American Future Fund getting involved in state legislative races

Cross-posted from Bleeding Heartland. The American Future Fund has been advertising in several competitive U.S. Senate races this year, so I thought the MyDD community would be interested to know that the group is also trying to influence state legislative races. Maybe they will expand into other states during the next election cycle.

On an unrelated note: you don't have to be from Iowa to enter Bleeding Heartland's election prediction contest.

The Des Moines-based American Future Fund is exploiting loopholes in rules governing political advocacy groups in order to run campaign advertising in targeted races without disclosing its donors.

The Des Moines Register provided the latest evidence in this article from Saturday's edition: "National group airs ads on Iowa House."

For background on the American Future Fund, a 510(c)4 organization "formed to provide Americans with a conservative and free market viewpoint," you can read this piece by Iowa Independent's Jason Hancock, this TPM Cafe story by Mrs. Panstreppon, or Paul Kiel's report for TPM Muckraker.

The American Future Fund is associated with heavy-hitters in the field of campaign advertising. Its media consultant is Larry McCarthy (creator of the 1988 Willie Horton ad), and its legal consultant is Ben Ginsberg (who was involved with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004).

Join me after the jump for more.

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More strange scheduling from the McCain-Palin campaign

The latest Iowa poll (from SUSA) shows Barack Obama leading John McCain 55 percent to 40 percent. Obama leads 48-46 among men and 61-34 among women. Most significantly, Obama is beating McCain by 40 points among the 32 percent of respondents who told Survey USA they've already voted.

Yet Sarah Palin is coming back to Iowa on Monday to headline a rally in Dubuque.

What's really weird is that Dubuque, along the Mississippi River across from Wisconsin and Illinois, is in the uncompetitive first Congressional district (Bruce Braley, D). It's far from the central and north-central population centers in the fourth district, where Becky Greenwald is challenging Tom Latham, and farther from the fifth district, where Rob Hubler is taking on Steve "10 worst" King.

Your guess is as good as mine.

While I have your attention, please kick in a few bucks to Becky Greenwald and Rob Hubler so they can run more tv ads during the final stretch. You can view Greenwald's final ad here and read the script here. Hubler's tv ad is here (scroll down past the text of the Des Moines Register's endorsement editorial). The Ames Progressive blog recently featured these races too.

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FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart Goes From Smearing Joe to Insulting Veterans

By now you've certainly seen at least one of Mario Diaz-Balart's baselesssmearsagainst Joe Garcia. You would think that if a sitting member of Congress is going to toss out what little integrity he has left, he would limit the mud-slinging to only his opponent. You'd be wrong about Diaz-Balart.

He's now sending his lobbyist/personal secretary/campaign manager to make personal smears against a decorated Iraq war veteran.

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FL-25: Mario Diaz-Balart - The Last Throes of a Desperate Incumbent

Yesterday, for the second time in three weeks, news organizations discredited Mario Diaz-Balart's attack ad as chock-full of lies. So how did he react?  Unbelievably, he launched his most egregious ad yet.

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How Blue will Oregon Be?: My Near-Final Predictions

With a week to go, it is time for me to really make some predictions about where the races will go this fall.  I will update them on November 4 but if I had to guess, what is below is what I think will happen.  The real question for Democrats, in summary, will be not will they increase their majority but by how much.

Cross-Posted from Loaded Orygun: http://www.loadedorygun.net/showDiary.do ?diaryId=1440

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