MoveOn’s Dubious Figures on Senate Race Spending by Conservatives

Liberals seem constitutionally incapable of dropping their tedious “the people versus the powerful” class-warfare motif when attacking conservatives. MoveOn.org’s latest fundraising email makes the unlikely claim that “[r]ight-wing groups have spent over $23 million in Senate races compared to just $3.3 million by progressive groups.” Here is the letter:

Dear MoveOn member,

We’re just 26 days away from Election Day and Republicans are throwing elbows. Right-wing groups funded by ultra-conservative billionaires and oil companies are spending millions to attack Democrats.

Conservative groups are actually spending more in Senate and House races than they are to stop Barack Obama from winning the White House.

We shouldn’t give a single inch. No way. We can beat them back this year just like in 2006.

We’ve identified three candidates who need help right now, including Mark Begich, who’s running for Senate in Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska. Can you take a minute to chip in $25 to help these candidates out?

[LINK]

Right-wing groups have spent over $23 million in Senate races compared to just $3.3 million by progressive groups.

The group Freedom’s Watch, funded by casino mogul billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has even drawn calls for investigations for allegedly breaking the law. But they’re still on the march—spending millions in key Senate races.

These three candidates need our help to fight back:

Mark Begich: Begich is running in Sarah Palin’s home state of Alaska. Begich has a really strong shot at winning a Republican-held Senate seat. He’s the mayor of Alaska’s largest city—Anchorage—and his opponent, Ted Stevens, was indicted on corruption charges in July. A big part of Begich’s issue agenda is ethics reform. Begich supports health care reform, renewable energy investments, ending the war in Iraq, and opposes privatization of Social Security.
Kay Hagan: After five terms in the North Carolina State Senate, Kay Hagan is ready to move on to the U.S. Senate. But first, she has to beat Sen. Elizabeth Dole this fall. Hagan has led the fight for children’s healthcare and she wants to tackle the climate crisis when she gets to the Senate. A few months ago, election watchers thought this race was a long-shot, but polls show Hagan and Dole running neck and neck.
Jeanne Shaheen: We need Shaheen to represent New Hampshire—and all of us—in the United States Senate. She’s the former Governor of New Hampshire; in fact, she was the first woman ever elected to that office. Now she wants to blaze the trail again and become the first woman elected senator from the state. The only thing standing in her way is pro-war incumbent Republican senator John Sununu.

All three of these candidates are in tight races that could come down to a few hundred votes. Can you contribute $25? Click on the link below.

[LINK]

The election is less than a month away. Let’s keep it up.

Thanks for all you do.

–Nita, Eli, Carrie, Karin and the rest of the team

The claim by MoveOn.org might be true, but we doubt it. Liberals and Democrats have been clobbering conservatives and Republicans in fundraising so far in the 2008 election cycle.

Liberal 527 groups are ahead of conservative 527s. The 501(c)(4) groups, which have no contribution limits, don’t have to disclose their financial status and political activities until long after the election is over.

This suggests MoveOn.org is just making things up to scare its donors into opening their wallets.

(I talked about Moveon.org on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Monday. The video is available here.)

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