Documents filed yesterday with the Internal Revenue Service show that the group named “Iowans for Responsible Government” (IRG) was funded entirely by the Democratic Governors Association (DGA). The DGA gave over $782,000 to the group, which attacked Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad in the weeks leading up to the Republican primary.
Ironically, the DGA blasted Branstad by comparing him to President Obama, Bill Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi. To date, the DGA has invested a staggering $2 million in Culver’s re-election, and all they have to show for it is an unpopular incumbent who is trailing in the most recent Rasmussen poll by 26 points.
The Branstad campaign was quick to pounce on the news that it was actually the DGA attacking Branstad in the primary, not Iowans.
“Donors and strategists in the DGA have to be shaking their heads at why they not only spent nearly $800,000 against Terry Branstad – but as to why they spent that money smearing Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as well,” said Branstad 2010 campaign manager Jeff Boeyink. “Iowans saw right through their distortions, and if Culver won’t reject the efforts of the DGA, it’s clear Iowans are ready to reject his reckless, irresponsible management this November.”
Very few Iowans actually donate to the DGA, but a quick look through their donations did uncover a couple of familiar names. James C. Hormel, and David Bohnett, two gay rights activists, who have contributed to Culver’s campaign, made sizable contributions to the DGA. In fact, in the last year, Bohnett has contributed $100,000 to the group.
In a move to artificially inflate Culver’s off-year fundraising totals, the DGA gave his re-election campaign $500,000 in 2009. They gave an additional $750,000 to his campaign before the May filing.
While the DGA’s early financial support for an incumbent was out of character for a national group that usually directs resources in the general election to campaigns that are in tight contests, their decision to spend another $782,000 to try to influence the Republican primary has proven to be a waste of money.
There is no doubt that the ad campaign the DGA waged against Branstad in the primary affected the Republican primary results. The DGA spent more in a month and a half than Bob Vander Plaats spent for his entire campaign against Branstad, which spanned over two years. Still, Branstad was able to garner half of the primary vote and won by a comfortable 10-point margin.
After seeing how aggressive the DGA has been in Iowa during the Republican primary, one has to wonder how long it will continue to pour money into what looks like a losing effort.
People also need to remember that Culver himself has spent a considerable amount of money on television ads this year. TheIowaRepublican.com was told that he has spend an estimated $300,000 on ads attacking Branstad.
When you take a step back and look at the DGA and Culver’s actions, it becomes apparent that they are desperately trying to move the numbers in Culver’s favor. This is imperative because Culver and his advisors know that if they can’t show that they are competitive with Branstad, the support he has seen from the DGA will vanish.
If that happens Culver is toast.
Photo by Dave Davidson
blog comments powered by Disqus