Monday, February 20, 2006

A Swifty is Factchecked

Sometimes (please, not .com) can seem to lean so far right that they literally tip the planet and leave it spinning. While they may or may not be partisan against the left, they have been checking the right a lot more lately. I'll take what I can get.

Back during the election of 2004, John Kerry was "swiftboated" by an organization that claimed that aspects of his military service was bogus. Kerry was an officer on a fast patrol craft or "swift boat" back in Vietnam, and most of his dissenters were fellow swift boat personnel or Navy superiors. The outfit, "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," claimed a lot of things about Kerry (go do your own research as to the veracity of their claims) during the election and ran a series of commercials espousing their views on Kerry's service as well as wrote a book called Unfit for Command, a ditty of character assassination on Kerry. Oh, but one thing I should note...none of the main Swift Boat accusers served on Kerry's boat during the war, and the actual members of Kerry's boat during Vietnam campaigned for him during his bid to be president. Go figure that one out.

Whatever your feelings about Kerry as president (and believe me, I had some doubts, but a cheesestick would be better than our current prez), I find it incomprehensible that his fellow crew members, folks that actually served with him, would support him while those who did not directly serve with him would be so successful in their campaign against him. Oh well.

One of the crazy things about this organization is how they complained during the election that multi-billionaire George Soros was funding the liberal left's anti-Bush fever during the election. Now, to stir up the liberal-hatin' right again, the Swift Boat crowd is claiming that Soros has funded attack ads against embattled Texan Representative (and all around stand up dude /snort), Tom Delay. Well, according to Fact Check, Soros hasn't funded any anti-Delay ads, though he did fund back in 2004, a couple of organizations who recently ran anti-Delay ads and aren't under obligation by law to reveal who funded their current commercials. Oh my God, ain't that a crime?

Well, if it is, somebody better go and arrest a Swift Boat funder by the name of Bob Perry, cause guess what? Mr Perry was one of three major donors of the Swift Boat commercials that ran against Kerry and it was Perry who actually funded the current commercial that claims that Soros was behind earlier anti-Delay ads. Hmmm... I smell a pattern here. And it sure does stink.

Fact Check had a bit of trouble tracking down Perry's money. But I'm sure you'll hear about this group in the future. Here's what Fact Check says about the money trail:

Tracking down the source of this ad was something of a chore. The sponsor is the Free Enterprise Committee, a new group formed about the time the anti-DeLay ad hit the air in Texas. It is a so-called "527" political committee based in Washington, DC. It first registered with the Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 31 of this year. Its current registration form lists it as "connected" to the Free Enterprise Fund, an anti-tax group headed by New York merchant banker Mallory Factor. Its policy council is co-chaired by supply-side guru Arthur Laffer, former Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and MSNBC's pro-business crusader Lawrence Kudlow. The new committee has yet to file any disclosure of its income or expenses, and a spokesman for the Free Enterprise Fund declined to say who had paid for the DeLay ad.

However, as the Houston Chronicle was first to report over the weekend, we were able to confirm that the ad is being financed by a $200,000 donation from Houston homebuilder Bob Perry. As we reported in 2004, Perry was the main source of initial funding for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth at the time they launched their attack on the Vietnam War record of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

No comments: