September 13, 2004

Swifties for pay, not truth

Want to know the genesis of the Swift Boat Liars? Read this.

Founders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say the president's campaign never called the shots.

But since its founding in April, the group has taken on a range of Republican-affiliated paid consultants, including Ginsberg's law firm, a network of GOP political and media strategists, and TV-ad producers.


The group today claims to have raised $6.7 million from 53,000 people. Much of that comes from small contributors giving $100 or less, the group says.

"A grass-roots effort," spokesman Mike Russell calls it.

But a report the group filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission showed that big money from Texas Republicans continues to fuel a major part of the anti-Kerry effort. The report showed that T. Boone Pickens, a Dallas oilman and corporate-takeover specialist, gave $500,000, and that another Dallas oilman, Albert Huddleston, gave $100,000.


Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was registered with the IRS on April 23. Its early expenditures included money for a Dallas-area private investigator, Tom Rupprath. Hoffmann said Rupprath's job was to find vets and collect their stories so that a single account could be presented to the public.

"If everyone was saying something different it could be confusing. We wanted one version of the truth," Hoffmann said.


With money in hand, the group was able to bring on advisers led by Chris LaCivita, a political strategist and an expert in TV ads. LaCivita had worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2002. Last year, he became the executive director of PFA (Progress for America), a Republican-affiliated tax-exempt organization founded by Tony Feather, the political director of Bush's campaign in 2000.

LaCivita, who O'Neill said draws a $10,000-a-month retainer, declined an interview with Knight Ridder.

That's enlightening. The fee for attempted destruction of a political campaign and career is $120K a year. And isn't that coordination ("we wanted one version of the truth") slick.

The Republican party has no honor or integrity left, at least in its management. And those at the lower levels who nod and wink haven't much to be proud of either.

(Link found over at the former CalPundit).

Posted by Linkmeister at September 13, 2004 12:01 AM