Federal Politics

Published — September 28, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Non-disclosing nonprofit spends $8.2 million anti-Obama ad

It’s still the economy, stupid

Introduction

Americans for Job Security, a conservative nonprofit organized as a trade association, reported that its ad “Running” cost $8.2 million, a significant figure considering the group’s total take in its 2010 fiscal year was $12 million, according to its most recent tax filing.

“Running,” released Wednesday, is the group’s first reported presidential ad of the election. It shows a mother jogging down the street as she says in the voiceover that she’s “running to forget” the bad economy, her husband’s layoffs and the national debt.

“The future is getting worse under (President Barack) Obama,” she says.

The ad is airing in six swing states.

Americans for Job Security is run by president Stephen Demaura, the former director of the New Hampshire State Republican Committee, out of an Alexandria, Va., office shared with the Republican media buying firm Crossroads Media, the Los Angeles Times discovered.

Crossroads Media was co-founded by former Americans for Job Security president Michael Dubke. Dubke is also a partner at Black Rock Consultancy, a GOP consultancy he co-founded with Carl Forti, the political director of super PAC American Crossroads and nonprofit Crossroads GPS.

Forti was Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s political director in 2008 and is co-founder of the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future.

Crossroads Media and McCarthy Hennings Media, the firm known for the infamous “Willie Horton” ad that contributed to the demise of Democratic presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis’s campaign in 1988, are behind Americans for Job Security’s new ad. Crossroads Media and McCarthy Hennings is also the primary team behind ads from Restore Our Future as well as American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

Because it is a nonprofit, Americans for Job Security is not required to publicly disclose its donors. This has led to complaints with the IRS and the Federal Election Commission.

Watchdog Public Citizen argued in 2008 that the group should lose its nonprofit status because it violated IRS rules by dedicating a substantial amount of time and money to election activities. Staff lawyers for the FEC later found “reason to believe” the group violated FEC rules by failing to register as a political committee and disclose its donors. Republican commissioners blocked any further action, according FactCheck.org.

Americans for Job Security was launched in 1997 with seed money from the American Insurance Association and the American Forest and Paper Association, according to National Public Radio.

Several donors have been revealed, including Americans for Limited Government, the Wellspring Committee and the Center to Protect Patients’ Rights, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. All three are nonprofits that don’t disclose donors. The Center to Protect Patients’ rights has funneled millions to conservative nonprofits.

Americans for Job Security describes itself as an “independent, bipartisan, pro-business issue advocacy organization,” but it spends almost entirely on ads opposing Democrats.

In other outside spending news:

  • Liberal hedge fund manager George Soros* announced he will give $1.5 million in contributions to pro-Democratic super PACs, including $1 million to the pro-Obama group Priorities USA Action, The New York Times reported Thursday. The remaining $500,000 will be split between Majority PAC and House Majority PAC, according to news reports, which are dedicated to electing Democrats to Congress.
  • Profanity alert: “Wake the F*** Up,” a new Web short, stars actor Samuel L. Jackson speaking in verse and teaming up with a young girl to rally her family behind Obama. The piece was produced by the super PAC Jewish Council for Research and Education, the same people who brought you “The Great Schlep,” starring comedian Sarah Silverman in 2008.
  • American Unity PAC, a Republican super PAC that supports equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, reported spending $518,000 against former Democratic Rep. Bill Foster in Illinois’ 11th District. Foster’s Republican opponent, Rep. Judy Biggert, has a history of supporting LGBT rights. American Unity PAC’s primary backer is hedge fund manager Paul Singer of Elliott Management, a fiscal conservative whose son is gay. The expenditure paid for the ad “Red Flag,” among other things.
  • Quantum of Easing,” a James Bond-styled web video from American Crossroads, opposes Obama. “Stamp” from its sister nonprofit Crossroads GPS opposes Rep. Tammy Baldwin, R-Wis., the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. The GPS ad buy cost $1.2 million.
  • The National Association of Realtors Congressional Fund, a super PAC, reported spending $423,000 in support of Reps. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., Michael Fitzpatrick, D-Pa., and Gary Miller, D-Calif. All three are on the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees housing issues.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported spending $2 million opposing the re-election of Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and $390,000 opposing former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate in the state.
  • House Majority PAC reported spending $2.1 million opposing Republican candidates for U.S. House in 13 districts.
  • AFSCME PEOPLE, the political action committee of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, released “Flight,” a television ad opposing Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, and “Carolyn,” a radio ad opposing Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. AFSCME the union reported spending $584,000 on its new radio ad “Donor” opposing Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn.
  • The nonprofit League of Conservation Voters spent $600,000 on the Western-themed “Congressman Canseco: What’s Wrong with Washington,” which attacks Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R-Texas.
  • SEIU COPE, the PAC of the Service Employees International Union, released “Wrong for Missouri,” attacking Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the state. Akin was also hit with a $494,000 TV ad buy from Women Vote!, the political action committee of the abortions rights group EMILY’s List.
  • Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative super PAC, reported spending $1 million on ads opposing Obama and supporting Romney. The group is backed by billionaire J. Joe Ricketts.
  • American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit, reported that it spent $694,000 on social media promotion for its ad “Promises,” released Tuesday.

*The Center for Public Integrity has received financial support from Soros’s Open Society Foundation. See the Center’s list of donors here.

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And PLEASE tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.