The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a close second to the NRA for most nakedly power hungry lobby in Washington, D.C. But not content to wield power in our nation’s capital shilling for the interests of big business, the Chamber has decided that Washington State needs the wisdom of their powers of persuasion as well. Our friends at the Chamber have decided that Deborah Senn, Democratic candidate for attorney general is a bad person and dangerouly anti-business. So they surreptiously created a 527 here and poured big bucks into an anti-Senn advertising campaign.
People in Washington State have been wondering for weeks who was behind the sleazy TV ads that have been running regularly here. First, we started hearing that Republican operatives were directing the campaign. But we didn’t know where the money was coming from. Now we do.
In Senn tries to survive late ad blitz in race for attorney general, the Seattle Post Intelligencer revealed today that after the State went to court to force the Voter Education Project to reveal its list of donors, the Chamber’s role became known. Since the primary happened today, we won’t know the effect for a few hours. But you can be damn sure it rebounded against the Chamber and Mark Sidran, her opponent. Though Sidran wasn’t involved in the effort, I predict a decided sympathy vote for Senn that may hold over into the general election and hurt the Republican candidate’s chances as well.
It made me laugh when I heard that the Voter Education Project refused to release its donor names because it claimed it was running an issue oriented campaign and not specifically targeting a particular candidate. That’s the biggest load of crap I’ve heard since the last lie out of George Bush. The only candidate mentioned in the ads was Senn and believe me the things said about her were downright nasty.
And let’s spend a moment empathizing with the Chamber’s position on the ads:
Stan Anderson, the chamber’s chief legal counsel, characterized the dispute as a free-speech issue.
“We didn’t challenge this woman’s integrity,” Anderson said. “We talked about her record. We think we have the right to do that and we’re going to pursue our rights in litigation.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
Go right ahead. You won’t find much sympathy for that position here in Washington, my friend. We say hands off our elections. Let us decide without the outside intervention of big business lobbyists.
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