Democrats say the Texas man behind ads that challenged 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s war record is using his money this year to try to influence the outcome of two Iowa campaigns.
Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, was targeted by the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” in 2004. This time around, Iowa Democrats Chet Culver and Leonard Boswell are among Democrats around the country who’re being targeted by the “Economic Freedom Fund” which is financed by the same Texas man who bankrolled the “Swift Boat” ads.
During an interview this afternoon with Radio Iowa, Kerry offered this advice to Culver and Boswell: “Expose who they are and show that it’s right-wing money…You’ve got to go at ’em, straight at ’em.”
According to published reports, Economic Freedom Fund patron Bob Perry has put $5 million into this year’s effort on behalf of Republican candidates around the country, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle and Jeff Lamberti, Congressman Boswell’s GOP challenger. Democrats charge that the group is running “negative” campaign ads and making phone calls trying to “scare” voters about Democrats like Boswell.
Radio Iowa left messages for managers of the Economic Freedom Fund two weeks ago but no one has responded.
Maria Comella, a spokesman for Republican Jim Nussle’s gubernatorial campaign, says they “were unaware and uninvolved” with the brochure the Economic Freedom Fund is distributing on Nussle’s behalf. But Comella says “it should come as no surprise that a third party group wants to speak out on the issues shaping the Iowa governor’s race since this campaign is one of the most competitive in the country.”