Sununu Front Group Attacks Shaheen in New Hampshire - 2008-07-09
As the 2008 election draws ever closer, New Hampshire voters will be seeing lots of political activity. Former Governor Jeanne Shaheen has been out talking to voters and running positive television ads describing the issues she will champion in the United States Senate, such as reducing gas prices, fixing the economy and brining our troops home from Iraq. Unfortunately, Republican operatives, hiding behind a front group named Americans for Job Security, have already spent over $250,000 attacking Shaheen on radio and in the mail, and they're employing the same sort of behavior that has prompted outrage among New Hampshire voters in the past. Shaheen is the top target for Republican attacks this year, and she'll need as much help as possible in responding: www.jeanneshaheen.org .
AJS is a non-profit organization that claims to be a trade association, yet according to a 2004 Washington Monthly story, it does not list its members. While political committees and candidates by law must disclose their contributors, groups like AJS pretend that they are engaging in "issues advocacy", educating the public. But a 2004 Texas Observer article (appropriate entitled "Meet the Attack Dogs") called AJS what it really is: "one of the nation's most vicious campaign hit teams, a secret outfit whose reach spreads all over the American political system. It specializes in attempted assassination of political careers under the guise of issue education...."
Furthermore, to qualify as an issues group, AJS must be independent of any campaign or candidate. Yet AJS has a long record of running attack ads in election years in states from Alaska to Texas to Minnesota to New Hampshire, and has a history of connections to the Sununu family and Republican politics. In 2002, for example, it ran over $1 million in anti-Shaheen ads. Its executive director at the time was longtime Sununu family confidante David Carney, who previously had run the draft Sununu effort. Benjamin Ginsburg, the attorney for the infamous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, served as legal counsel to AJS. Former NHGOP executive director Steve DeMaura currently runs AJS.