When the smoke cleared at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in the wee hours of a Friday morning last July, 12 people were dead, 58 were injured and Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in New York, readying an assault of his own.
The campaign that Mr. Bloomberg and his “gun team” came up with in the hours and days after Aurora involved carpet-bombing Washington with millions from the mayor’s immense fortune and a media blitz that would be deployed following the next massacre.
“He was so frustrated by the lack of conversation around this issue … that he decided to force the conversation himself,” Howard Wolfson, deputy mayor for government affairs and communications, told Politicker.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a splash by endorsing President Barack Obama this afternoon, however the billionaire’s backing won’t come with any campaign cash from the mayor’s new super PAC. Sources familiar with Mayor Bloomberg’s plans told Politicker “his PAC is not going to be contributing to the president’s campaign.”
Americans for Prosperity, the activist group founded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, is taking its “Obama’s Failing Agenda” bus tour to New Jersey this week where it will help purchase gas for motorists at the Holland Tunnel to “draw attention to President Obama’s failing energy policies.” On Thursday, AFP will set up shop at an Exxon Station near the entrance to the tunnel where it will be reducing gas prices to $1.84 a gallon, which a press release for the event said is “the cost of gas four years ago right around the time President Obama took office.”
“Our event will help New Jerseyans get around this week and remind them of the need for sound energy policies that create jobs and lower our energy prices,” AFP New Jersey Director Steve Lonegan said in a press release announcing the promotion. “We will educate Americans on the most harmful aspects of President Obama’s big-government agenda, and help put grassroots pressure on politicians to turn away from these destructive policies.”
Special Ops OPSEC, one of the anti-Obama political action committees formed by ex-Navy SEALs that have been attacking President Barack Obama for inappropriately politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden has released a new ad slamming the White House’s response to the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month. The Obama administration has faced harsh criticism for allegedly ignoring security warnings ahead of the attacks and offering confusing, evolving explanations for the incident, which left four people dead including U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and two former Navy SEALs who were working as security contractors protecting diplomatic personnel. The ad specifically targets comments the president made referring to the Benghazi attack and other recent unrest in the Middle East as “bumps in the road.”
“President Obama wanted credit after our military killed Bin Laden. Highly classified secrets were leaked endangering real heroes and their families, but when terrorists kill SEALs and diplomats in Libya, this administration doesn’t tell the truth about what happened and the president says it’s just a bump in the road,” OPSEC president and former SEAL Scott Taylor says in the ad. “There is nothing acceptable about playing politics with national security and American lives. Aren’t some things more important than politics?”
Love & Marriage
CHARLOTTE, NC — Evangelist leader Gary Bauer told Politicker his pro-Romney super PAC, Campaign for American Values, won’t just be running one ad attacking President Barack Obama for supporting same sex marriage. Mr. Bauer says the “New Morning” ad is only running in North Carolina during the Democratic National Convention, but that commercial just the beginning of a larger campaign aimed at using the President’s position on gay marriage to drive votes to Mitt Romney in several crucial swing states.
“We plan on running that ad and others like it in a number of swing states,” said Mr. Bauer.
Love & Marriage
GASTONIA, NC — A super PAC with ties to evangelist leader Gary Bauer is trying frighten would-be Obama supporters in at least one Southern swing state by raising the specter of the President’s support for gay marriage. The “Campaign for American Values” has launched a pro-Mitt Romney television campaign with an ad warning viewers that ”Obama trying to force gay marriage on this country.”
In the commercial, which is entitled “New Morning,” a couple wakes up to coffee and the threat of legalized same sex marriage as they peruse the morning paper.
“Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country. That’s not the change I voted for. Marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s not the change I voted for,” one of them says,
“That’s not the change I voted for either,” the other agrees.
The ad closes with a narrator advising the couple to ward off this potential onslaught of married gay couples by voting “for someone with values” as the words “VOTE ROMNEY/RYAN” appear on the screen.
TAMPA, FL — It’s fitting that one of the most enduring images of the 2012 Republican National Convention was Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, since the main purpose of the confab was crowning Mitt Romney as the titular leader of the party, finally filling the seat of GOP power that has remained more or less vacant since John McCain was vanquished by President Barack Obama four years ago.
As the saying goes, when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die. After his defeat in 2008, Mr. McCain didn’t even bother joining the primary combatants vying to lead the elephant herd into battle against President Obama in this year’s race. His second, Sarah Palin, didn’t have a place in the primaries or at the convention in Tampa. Instead, she was banished to her Facebook page, where she railed against her overlords at Fox News for canceling all of her scheduled appearances, in which she’d hoped to take to the airwaves in praise of Mr. McCain on the night of his RNC cameo.
Like any coronation, last week’s convention was supposed to be a time for Mr. Romney’s fellow Republicans to rally around him and march into combat by his side. However, the ascent of the House of Romney was accomplished without the blessing of the conservative and libertarian factions of the party. As a result, Tampa became a theater for the sorts of behind-the-scenes drama, intrigue and power plays that so often accompany these matters of dynastic succession. Though ostensibly acting as standard bearers for Mr. Romney, the other lords of the GOP seemed to be more interested in plotting their own ascendancies four years from now than in following Mitt into battle against President Obama.
TAMPA, FL — Billionaire Republican megadonor David Koch, who, along with his brother, Charles, is pumping an estimated $400 million into this presidential campaign, talked to Politicker about the controversial level of influence major contributors have on American elections in an interview on the floor of the Republican National Convention a few moments ago.
“We have a free society and people are free to do what they want, you know, as long as they don’t hurt others and they obey the law,” Mr. Koch said. “So, I believe in free speech and if people want to spend money in politics or something else, it’s their right, nothing wrong with that. So, I endorse that.”
I Can't Go For That
TAMPA, FL — Last week, the Federal Election Commission officially recognized a Super PAC named after the 70′s and 80′s musical duo Hall & Oates, but the group apparently didn’t have the blessing of its namesake. Jonathan Wolfson, the manager of Daryl Hall and John Oates, sent the Politicker a statement this evening announcing that “Hall and Oates Fans For America” was dissolved because Mr. Hall and Mr. Oates had “concerns” about being associated with political fundraising.
“Representatives of Daryl Hall and John Oates have been in contact with the founders of the Hall and Oates Fans For America Super PAC and are pleased to report that the group’s concerns regarding the unauthorized use of their names for fundraising purposes by the Super PAC have been amicably resolved and that the Super PAC is being dissolved by the founders,” Mr. Wolfson said.
Mindy Meyer, the brash 22-year-old self-proclaimed “diva” running for State Senate in Brooklyn, told The Politicker she has nothing to do with a “Friendz of Mindy Meyer” “super PAC” that released a campaign web video and created a Facebook page on her behalf.
“That’s some scam because we never did that,” Ms. Meyer said.