Democrats Forming Parallel Campaign
The Democratic 527 organizations have drawn support from some wealthy liberals determined to defeat Bush. They include financier George Soros and his wife, Susan Weber Soros, who gave $5 million to ACT and $1.46 million to MoveOn.org; Peter B. Lewis, chief executive of the Progressive Corp., who gave $3 million to ACT and $500,000 to MoveOn; and Linda Pritzker, of the Hyatt hotel family, and her Sustainable World Corp., who gave $4 million to the joint fundraising committee.
The Democratic coalition includes many of the party's most experienced strategists, spokesmen and fundraisers, as well former staffers for Kerry's campaign and the campaigns of several of his rivals. They include Ickes, who was deputy White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, Steve Rosenthal, a former political director for the AFL-CIO who is executive director of ACT, and Jim Jordan, formerly Kerry's campaign manager, who heads the Thunder Road Group.
Bill Knapp, who did ads for the Gore and Clinton presidential campaigns the past three elections, oversees the advertising operation for the Media Fund. Five pollsters, several with presidential experience, are sharing the coalition's survey research work.
MoveOn.org already has spent millions of dollars on anti-Bush ads. Much of the group's work, according to several Democrats involved in the coalition, will be concentrated in five states that Democrats hope to pick up in November: Florida, Ohio, Missouri, West Virginia and Nevada.
The group ran ads for 10 weeks in those states, including a prescription drug ad that ran for four weeks. Polling conducted by Stan Greenberg, Bill Clinton's 1992 pollster, showed the ad was particularly effective in enlarging the Democrats' advantage on that issue, according to sources familiar with the research. That has convinced Democrats they can move the battlefield in Kerry's direction.
The New Democrat Network, a coalition member, plans a separate $5 million television campaign aimed at Latino voters in four states.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Former Clinton staffer Harold Ickes heads the Media Fund, one of the Democratic interest groups.
(Karin Cooper, CBS via AP)
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