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Lines of attack

Watched this 30-second ad three times, and its points race by so fast they’re hard to grasp. Could the main object here simply be to try to raise vague negatives against Representative Kurt Schrader? He’s accused a of vague “reckless spending,” for example, but what does that mean? “Billions in new taxes and trillions in crushing debt” – sounds ominous, but definitions of such things get pretty dicey these days.

More useful to know, probably, is that this is one of a series of 10 ads around the country aimed at Democratic representatives in politically marginal districts, put together by the Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies. A useful description of who they are, from Sourcewatch:

Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, also known as Crossroads GPS, is a secretly-funded 501(c)(4) conservative political group created in June 2010 by right-wing political operatives and “advised” by Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie to support Republican candidates. It is a spin-off group of American Crossroads, a 527 Political Action Committee under the same leadership.

According to the Sunlight Foundation, Crossroads GPS spent $17 million in the 2010 midterm elections without disclosing their donors. NBC reported in 2010 that “a substantial portion of Crossroads GPS’ money came from a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls, according to GOP fundraising sources who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity. These donors have been bitterly opposed to a proposal by congressional Democrats — and endorsed by the Obama administration — to increase the tax rates on compensation that hedge funds pay their partners, the sources said.”

A little early in the cycle for attack ads, but then this is the era of the perpetual campaign.

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