Feeds:
Inlägg
Kommentarer

Posts Tagged ‘Super PAC’

VAL 2016 | Som under alla valkampanjer har årets sin beskärda del av färgstarka politiska konsulter. En av dessa är Mike Murphy.

The Weekly Standard 29 mars- 4 april 2016

Right to Rise, som Murphy ansvarade för, var en välfinansierad Super-PAC som stödde Jeb Bush. Som mest samlade man in hela 118 miljoner dollar.

Matt Labash tecknar ett både roligt och intressant porträtt av Murphy i den konservativa tidskriften The Weekly Standard.

När Bush hoppade av var det också dags för Right to Rise att stänga butiken. Men Murphy är fortfarande stolt över att Bush inte nedlät sig till Donald Trumps nivå.

Han har en hel del att säga om valkampanjen och varför Right to Rise och Bush misslyckades. Och han är inte nådig när han talar om Trump och Ted Cruz.

Like all hired guns in his trade, he’s taken his share of mercenary money just for the check. But Murphy says when it comes to presidentials, he thinks it matters more and is a sucker for long shots. ”I have friends I believe in who want to run. I’m a romantic, so I keep falling for that pitch.” Jeb wasn’t exactly a long shot, I remind him. Like hell he wasn’t, says Murphy. It’s a hard slog, not being a Grievance Candidate this year. ”He was the guy who was handing out policy papers when Trump was handing out broken bottles.”

[…]

Even pre-campaign, however, when they were allowed to coordinate as Right to Rise was amassing its unprecedented war chest, well before Trump’s ascendancy, both knew that despite the media billing Bush the prohibitive favorite — a position they both detested — they were facing long odds. (The assumption was Ted Cruz would be occupying the anger-candidate slot that Trump has instead so ably filled.)

Murphy says Bush regarded this election as a necessary tussle between the politics of optimism and grievance. At a preseason dinner, Murphy gave Bush his best guess of their chances of winning — under 50 percent. ”He grinned,” Murphy says, ”and named an even lower number. I remember leaving the dinner with a mix of great pride in Jeb’s principled courage and with a sense of apprehension about the big headwinds we would face.” And though he’d also have told his friend, if he’d been allowed to speak to him, that he was proud of Jeb ”for fighting his corner,” ultimately, Murphy admits, ”there is no campaign trick or spending level or candidate whisperer that can prevent a party from committing political suicide if it wants to.”

[…]

Bush was incapable, Murphy says, of coming up with lines about ”electrifying the border” or ”cutting the index finger off of every Muslim-American so they can never reach a trigger. He would never do that. If Trump turns out to be the answer, I’m incredibly proud that Jeb Bush did not want to be any part of the vile question.”

The campaign, he admits, was rocked by Trump’s ”low-energy” label, which stuck and hurt Bush. It’s kind of rich, suggests Murphy, since Jeb was a famous workaholic as governor. ”If Trump kept up Jeb’s schedule for one day, he’d be in the hospital.” Trump’s low-energy charge, Murphy says, was ”code for ‘Jeb’s not furious at anybody.’ He doesn’t open a rally with ‘I want everybody to write down the name of any Mexican they know and put it in a bin because they are going to pay.’ It was all a code word for ‘civilized.’ Jeb was the anti-Trump in a Trump year. But being the anti-Trump is a huge badge of f — ing honor. I think you get that tattooed on your forehead: ‘I’m the anti-Trump.’ People will be congratulating him on that the rest of his life.”

[…]

But what especially irks him are critics (”the bumper sticker glue” crowd he calls them, as in outsiders who second-guess your campaign right down to the kind of glue used on the bumper stickers) acting as though it were Right to Rise’s duty to take out Trump.

Not only was Jeb taking swings at Trump last fall, back when the likes of Cruz and Rubio were gingerly padding around him, seemingly auditioning to be coat-check boys at one of Trump’s tremendous, amazing properties. But according to Right to Rise’s numbers, the super-PAC spent nearly 15 percent of their TV advertising on anti-Trump ads.

Yes, they went after others, including and especially Rubio, just as hard if not harder, spending 33.4 percent of their TV advertising on ”other candidate contrast ads.” But, Murphy reasons, even if they had successfully taken down Trump, Jeb wasn’t about to get Trump’s voters anyway. In essence, Murphy would have been using hard-won donor money to clear the field for competitors who stood a much better chance of picking off Jeb’s voters (Rubio), as well as Trump’s (Cruz).

Not to mention, nobody has figured out the secret sauce for taking down Trump. Several deep-pocketed PACs have thus far not managed to. Even Trump seems unable to stop Trump, though it sometimes feels as though he’s trying harder than anyone.

[…]

As for Cruz, Murphy does not TrusTed and has no plans to fall in line with the man shaping up to be the Establishment’s hold-your-nose-and-kiss-your-sister Trump alternative: ”I think he’s cynical, totally cynical. .  .  . I don’t think he could win a general election, so he’ll be wiped out. It’s a choice between Trump, who is terrible for the country, and Cruz, who is terrible for the party. He’s too smart for his act .  .  . and he’s probably pissed that a bigger con man showed up.”

Murphy does speak well of John Kasich, his choice of the leftovers. ”I like Kasich a lot. He’s the only grown-up running.” He wishes Kasich well, as he labors to stay above the Friars Club roast, to be substantive and constructively positive, to offer people hope. But Kasich, Murphy adds, has an impossibly tall order this year: ”He’s trying to start an opera club at a tractor pull.”

Läs mer: Rebecca Bergs ”Mike Murphy: The Man Selling Jeb! to America” på Real Clear Politics.

Tidskriftsomslag: The Weekly Standard, 28 mars-4 april 2016.

Read Full Post »

KAMPANJ | ”Stage” var den mest effektiva tv-reklamen under valrörelsen 2012. Detta enligt Ace Metrix, ett företag som analyserar reklam i tv.

Shorr, Johnson, Magnus producerade videon för Priorities USA, en pro-Obama Super PAC.

När Mitt Romney valde att inte besvara attacken gjorde man ett av sina stora strategiska misstag under valkampanjen.

Jane Mayer skriver i The New Yorker:

”I’m a big Frank Capra fan,” Saul Shorr, one of S.J.M.’s partners, said […]. “And in this campaign Romney was the Edward Arnold character, the wealthy authority figure in several of Capra’s films, like ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ and ‘Meet John Doe,’ who’s not looking out for the little guy.”

[…]

When ”Stage” first aired in Ohio and other battleground states, in June, ABC News called it ”the Brain ad that Romney should fear most.” And, on Election Night, Sarah Palin singled out S.J.M.’s ads as among Romney’s biggest problems in Ohio.

[…]

Andrea Johnson, another of the firm’s partners […], described the team’s approach. “We’re really trying to capture the person we work for, so that the ads feel authentic, and we often do that by telling stories,” she said. Because  the firm was working with a small budget compared with its opponents, Adam Magnus, a third partner, said, “we had to maximize our throw weight” and focus on only one theme-Bain Capital. Bill Burton, of Priorities USA, said that poll testing indicated that Romney’s Bain record had the potential to define not just his résumé but his character. Focus-group participants were angered by the idea that private-equity companies like Bain could profit while breaking promises to fund workers’ pensions and health-care plans.

[…]

By midsummer […] internal research showed that, in areas where S.J.M.’s ads aired, Obama had an eleven-point advantage over Romney in “trustworthiness,” compared with a five-point lead in places where the ads had not run. In October, an Ohio focus group showed that “Stage,” which by then hadn’t aired for a month and a half, was one of the few political ads that people remembered. Burton said, “Not answering those attacks was the biggest strategic mistake of the Romney campaign.”

Read Full Post »

VALSEGER | Barack Obama vann en ganska övertygande seger. Det såg jämt ut på pappret men den positiva trenden fanns där redan i början av valrörelsen.

Mitt Romney har gjort bra ifrån sig i många av de nationella opinionsundersökningarna. Problemet för Romney har varit att amerikanska val inte avgörs på nationell nivå utan genom elektorsröster i delstaterna.

Och i delstaterna har det hela tiden sett bättre ut för Obama om man granskat väljarundersökningarna på delstatsnivå.

Men kritiken mot Obama har varit omfattande under mandatperioden. Dålig ekonomi och hög arbetslöshet har förföljt presidenten under de fyra åren i Vita huset.

Till detta skall läggas kritiken att han under hela mandatperioden verkat lida av en oförmåga att kommunicera sin politik på ett klart och tydligt sätt. Irritationen har varit påtaglig bland anhängarna.

Det har varit en tydlig skillnad jämfört med valkampanjen 2008. I detta historisks val lyckades Obama entusiasmera och motivera väljargrupper som tidigare inte hade kunnat tänka sig rösta på en demokrat.

Men hur illa det än har sett ut för Obama har det varit än värre för Romney.

Så hur lyckades då Obama vinna valet trots alla politiska och ekonomiska motgångar?

Det är naturligtvis fortfarande för tidigt att dra några tvärsäkra slutsatser om vad som fällde det definitiva avgörandet i valet. Trots detta finns det en rad skillnader som redan nu sticker ut.

En lång nomineringsprocess för Romney innebar att han inte hade möjlighet att bygga upp sin kampanjorganisation runt om i landet i god tid innan Obama drog igång sin valkampanj.

En stark gräsrotsorganisation är a och o om valrörelsen skulle bli jämn. Obamakampanjen hade här ett försprång, både i storlek och omfattning, långt innan Romney ens hunnit vinna sitt partis presidentnominering.

Att vara ute i god tid innebar också att Obama tidigt lyckades definiera Romney i sina reklamkampanjer i TV och sociala medier.

En effektiv organisation gjorde det också möjligt för Obama att bearbeta viktiga väljargrupper som t.ex. kvinnor, svarta och latinos kontinuerligt.

Det är svårt att avgöra om Obamakampanjens verkligen var så teknologiskt överlägsna som många antagit. Mycket tyder snarare på att de två kampanjerna var ganska jämnspelta. Och när det är jämt vinner den kandidat vars kampanj hunnit finslipa sin teknik och strategi längst. Även här hade Obama ett försprång.

Något som tidigt oroade demokraterna var om man skulle lyckas matcha de pengar som man fruktade skulle rulla in till Romneykampanjen från officiellt oberoende s.k. super-PAC:s

Men det har visat sig att de båda sidorna nästan på öret lyckats samla in lika mycket pengar. Om man räknar samman kampanjkassorna och vad respektive partiorganisation och dessa super-PAC:s har haft att spendera finns det inte mycket som skiljer dem åt.

En konsekvens av Barack Obamas seger blir att republikanska partiet nu måste ta sig en funderare på hur man skall lyckas vinna tillbaka väljarnas förtroende. Om fyra år är det nämligen val igen.

Övrigt: Inlägget publiceras parallellt på Makthavare.se.

Read Full Post »

Information: American Crossroads är en super-PAC som leds av Karl Rove. Rove var en av president George W. Bushs strateger.

Read Full Post »

USA | Karl Rove har kallats George W. Bushs hjärna. Han är också hjärnan bakom Crossroads som är en av valets viktigaste organisationer.

De organisationer som av skattemässiga skäl i USA har beteckningen ”527” (s.k. super-PAC:s) eller ”501(c)(4)” kommer att inta en framträdande plats när man snart skriver historien om valrörelsen 2012.

Organisationerna får lagligen inte samordna sina aktiviteter med presidentkandidaternas egna kampanjorganisationer.

Men alla utgår i realiteten ifrån att det finns tysta strategiska överrenskommelser kring vilka politiska budskap organisationerna skall driva för att det skall gagna den egna favoriten i valet.

Dessutom kan dessa organisationer attackera motståndaren på ett sätt som knappast någon av kandidaterna skulle våga för att inte riskera att stötta bort väljare.

Och i år är det de organisationer som attackerar Barack Obama – och därmed indirekt gynnar Mitt Romney – som drar in mest pengar.

Men vad som ofta glöms bort när det rapporteras om organisationerna i media (inte minst i Sverige) är att det var liberala grupper, sympatiskt inställda till demokraterna, som drog igång vad som idag har blivit en gigantisk penningslukande verksamhet.

Paul M. Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek, skriver:

In the strange realm of campaign finance, the Internal Revenue Service classifies Crossroads GPS as a nonprofit, nonpolitical “social welfare” organization—a 501(c)(4) in tax code parlance—that does not have to identify its backers. Crossroads GPS channels money into “issue” advertisements, which implicitly, but not very subtly, attack Obama and other Democrats.

[…]

To maintain its supporters’ anonymity, a social welfare group like GPS must not have a “primary purpose” of a political nature, and it cannot coordinate strategy with candidates. In an election season, however, only a very naïve or obtuse viewer would miss the point of the organization’s prolific ads.

For conservative donors willing to reveal themselves, Rove designed a sister group, a “super PAC” called American Crossroads, which operates from the same offices as GPS, with some of the same executives, employees, copywriters, and consultants. It, too, is technically independent from the Romney campaign. Known as a 527, it does report its donors to the Federal Election Commission, and it can indulge less coyly in pushing Romney and other Republicans.

[…]

Back in the 2000s, Rove says in an e-mail interview, it was Democratic-leaning labor unions and liberal plutocrats such as hedge fund financier George Soros and insurance tycoon Peter Lewis who provoked the unlimited-outside-money boom. Whoever started the gonzo fundraising wars—and in 2010, the Supreme Court played an important, if misunderstood enabling role with Citizens United v. FEC—the Crossroads operation is way out in front this election cycle. Along with the billionaire Koch brothers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other conservative allies, the Crossroads-led offensive is collectively poised to spend more than $1 billion on the 2012 elections, according to Republican operatives. That’s roughly twice—repeat: twice—what Democrats expect to spend by means of their super PACs and social welfare groups.

[…]

It irritates Rove that Obama has succeeded in crafting the conventional wisdom on Citizens United. According to Obama’s account, a 5-4 conservative judicial pronouncement liberated a cabal of zillionaires and corporations to launch a hostile takeover of American politics.

[…]

“The left,” Rove notes, “pioneered the use of 527s and 501(c)(4)s years ago, spending millions of dollars to influence public opinion and the policy landscape, on issues spanning the environment to the Iraq War. Drawing on their example, Crossroads was being planned before Citizens United, and would exist with or without Citizens United.”

[…]

In 2004 a 527 called America Coming Together led a $200 million initiative, partly financed by Soros and Lewis, to unseat George W. Bush. One reason many forget this liberal financial surge is that it failed; Kerry, a diffident campaigner, lost by 34 electoral votes. Republicans, for their part, didn’t fully appreciate the advent of outside groups because they were lulled by Bush’s talent for gathering direct-contribution checks with the assistance of “bundlers,” the dedicated supporters and lobbyists who aggregate individual donations.

Rove and his consultant friend Ed Gillespie—now a paid senior adviser to the Romney campaign—had warned from the inception of McCain-Feingold that it would lead to problems for Republicans. Borrowing from the chorus of the classic Sonny Curtis song, Gillespie joked that as RNC chair for the 2004 election cycle, he “fought the law, but the law won.” In 2009, Rove and Gillespie decided it was time for Republicans to stop whining and turn the tables.

[…]

“It’s ironic,” he says, “that many of those who are squealing the loudest now [about Crossroads] are the same people who were mute when groups on the left were pioneering the use of 527s and 501(c)(4)s. … Liberals cheered then but are now quick to try and stop conservatives from using the techniques they used in the past.”

He and his acolytes are clearly enjoying themselves. This is something that Rove’s many psychoanalysts in the media and among Democrats seem to forget: He really loves the fight.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är Bloomberg Businessweek den 30 juli-5 agusti 2012.

Read Full Post »

KAMPANJ | Mitt Romney har haft det tufft den senaste tiden. Han har varit under ständig attack för sin tid i riskkapitalbolaget Bain Capital.

Parallellt har man också angripet honom för att han vägrar offentligöra alla sina deklarationer.

Kritiken är i och för sig inte ny. Vad som är nytt är att demokraterna verkar ha bestämt sig för att fokusera på Romneys tid i näringslivet.

Man skulle gissat att det var mer fruktbart att inrikta sig på hans ständiga byta av åsikter i olika sakfrågor. Listan över alla gånger han har flip-floppat är nämligen lång som en måndag.

I artikeln ”Can the Democrats Catch Up in the Super-PAC Game?” har Robert Draper beskrivit hur strategin har tagit form bland Barack Obamas allierade.

Bill Burton och Sean Sweeney har grundat en s.k. super PAC. Deras Priorities USA Action är en av de ledande på den demokratiska sidan.

Last December — specifically, on Pearl Harbor Day — Burton and Sweeney met with a few other Priorities advisers in the Dupont Circle office of the pollster Geoff Garin to decide just what their Romney story would be. They quickly discarded the Romney-as-flip-flopper leitmotif. To say that the Republican lacked a firm set of positions was to concede that he couldn’t be defined. Better, they concluded, to assert that Romney in fact possessed beliefs — very extreme ones.

Burton and his colleagues spent the early months of 2012 trying out the pitch that Romney was the most far-right presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It fell flat. The public did not view Romney as an extremist. For example, when Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed “ending Medicare as we know it” — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing. What became clear was that voters had almost no sense of Obama’s opponent. While conducting a different focus group — this one with non-college-educated Milwaukee voters on the eve of Wisconsin’s April 3 primary — Burton and Sweeney were surprised to learn that even after Romney had spent months campaigning, many in the group could not recognize his face, much less characterize his positions. Compounding the Republican nominee’s strangely persistent obscurity is that, as Garin told me, “Romney is not a natural politician in the sense of embracing opportunities to talk about himself.”

That left an opening for the Democrats to tell Romney’s story, and over the spring they figured out how to do so. Obama’s opponent was not an ideologue per se, the Priorities team decided, but instead someone who knows and cares only about wealthy Americans. Burton describes the distinction as “a top/bottom rather than left/right approach” — also known in Republican circles as class warfare.

The best explanatory tool for this narrative would prove to be Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. In this recasting of Romney’s self-described chief qualification to be president, the candidate may well be someone who understands how the economy works but cares only about making it work for rich guys like himself. As one participant in the Priorities focus groups told me, “Businessmen are often highly admired, but there’s no real template for somebody with Mitt Romney’s type of business experience getting embraced.”

Läs mer: ”Romney’s Midsummer Test ochStatus of Bain and Romney’s Tax Returns”. Båda av Mark Halperin på Time. ”After missteps, Romney adds to communication team” av Sam Youngman på Reuter. ”Democrats Pounce On Poll Showing Attacks On Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital Career Are Working” av Jon Ward, The Huffington Post.

Bild: Tidskriftsomslaget är The New York Times Magazine den 8 juli 2012.

Read Full Post »

USA | Sheldon Adelson har pumpat in 11 miljoner dollar till en super-PAC som stödjer Newt Gingrich. Och det är bara början.

Tills nu har han undvikit media. Steven Bertoni har dock lyckats få en eftertraktad intervju i senaste Forbes.

I den antyder han bl.a. att han kan tänka sig stödja Mitt Romney eller Rick Santorum om Gingrich inte skulle lyckas bli republikanernas presidentkandidat.

Sheldon Adelson plays as stubbornly in politics as he does in business. So the criticisms that he’s trying to personally buy the presidential election for Newt Gingrich are met with a roll of the eyes. “Those people are either jealous or professional critics,” Adelson tells me during his first interview since he and his wife began funneling $11 million, with another $10 million injection widely expected, into the former speaker’s super PAC, Winning Our Future. “They like to trash other people. It’s unfair that I’ve been treated unfair—but it doesn’t stop me. I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich.”

[…]

So with Gingrich looking increasingly unviable, does that mean he’ll throw his largess behind another candidate? “If Ron Paul is chosen I certainly wouldn’t do that.” […] I know Romney; I like him. I know Santorum; I like him. … The likelihood is that I’m going to be supportive of whoever the candidate is. I just haven’t decided that yet and will wait to see what happens.”

Whomever he supports, Adelson claims he won’t pay for mudslinging. “I don’t believe in negative campaigning. […] “Money is fungible, but you can’t take my money out of the total money you have and use it for negative campaigning.” Of course, that stance ignores the fact that an avalanche of negative ads against Romney won Gingrich South Carolina, and that Adelson’s $5 million injection was the dominant source of his funding. “That’s what everybody says, but that doesn’t mean it’s true,” the billionaire says, waving his hands dismissively. “Most of what’s been written about me in this is untrue.”

Övrigt: Läs Bertonis huvudartikel – ”The billion dollar bet – i Forbes. Se även en intervju med Bertoni med anledning av intervjun med Adelson. Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är Forbes den 12 mars 2012.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »