Stephanopoulos Uses Liberal Ad to Bash GOP and Sen. McConnell
CRITICAL UPDATE at end of post: AUC's founder and former president is now the communications director of the DNC.
On Sunday's "This Week," ABC's George Stephanopoulus played an advertisment created by a far-left political organization to bash the Republican Party and his guest Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Maybe even worse, the group responsible for this recent attack, Americans United for Change, targeted the Kentucky Senator for his position on the Iraq war back in March 2007.
As ABC's Chief Washington Correspondent, it seems hard to believe Stephanopoulos was ignorant of the political leanings of this group or its past opposition to his guest.
Regardless, after introducing McConnell, and allowing the Senate minority leader to offer his views concerning the 2010 budget recently proposed by President Obama, Stephanopoulos went on the attack himself:
Well Senator, there's a lot of criticism there, but no alternative. And the Democratic Party and the White House are going to make a real push to paint you as "The Just Say No Party." Look what the DNC has put up on their website. They have this clock showing that it's been sixteen days, 20 hours, and eighteen minutes and counting since you've had a budget. An outside group called Americans United for Change is putting out this ad this morning making the same point. Listen.
An outside group?
Here's how this "outside group" bills itself:
The chief mission of Americans United For Change for the next two years is to amplify the progressive message - to contribute to a grass roots groundswell for progressive policies. Progressives need to redefine "common sense" - by reasserting the primacy of the traditional progressive values that resonate with most Americans. We must define for the American people what Progressives stand for - both our policies and programs and our fundamental values.
Three years ago, FactCheck.org characterized this "outside group" as a "liberal, labor-funded" organization with many ties to the Democrat Party:
According to a Jan. 24 Associated Press story, the group has received $500,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a large labor union representing government workers. The AP also quote unnamed officials of Americans United as saying "Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California met with potential donors in Los Angeles earlier this month, underscoring their personal interest in the group's efforts ." The group's executive director Karen Olick had been chief of staff to Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.
Here's the actual AP report from 2006:
An organization with strong backing from the top Democrats in Congress intends to launch a costly election-year campaign to promote issues on the party's agenda, officials said Tuesday, beginning with a television commercial arguing it's "time for a change" after a season of political corruption.
Nice "outside group," George.
For the record, before McConnell was interviewed this morning, Stephanopoulos spoke with Larry Summers, the head of the White House's National Economic Council, for sixteen minutes. Unlike how McConnell was ambushed, there were no conservative ads played bashing the Administration's economic plans that Summers was asked to respond to.
I wonder why.
*****Update: Stephanopoulos's tangled web is even more interesting for the founder and former president of AUC is Brad Woodhouse who just became the communications director for the DNC. On Friday, the DNC announced the creation of the "Party of No" clock that Stephanopoulos mentioned in his interview with McConnell. Woodhouse was quoted in this press release.
Add it all up, and on Friday, the DNC started a new campaign against Congressional Republicans. On Sunday, Stephanopoulos not only referred to this campaign, but also played an anti-GOP ad created by the organization founded and formerly led by the new DNC communications director.
Think this is just a coincidence?