Organized interests and well-organized individuals endeavor to shape election-year debate at every stage of the process.
Photos | Ads | Pro-Bush/Anti-Kerry | Anti-Bush | Labor | By Subject | Primary Season | Endorsements
More Resources | Return to Main Interest Group Page

P R O - B U S H  (more >)
-Progress for America is a 501(c)(4) formed by Tony Feather in February 2001 that has gained some notice in the media.  (Feather served as political director for political director for Bush/Cheney 2000 and is now at Feather, Larson & Synhorst DCI).   On May 27, 2004, two weeks after the FEC put off a decision on 527s, the Progress for America Voter Fund, a new Section 527 organization was established as "a conservative issue advocacy organization dedicated to keeping the issue record straight on the campaign trail and serving as a 'Political Truth Squad.'"  President of PFA and PFA-VF is Brian McCabe.  PFA-VF's ad "Ashley's Story" was seen as one of the more effective ads of the campaign.  According to PFA, this was "the single most expensive TV advertisement buy among all organizations and all campaigns in 2004 ($16.7 million to run 29,875 spots)."

-Americans for a Better Country (ABC) is a Section 527 committee.  In a November 18, 2003 letter (PDF) to the Federal Election Commission seeking an Advisory Opinion, ABC requested answers to numerous questions in order ensure that its activities--and those of other Section 527s--comply with the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (McCain-Feingold).  The letter states "ABC wishes to engage in a variety of fundraising and political activities in the 2003-2004 election cycle, culminating in a massive voter mobilization effort emphasizing voter registration and get-out-the-vote ("GOTV") activities.  For both fundraising and political purposes, ABC wishes to state in a press release announcing its launch that its purpose is to reelect President Bush and defeat the Democratic nominee."  Statute requires the FEC to issue an opinion within 60 days.

-Let Freedom Ring, Inc.   Former Chester County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Colin A. Hanna announced on May 25, 2004 the formation of Let Freedom Ring, Inc. "to counter the millions of dollars being spent to attack and discredit President Bush by leftist organizations supported by billionaire George Soros, Hollywood liberals and others."  In the press release Hanna stated, "Let Freedom Ring will promote a positive political philosophy based upon respect for Constitutional principles, economic freedom and traditional values."  Let Freedom Ring announced a TV/radio commercial contest with an August 16, 2004 deadline; on September 1 the group announced ten winners from the nearly 100 spots entered.

A N T I - K E R R Y (more >)
-Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a special purpose PAC (527 organization), has as its mission "to provide solid factual information relating to Mr. Kerry's abbreviated tour of duty as a member of Coastal Division 14 and Coastal Division 11."  The group launched on May 4, 2004, holding a press conference to "examine Kerry's false charges of war crimes, to bring to the attention of the American People of Kerry's exaggeration of his military service and to demand that Kerry authorize release by the Defense Department of all records."  The group's  initial 60-second TV spot launched Aug. 5, 2004 in limited markets but generated a great deal of controversy.  On Sept. 29, 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth announced a merger with a group of American prisoners of war who were held captive by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War to form Swift Vets and POWs For Truth.  All told Swift Vets raised about $25 million and spent about $20 million on TV ads and direct mail in battleground states.   However, the FEC later found the Swift Vets had violated federal campaign finance laws and on Dec. 13, 2006 it announced the group had agreed to pay a civil penalty of $299,500.

-On July 23, 2004 the Committee for Justice (CFJ) rolled out its "Kerry's Scary" project "to call attention to the type of judiciary a President Kerry would appoint, and what effect it would have on the nation."  In a press release CFJ Chairman C. Boyden Grey stated, "Given the polarization between the two parties over judges' proper role as pioneers of law and social policy, or neutral arbiter of established law the Kerry's Scary' project is a light-hearted effort to call attention to the senator's judicial philosophy." 

-The November Fund is a 527 organization formed in Aug. 2004.  It is running a campaign, announced in an Aug. 24, 2004 news release, "dedicated to telling America the truth about trial lawyers, their efforts to stop legal reform, and the impact of the trial-lawyer lobby in Washington, D.C.."  Sen. John Edwards, the number two man on the Democratic ticket, is the major target of the campaign, which includes "The Truth About Trial Lawyers" website and TV ads.  Co-chairs are Bill Brock and Craig Fuller; director is Ken Rietz. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a major supporter.  On Sept. 22, 2004 Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the FEC charging that a major purpose of The November Fund is to influence the presidential election. is a 527 organization created by DC-based GOP political consultant Stephen Marks.  It claims to expose "the Real John Kerry With the Most Brutal, Hard-hitting Ads Ever Seen!"  The ads addressed the case of George Reissfelder, for whom Kerry, as a private attorney in 1982, obtained parole; remarks on crime that Kerry made at the Democratic National Convention; and Kerry's alliance with Al Sharpton. 

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.