Shedding a Little Light on Shadowy Group Attacking Sherrod Brown
Public interest journalism site Pro Publica has an excellent piece up today where they reveal some new information about one of the sleazy, secretive groups pouring money into lying about Sherrod Brown on behalf of Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel.
They've delved into the background of something ironically called the Government Integrity Fund ("ironic" because no candidate more totally lacks integrity than Josh Mandel) which has spent over a million dollars pulling the old "smear you with what we're doing" tactic, claiming that extremely populist Brown, who has consistently and vocally opposed unaccountable Wall Street power, is a tool of Wall Street. Meanwhile, Joshie is owned by every corporate special interest you can name, including Wall Street. They love to pull this "upside down" stuff to try to dupe voters.
Today Pro Publica reports,
Previously unreported documents filed with an Ohio television station pull back the curtain a bit: the Government Integrity Fund is run by a state lobbyist who in turn employs a former top Mandel staffer.
Yeah, I'm so sure "government integrity" is their pressing concern. (This "Mandel staffer" is one of those former campaign staffers he hired in the treasurer's office for which Mandel received well-earned publicity for his crony-favoring practices).
Here's what the former Mandel staffer had to say:
“I can’t talk to you about this. I’m not going to comment on any kind of involvement I have with anyone.”
Yeah, because it's only OUR U.S. Senate seat you're trying to steal and place in the grubby mitts of the most dishonest and unaccountable candidate Ohioans have seen in many moons.
Honestly, this is one of the major things we need to press to change:
We still don’t know who is putting up the money for the Government Integrity Fund’s ads because the group is a non-profit “social welfare” group, which don’t have to release donor information or register with the Federal Election Commission. Such groups are supposed to be “primarily” engaged in promoting social welfare but they have been flooding the airwaves with political ads in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case and decisions by regulatory decisions.
Like many other such non-profit groups that are playing a dominant role in this year’s elections, the Government Integrity Fund is shrouded in mystery. It isn’t required to reveal donors, nor has it answered questions about who runs the group. The Fund’s barebones website lists no contact information beyond a P.O. Box.
It shouldn't be falling to small groups like Pro Publica to be explaining this to people. This should be prominently featured in every major newspaper. The Plain Dealer has expended millions of words on insignificant twerps like former Cuyahoga County auditor Frank Russo and former Cuyahoga County commissioner Jimmy Dimora. The damage these men did compared to this is the equivalent of stepping on someone's toe compared to shooting them in the head. It is shameful that our mainstream media drools over trivial corruption while not making clear how these loosened election laws have corrupted and poisoned our entire electoral system.
Pro Publica is a nonprofit newsroom that digs into stories mainstream media is too biased or lazy to cover. They are more than worthy of your support. You can learn about them here:
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If you have unsubscribed from the Cleveland Plainly Republican or the Columbus Disgrace or the Cincinnati Expirer due to their slanted coverage which too often substitutes right-wing talking points for reporting and allows right-wing columnists to blatantly lie to readers, you could do worse than to redirect that subscription money to Pro Publica.