DNC: Romney's Dirty Donors: One's a Problem, Four's a Pattern

After Swift Boat and Hitler Ad Ties, Romney Linked to Deceptive Push Polls

Apr 11, 2007, 01:00 ET from Democratic National Committee

    WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was
 issued today by the Democratic National Committee:
     Add one more to smooth talking Mitt Romney's growing list of dirty
 donors. In addition to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth backers Bob Perry and
 Sam Fox and Romney national finance chair John Rakolta, who backed a group
 responsible for a Michigan ad comparing Democrats to Hitler, a new report
 reveals that Romney's new Ohio finance chair contributed close to half a
 million dollars to a group responsible for deceptive push polls in six
 states last year.
     Last month, the Romney campaign announced that S. Craig Lindner "will
 be co-chair of Romney's Ohio fundraising effort." [Cincinnatienquirer.com,
 3/28/07] Today, a report by the Campaign Finance Institute revealed that
 Linder donated $479,224 to Common Sense Ohio, which was responsible for
 $827,000 in deceptive ads and push polls in seven states during the 2006
 elections. [Openers, Cleveland Plain Dealer blog, 4/11/07] The last minute
 calls funded by Common Sense Ohio distorted the records of Democratic
 candidates like Ted Strickland in Ohio, Ben Cardin in Maryland, Harold Ford
 in Tennessee, and Jon Tester in Montana. [New York Times, 11/6/06]
     Of course, Romney's connection to Common Sense Ohio isn't completely
 new. Under Romney's leadership, the Republican Governors Association gave
 $70,000 to Common Sense Ohio. [Plain Dealer, 9/30/06]
     "Days ahead of this weekends fundraising reporting deadline, the voters
 are getting a clear picture of where Mitt Romney's dirty money is coming
 from," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "The
 fact that his biggest backers are responsible for some of the most divisive
 and disgusting campaign tactics in generations shows that Mitt Romney's
 smooth talk about ending divisiveness in Washington is just another part of
 his campaign to say whatever he thinks the voters want to hear."
                           Mitt Romney's Dirty Donors
     S. Craig Lindner "Will Be Co-Chair Of Romney's Ohio Fundraising Effort."
     "Romney's campaign announced Wednesday that S. Craig Lindner,
 co-president of American Financial Group and CEO of Great American
 Financial Resources, will be co-chair of Romney's Ohio fundraising effort,
 along with Ames Travel Service president Nancy Donovan. Not terribly
 surprising, since Lindner hosted a fundraising event for Romney at his
 Indian Hill home earlier this month. The pater familias, Carl H. Lindner
 Jr., will serve as the honorary co-chair of the Ohio finance committee and
 the co-chair of the national finance committee." [Cincinnatienquirer.com,
     Carl Lindner Donated $479,224 To Common Sense Ohio.
     "A new report on political soft money from the Campaign Finance
 Institute fingers American Financial Group Chairman Carl Lindner of
 Cincinnati and Massachusetts abortion foe Raymond Ruddy as the rich guys
 who financed $827,000 worth of ads that Common Sense Ohio ran during the
 2006 elections." [Openers, Cleveland Plain Dealer blog, 4/11/07] Lindner's
 contributions to Common Sense Ohio totaled $479,224. [Campaign Finance
 Institute, 4/11/07]
     Common Sense Ohio Spent $827,000 On Deceptive Push Polls and Ads in
 Seven States.
     According to the Campaign Finance Institute, Common Sense Ohio was
 responsible for $827,000 in deceptive ads and push polls in Ohio, Missouri,
 Rhode Island, Maryland, Tennessee, South Dakota and Montana. [Openers,
 Cleveland Plain Dealer blog, 4/11/07] "Common Sense Ohio was formed in July
 to run issue advertisements in the governor's race there, and it became
 involved in the Senate races in Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Ohio and
 Tennessee, and in the abortion referendum in South Dakota." [New York
 Times, 11/6/06]
     Critics Blast Deceptive Push Polls.
     "But critics say the automated calls are a twist on push polls -- a
 campaign tactic that is often criticized as deceptive because it involves
 calling potential voters under the guise of measuring public opinion, while
 the real intent is to change opinions with questions that push people in
 one direction or the other. The calls have set off a furor in the closing
 days of a campaign in which control of Congress hinges on a handful of
 races. Andrew Kohut, a longtime pollster and the president of the Pew
 Research Center in Washington, said the automated calling 'smells like a
 push poll, it feels like a push poll, so I guess we have to call it a push
 poll.'" [New York Times, 11/6/06]
     Romney's RGA Gave $70,000 to Common Sense Ohio.
     The RGA gave a $70,000 contribution to Common Sense Ohio, a group
 funded and run by Ken Blackwell supporters. [Plain Dealer, 9/30/06]
     RGA Affiliate Linked to Donations to Common Sense Ohio.
     "Common Sense Ohio is a nonprofit advocacy organization and is financed
 by wealthy Republican donors. A sister organization, Common Sense 2006, has
 received a donation from the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee,
 an affiliate of the Republican Governors Association. Under federal law,
 the groups are not required to disclose their donors publicly or reveal how
 much money they have raised." [New York Times, 11/6/06]
     Romney Backer Sam Fox Gave $50,000 to Swift Boat Veterans For Truth,
 $100,000 to Mitt Romney PAC.
     The Bush Administration withdrew the nomination of Sam Fax to be
 ambassador to Belgium after it was revealed that Fox contributed $50,000 to
 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004. [AP, 3/28/07]. Fox also contributed
 $100,000 to Romney's PAC in Iowa and hosted a Romney political retreat in
 Alaska. [BostonGlobe.com, 7/20/06; AP, 9/1/06]
     Fox Refused to Apologize for SBVT Contributions.
     Fox replied that he considers Kerry a hero. But he refused to call the
 contribution a mistake. When questioned about his SBVT donations, Fox
 responded, "When I'm asked, I just generally give." Fox did not back down
 in a series of written responses to Kerry since the hearing. [Associated
 Press, 3/28/07]
     Swift Boat Money Man Bob Perry Signed to Romney's Texas Fundraising
     Bob Perry, a Texas homebuilder and one of the primary funders of the
 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has signed on to raise money for the
 presidential campaign of former Governor Mitt Romney. An invite to the
 Dallas fundraiser for Romney on March 26 includes Perry's name as a member
 of the governor's 'Texas Leadership Team.' [The Fix, Washington Post,
     Bob Perry Was Chief Backer of Swift Boat Group, Gave $4.5 Million.
     Bob Perry, who owns Houston-based builder Perry Homes, is a Republican
 Party financial donor who gained notoriety as the chief financial backer of
 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose ads criticized the Vietnam War record
 of Senator John F. Kerry. [Washington Post, 8/9/05] Perry gave $4.5 million
 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's campaign in 2004 to distort John Kerry's
 military record. [Washington Post, 3/17/07]
     Bush Friend Bankrolled Anti-Kerry Vet Group During Campaign.
     IRS records show that the Texas Anti-Kerry group is being bankrolled by
 Bob Perry, a good friend of George Bush & Karl Rove. Perry is one of the
 largest Republican donors in Texas, having given hundreds of thousands of
 dollars in campaign contributions to state and national Republican parties,
 local and federal Republican candidates and President Bush's campaign. [IRS
 records, 4/23/04-6/30/04]
     Bob Perry's Massive Contributions a Corrosive Force in Politics.
     "Critics say the 71-year-old donor has introduced a level of giving
 that is corrosive in politics." [AP, 11/2/03]
     Perry is top Donor to College Republican Club Criticized for Racist,
 Anti- Immigrant Activities. Having given $200,000 on October 24, 2006, Bob
 Perry is the fourth largest donor to the College Republicans 527
 organization. The group has come under fire lately for sponsoring
 activities including:
     -- Offering a dinner for two at a local Mexican restaurant for the winner
        of a 'food stamp drawing' that required climbing through a hole in a
        chain link fence and offering fake identification.
     -- Sponsoring a game called 'Catch the Illegal Immigrant.' Under the
        game's rules, according to one student Republican, players were to
        search on campus for the student chosen to wear a name tag saying
        'illegal immigrant.' [New York Times, 2/23/07]
     -- Advocating events like 'Fun with Guns,' in which young Republicans
        would use a BB gun or paintball gun to shoot cardboard cut-outs of
        Democratic leaders such as Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. John
        Kerry (D-Mass.)" [The Michigan Daily, 9/12/06]
     John Rakolta Named as National Finance Co-Chair for the Romney Campaign.
     Romney named John Rakolta, Jr., as his National Finance Co-Chair.
 Rakolta also serves on Romney's Florida statewide Finance Steering
 Committee. [Romney Press Release, 2/22/07; Associated Press, 1/5/07; Boston
 Globe, 9/24/05]
     Rakolta Family Gave Voice the Vote One-Third Its Total Budget.
     Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo solicited contributions from
 the families of John Rakolta and Peter Cummings to fund Voice the Vote
 political action committee. John Rakolta and his wife each donated $5,000
 to Voice the Vote. The $10,000 Rakolta and his wife gave Voice the Vote
 accounts for more than one-third of the $29,000 the group raised. [Detroit
 Free Press, 3/15/07]
     Voice the Vote PAC Produced Ad Comparing Democrats to Adolf Hitler.
     In 2006, the Detroit-based political action committee Voice the Vote
 ran an ad in the Michigan Chronicle newspaper that featured photographs of
 Hitler alongside Governor Granholm and five former Democratic presidents.
 [Detroit Free Press, 3/15/07]
     Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,
 http://www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any
 candidate or candidate's committee

SOURCE Democratic National Committee