What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 30, 2015

Follow-Up On Joe Sestak's Walk Across The State

This weekend, I wrote about one of Joe Sestak's last stops on his walk across Pennsylvania.

In it there was this passage:
Yesterday's discussion was with a dozen or so potential supporters. Though I have to add that Sestak, with a sincere grin, also welcomed to the room a guy named Ollie, who he said was the tracker assigned to cover the event by the Toomey campaign. Nice guy - after the event, he and I joked about how it was snowing outside.
Unfortunately, this is a detail left incompletely contextualized.

The point being that once you find out who Ollie is, you find out a whole lot more what's going on.

Take a look at this from Philly.com:
Around 10:20, on the side of Route 30, Sestak spots a lanky young man pointing a video camera. It's Oliver Kline, a tracker hired by the conservative group America Rising.
Yep, that would be Ollie.

A paragraph or two later there's this:
A few weeks back in Bucks County, the candidate and his paid political stalker worked together to push a pickup truck out of the snow. Sestak's team posted the video on YouTube. It ends with the Democrat slapping a high-five with the Republican hired to record damaging video.
Here's the video if you wanna see it:

As Sestak said of Ollie:
To Sestak, it's an honor that the GOP is after him.

"He's a good kid," Sestak says. "He's just got a job to do."
All true.  But the job is working for America Rising.

So, what's America Rising?

Luckily, our good friend Selena Zito has a piece in today's Tribune-Review all about it:
The PAC, 2 years old this month, is in the business of marking everything Democratic candidates do as the 2016 presidential election approaches, so Republicans don't get outflanked by outside opposition research groups, as they did in 2012.

“The Democrats were a lot more nimble at using outside groups,” Matt Rhoades, one of America Rising's founders, told the Tribune-Review in the organization's offices near a subway stop outside Washington.

Rhoades 40, who managed Mitt Romney's failed presidential campaign in 2012, pointed to American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research group that caught GOP candidates in awkward moments and matched rhetoric from their speeches against their voting records.
As for funding, Zito reports:
With partners Joe Pounder and Tim Miller, he established America Rising in March 2013. Its money comes from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, American Crossroads, the American Action Network and other clients.
But she leaves out something rather important, given all the Romney connections to Matt Rhoades.

OpenSecrets reports that, for the 2014 election cycle Amerca Rising received $400,000 from an organization called "Restore Our Future."

"Restore our Future," in turn, was a SuperPAC formed to support Romney's 2012 presidential campaign - the campaign that Matt Rhoades ran.

And that would be the same Romney campaign that Selena Zito let get away with a lie in 2012.  And now all that Romney "Super PAC" money's supporting the Opposition Research firm for whom Selena Zito just wrote some very nice words.

Good to know who's who and what's what this go-round.

1 comment:

Craig Grella said...

In my opinion, It's often background information (and connections) like this that are more telling than the words that come from the candidates themselves.