Categories: Barack Obama
Dallas Billionaire, McCain bundler, is anti-Obama group's backer
The spokesman for the American Issues Project, the independent group whose ad is the most negative of the cycle and links Obama to terrorism, says the group just filed a report naming its sole donor.
The donor, spokesman Christian Pinkston said, is Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who made his first fortune in chain pharmacies and is now listed as the 73rd richest person in the world, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $2.1 billion.
Simmons, a major Republican donor, gave maximum $2,300 contributions to Senator John McCain last year, as well as to former Governor Mitt Romney and to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
He's listed as a bundler for the McCain campaign on McCain's website, which says he's raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Republican candidate.
He's also contributed to Rep. Chet Edwards, the Texas Democrat who has been mentioned as a possible Obama running mate.
Simmons was reportedly a major donor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.
He's also a backer of a controversial plan to store nuclear waste in West Texas, which his waste management company would administer.
And then you have this little tidbit...
"This negative campaign ad is clearly express advocacy, and under a federal law passed in 2003, the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act (known colloquially as McCain-Feingold), it cannot legally be paid for with corporate money, including those of a non-profit," said Laura MacCleery, deputy director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "The ad indisputably concerns an election, takes a position on the character and fitness for office of a candidate, and raises no legislative issue. Even this highly skeptical Supreme Court would turn up its noses at the foul odor emitted by this clear abuse of federal election law."