A major ad campaign sweeping the Internet is revealing who is most afraid of the spirited tea-party movement this election year.
Democrat operatives – using the same suite address for an attorney who represented the Democratic National Committee in an eligibility lawsuit against President Obama – have launched an ad campaign and website called TheTeaPartyIsOver.org to “prevent the tea party’s dangerous ideas from gaining legislative traction.”
In the wake of Scott Brown’s dramatic victory for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts, the energized national tea-party movement is targeting lawmakers deemed unresponsive to Americans. The anti-tea party website comes as Illinois will have its first-in-the-nation primaries Tuesday.
“Our strategy is simple. This movement is a fad,” the website states. “Some of their ideas include the belief that programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialistic and should never have been created in the first place and that President Obama is a socialist.”
The group’s ad, paid for and approved by the American Public Policy Committee, has appeared on numerous websites. It urges Americans to “reject the ideas of the tea party.”
“Other ideas include undermining the legitimacy of the federal government in favor of a radical rightwing form of state’s rights,” the website continues. “We need to prevent their dangerous ideas from gaining a legislative foothold. So our strategy is to spread the truth about their dangerous ideas and prevent their policies from taking root in America.”
Ads have also appeared on Facebook and Twitter, where the group asks tweeters, “Scared of the teabaggers’ crazy ideas?” and encourages them to visit the website.
The American Public Policy Committee shares an identical suite address with the Alliance for North Carolina; the Patriot Majority; and Sandler, Reiff & Young PC – the law firm of Joseph Sandler, general counsel to the Democratic National Committee who filed a motion to dismiss Philip Berg’s eligibility lawsuit against Obama and the DNC. Sandler is also former counsel to both MoveOn.org and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim group named an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist-finance case in U.S. history.
A message left with TheTeaPartyIsOver.org was not returned.
According to IRS records, the American Public Policy Committee is located at 300 M Street SE, Suite 1102, Washington, D.C., 20003.
According to IRS records, the American Public Policy Committee is located at 300 M Street SE, Suite 1102, Washington, D.C., 20003. The group is an independent political organization under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The following is a Google Maps image of the building where the suite is located.
Image of 300 M Street SE, Washington, D.C.
The committee lists Craig Varoga and George Rakis as directors. As of Jan 28, 2010, Steve Bouchard has been listed as director as well.
The following are brief biographies for each of the American Public Policy Committee’s directors:
Craig Varoga – Independent Strategies political strategist and campaign manager for former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s campaign for president. He ran the state-research program for the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election and is a former communications director for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. He is founder of the Patriot Majority and its affiliates: Patriot Majority West, Patriot Majority Midwest, Patriot Majority New Mexico and Patriot Majority for a Strong America. Patriot Majority and Patriot Majority West are the major 2010 contributors to the American Public Policy Committee. Varoga was a guest at a White House event in July 2009.
George Rakis – Political strategist who works for Independent Strategies. He served as political director of Democratic Governor’s Association from 2005 to 2006. He was campaign director for the Michigan Democratic Party. In 2004, Rakis became the regional political director for the Democratic National Committee.
Steve Bouchard – Political strategist who runs Bouchard Strategies and has worked for Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Gov. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio; former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla.; former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D-Neb.; and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton. Bouchard served as senior political adviser Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., ran Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in South Carolina and also worked as a campaign manager for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection/Repower America campaign.
TheTeaPartyIsOver.org specifically attacks Randy Hultgren, a Republican Illinois state senator and candidate for U.S. Congress from the 14th District; Arie Friedman, former military pilot and combat veteran of Desert Storm running for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 10th District; and David McAloon, television producer and business consultant running for U.S. Congress in Illinois’ 11th District. It provides telephone numbers and tells visitors to call Hultgren, Friedman and McAloon and tell then to “reject the dangerous ideas of the Tea Party.”
Anti-tea party ad urges Americans to “reject the ideas of the tea party”
With Illinois’ primaries tomorrow, some say the state’s primaries will be an early ballot test of the tea-party movement. Polls show Illinois voters say they are dissatisfied with the direction of the state and the country.
“Illinois is next,” Pat Brady, chairman of the state Republican Party, told the New York Times. “The political environment is worse here for Democrats than it was in Massachusetts.”
President Obama’s old Senate seat, the Illinois governorship and several House seats are targets this election year.
TheTeaPartyIsOver.org has connections to numerous unions, including the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, a major public-employee and health-care union.
In 2008, AFSCME publicly endorsed Obama, spent $50 million for “voter education” on his behalf and mobilized more than 40,000 volunteers to campaign for him.
The top two financial backers of the American Public Policy Committee this year are Varoga’s Patriot Majority West and Patriot Majority, predominantly funded by unions.
According to records, during the 2008 election cycle, AFSCME donated $5.8 million and SEIU gave $770,000 to Patriot Majority. Change to Win gave $500,000 and Teamsters Union donated an additional $250,000. United Food & Commercial Workers Union contributed $125,000, and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO donated $6,500 to the organization. In 2009, the group received $270,250 from SEIU.
WND reported when SEIU members appeared at national town-hall meetings in droves last year to support the administration’s health-care plans. Obama specifically called on some SEIU members who asked him non-compromising questions.
WND also reported when Obama boasted of his track record of working with the Illinois-based SEIU, helping it “build more and more power” promising to “paint the nation purple with SEIU.” He credited the SEIU with helping get elected to the U.S. Senate.
“SEIU, I’m glad you’re with me,” he declared. “Let’s together change the country.”