million on ads during the primary season. This week, emboldened by the court ruling, the group paid close to $4 million more for ads directly attacking nine Democratic candidates for Congress. That made it among the first to abandon the old approach of running ads that stopped just short of explicitly urging voters to elect or reject individual candidates.”

The idea here is to shut down advocacy work that takes full advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United V. FEC decision earlier this year, which set aside previous restrictions on unions and corporations. It also serves as a not so subtle propaganda piece on behalf of the DISCLOSE Act that is now the subject of intense debate on Capitol Hill.

It would not be unreasonable for readers to ask if there is anything said or written here that could be improved upon by a Democratic consultant. It is very evident the report is crafted with an eye toward dismantling advocacy work that is at odds with a big government agenda.

Under the sub head — “Blurred Boundaries” — the Times suggests to readers that AJS is skirting the law by operating in close concert with Republican-leaning groups. Although the group has been the subject of complaints filed with the International Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Election Commission (FEC), there is no hard evidence presented here that demonstrates it violated campaign finance rules.

Additional allegations are also listed under the final section of the report entitled “A Hidden Hand in Alaska.” Here the Times comments on the results of its own public information request that sought to expose more of the group’s finances and connections. It also reports on legal settlement AJS reached with authorities in Alaska.

This is nothing more than veiled, indirect attempt to complicate Republican campaign efforts and to besmirch average Americans who are part of the tea party movement.

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau and the Executive Editor of TimesCheck.com.

Copyright © 2008-2021 Americans for Limited Government