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Obama Targeted 501c4s ‘Right And Left’ In 2008

From the August 2008 archives of the Politico:

Obama camp: Prosecute Simmons

August 26, 2008

Obama general counsel Bob Bauer today sent a second, sharper letter to the Justice Department, directly attacking the Dallas billionaire funding a harsh attack ad, Harold Simmons.

"We reiterate our request that the Department of Justice fulfill its commitment to take prompt action to investigate and to prosecute the American issues Project, and we further request that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute Howard (sic) Simmons for a knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits," he wrote.

He called the group’s activities "patently illegal."

The American Issues Project is a political action group organized as a 501(c)(4). During the 2008 Presidential elections it ran ads that accurately linked Barack Obama to Bill Ayers. Simmons provided some of the funding for AIP.

Bauer made the case that Simmons’ group fulfilling its a real nonprofit charter because it hasn’t spent any money on anything other than attacking Obama.

Unlike other Democrat 501c4s, like MoveOn.org and Media Matters.

The American Issues Project released a statement responding to the letter.

"Having failed in its attempts to get our legal, factual and fully-supported ad off the air, Barack Obama’s campaign now wants to put our donors in prison for exercising their right to free speech," said Ed Martin, the group’s president. "These over-the-top bullying tactics are reminiscent of the kind of censorship one would see in a Stalinist dictatorship, with the only difference being that those guys generally had to wait until they were in power to throw people who disagreed with them into jail."

It’s also reminiscent of Obama’s entire political career. (AKA, ‘the Chicago Way.’)

The group said its ad would continue to air through the end of the Democratic National Convention. Simmons has spent almost $3 million to air the ad, which can be seen on the group’s site…

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Bauer has called for criminal investigations and prosecutions into the donors to independent groups critical of Obama, including one supporting John Edwards and another supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton. His words did have the effect of scaring their donors and consultants, but haven’t yet appeared to result in any prosecution.

So it’s safe to say there is a longtime pattern here from Obama. And it isn’t even limited to conservatives.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Obama Targeted 501c4s ‘Right And Left’ In 2008”

  1. Noyzmakr says:


    Hell, It’s a quilt.

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