Just obtained the latest counterpunch from American Issues Project, the independent group running the ad about Bill Ayers that the Obama campaign doesn’t want you to see. (Embedded again at the end of this post. Keep passing it around.)
As I’ve pointed out repeatedly over the past few days, Obama’s attempt to bully TV stations airing the ad and stop scrutiny of his radical ties is part and parcel of a larger campaign to chill the free speech of conservative political activists and donors.
AIP sends the same message to the DOJ’s Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Keeney and turns the tables on the Chicago thugs:
Re: Response to August 25, 2008 Letter to DOJ from Obama Presidential Campaign (“Second Letter”)
Dear Mr. Keeney:
Yet again, the Obama for America campaign has sent a letter to you and your office, demanding now that the Department of Justice prosecute one of the donors to American Issues Project, Inc., (“AIP), a non-profit organization which is presently sponsoring advertisements to which the Obama campaign objects.
As stated in my letter sent in response to the Obama campaign’s first letter, AIP has not violated the law, is not violating the law and is taking every possible precaution to assure that it does not violate the law in the future.
The Obama campaign dislikes the content of AIP’s advertising – but is unable to contradict the facts contained in the ad. That is precisely why the ad is presently being broadcast by numerous television stations. It is accurate, documented, and truthful.
The Obama Campaign has specifically called on the Department of Justice to prosecute a donor to AIP, whose contribution was disclosed publicly in accordance with federal law. See 11 C.F.R. §109.10.
Information contained in AIP’s FEC Form 5, filed on August 19, 2006 was attached to the Obama Campaign’s Second Letter to DOJ and information contained in the filing forms the basis for the Obama Campaign’s latest demands of you and the Department.
The Obama Campaign’s request gives rise to a significant legal and constitutional question: that is, whether the Department of Justice would seriously undertake the prosecution of a citizen under pressure from a prominent government official / political candidate, relying on information contained in truthful and accurate government filing, disclosed in accordance with federal law. There are serious Fifth Amendment self-incrimination issues involved in a situation whereby a criminal prosecution could be ordered at will by political pressure on your Department based solely on a timely and accurate federal government disclosure.
AIP has sought and received the voluntary after-tax contributions of donor(s) to support its policy objectives, which happen to differ from those of the Obama Campaign. Rather than addressing the facts contained in the AIP advertisement, it has instead set about to “deal” with AIP through your Department.
This is, however, only the latest in a series of brazen public statements and efforts by liberal Democratic operatives and agents of the Obama Campaign to silence their critics and organizations with whom they disagree, by initiating what they acknowledge is a concerted national effort announced in recent weeks to intimidate, harass and otherwise bully conservative donors.
An organization calling itself “Accountable America” announced two weeks ago its intent to obtain publicly filed disclosures to attempt to coerce donors to conservative causes to stop making contributions and essentially threatening potential donors into not making contributions to conservative groups. Like the Obama Campaign, this group of operatives is using information obtained from legally mandated public disclosures to identify and target for their attack donors to conservative causes.
Of course, should the Department decide to yield to the pressure from the Obama Campaign and undertake its requested ‘investigations’ of donors to politically related conservative causes, the Department would necessarily be required to do so in an even-handed, non partisan and non-ideological approach. In that regard, the Department would be required to review all donors to all causes and political / policy organizations, whose contributions exceed $5,000 per calendar year to any such causes, the vast majority of which are donors to liberal causes, not conservative ones.
Based on calculations from the Center for Responsive Politics (www.crp.org ) the following are leftwing donors whose substantial contributions to political causes in the last three election cycles have consistently landed each of them on the top donors list and surely each of these donors warrant the Department’s review, scrutiny and prosecution, if the Obama Campaign standard is to be applied evenly:
2006: $ 3,542,500
2008 (to date) $ 4,650,000
2008 (to date) $ 4,850,000
2006: $ 1, 624,375
2008 (to date) $ 850,000
Herb and Marion Sandler:
2004: $13, 008, 459
2008 (to date) $1,243,000
2004: $ 3,580,200
2006: $ 1,042,000
2008 (to date) $ 883,000
2006: $ 1,331,293
2008 (to date): $ 300,000
2006: $ 1,271,313
2008: $ 604,054
The list is quite lengthy and this is but a partial list of those the Department would be obligated to pursue if it bows to the demands of the Obama Campaign to undertake investigations of wealthy donors making large contributions to political causes. The Obama Campaign should be aware that most of the donors on the list are individuals who consistently support left-wing, liberal and Democratic causes. And most of the donors listed above have made public statements regarding their intent to use their wealth to impact the outcome of federal elections should the Department need further evidence of their activities.
The letters from the Obama Campaign to you and your Department are a gross misuse of the power and prestige of that organization. However, because of the environment in which we function, it is important that AIP respond to the ongoing baseless allegations in the letter war now being waged against it by the Obama Campaign.
AIP has violated no provision of law. The donor(s) to AIP have violated no provision of law. However, if the Department of Justice decides to initiate investigations of donors to AIP and other conservative political and policy organizations, as well as the activities of citizens groups such as AIP, we will be prepared to counter such efforts with our list of targets and entities with which we disagree politically and philosophically for the Department to also investigate and prosecute.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Cleta Mitchell, Esq.
Counsel, American Issues Project
Here is the ad Barack Obama doesn’t want you to see. Pass it on.