Why Gingrich can rely on Democrats to pay for his campaign in Florida
One more sign Democrats are hoping Newt Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee for President: the key union for public employees are paying for deceptive anti-Romney ads in Florida, the site of the next GOP primary battle at the end of the month. With friends like these, does Newt Gingrich have to worry about lack of campaign funds and infrastructure in Florida?
Paul West of the LA Times reports:
For weeks, Mitt Romney has gotten off scot-free in Florida because his cash-starved GOP rivals lack the financial resources to attack him on TV.
Now a Democratic labor union is about to fill the void, attacking Romney's business record in a new ad, accusing him of what it calls "corporate greed" and linking him to Medicare fraud at a company where he once sat on the board of directors (see video below)
The ads are being paid for by AFSCME (Association Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) and they manipulate the facts to smear Romney.
In the anti-Romney ad, which begins airing Saturday, the male voiceover says that while Romney was a director of Damon Corp., a medical testing company acquired by Bain Capital in 1989, "the company was defrauding Medicare of millions." The ad goes on to point out that Romney profited handsomely from his investment in the suburban Boston company (which Bain, the private-equity firm Romney co-founded, sold several years later).
"Prosecutors called it corporate greed run amok," intones the narrator. "The company was fined $100 million. But Romney himself made a fortune." On the screen, a mock newspaper headline says that Romney "personally reaped $473,000." One of the signboards in the ad says that Damon committed "$25 million in Medicare fraud while Romney oversaw the company."
The scandal, which involved overbilling Medicare, did result in Damon paying a $119-million fine.
However, the ad doesn't tell the whole story. For one thing, and significantly, prosecutors never implicated Romney or anyone else from Bain in the fraud.
An eagle-eyed viewer -- or someone hitting the pause button on YouTube -- might catch a headline on the black-and-white screen that points out Romney profited from a firm "later tied to fraud" and that Damon was "fined after sale by Bain." Those nuances are (deliberately) lost on the average viewer.
One has to appreciate the level of skullduggery and dirty tricks being played to harm Romney. AFSCME is using the political slush fund that they have boasted help them elect Democrats to pay for these ads. This money is taxpayer money derived from the salaries of government workers. The union does not want Romney to be the nominee because they realize that he would be the only with a chance to beat Obama in November. They know a President Romney would look out for the taxpayers and bring these munificent benefits in line with those enjoyed by workers in the private sector.
AFSCME has vowed to spend $100 million on helping Obama win in 2012. The government workers union led all groups in independent election spending in 2010 and its head of political operations boasted that "we're the big dog."
They are spending one million dollars to run these ads in major markets in Florida. Isn't this rather early in the political season?
Actually it is a wise investment in Newt Gingrich and that should be a clarion call for Republicans to NOT support Gingrich. But many will not figure out the obvious conclusion or see the truth.
They want Gingrich to win the primary because they know he would not only go down in flames against Barack Obama; his defeat would also drag down the careers of many other Republicans across the nation and roll back the red tide that began in 2010. Former Speaker Gingrich may very well be responsible for bringing back his commercial co-star Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker of the House.
We can expect a lot more ads from Democratic Astroturf ("fake grassroots") groups and super-PAC groups to pay for Gingrich's campaign in Florida and other states. They may not own up to the Democratic ties and may just appear as some innocuous group but their agenda is clear: knock Romney out of contention.