Saturday, August 21, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Kerry takes legal action against Vietnam critics

In a statement released to reporters, Kerry’s campaign announced it had “filed a legal complaint against Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) before the Federal Election Commission (news – web sites) (FEC) for violating the law with inaccurate ads that are illegally coordinated with the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign.”


The New York Times on Friday reported that there is a “web of connections” between the Swift Boat group and the “Bush family, high-profile Texas political figures and President Bush (news – web sites)’s chief political aide, Karl Rove.”

As I stated on Thursday, groups like SWVfT and MoveOn.Org exist because of the current batch of campaign finance laws, and further, those laws give campaigns plausible deniability in terms of the actions of those groups.

For example: if the Bush campaign could coordinate with the Swifties, then the Bushies would have a higher incentive of reigning in the more outrageous claims of the group. Or, if people could give soft money to the RNC, then the Bush campaign would be forced to take responsibility for its own party’s actions. However, current law forbids coordination by campaigns with outside groups, and forbids the giving of large amounts of money to parties. As a result, you have the 527 phenomenon.

Also: this “web of connection” argument is nuts. Since when did playing “six degrees of separation” equate to coordination? Is Michael Moore coordinating with the Kerry campaign because he employed former Clinton officials? I NBC coordinating with the Kerry campaign because they recently signed a exclusive TV deal with his giographer? Is CNN coordinating with Kerry because Carville and Begala, who ran the Clinton campaigns, are regulars on Crossfire?

Is is surprising that connections could be discovered between Republicans in Texas and Karl Rove, whose pre-White House career was being a Texas-based consultant to Republicans?

As an aside: I find the obsession with Karl Rove to be rather amusing, insofar as to hear the pro-Kerry side tell it, Rove is practically Merlin, able to will damage on Kerry and a win for Bush.

Hat tip: James Joyner.

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2 Responses to “Speaking of the Perverse Effects of Campaign Finance Laws…”

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  • pt
    1. Backcountry Conservative Says:

      Kerry Lawsuit over Swift Vets Ad
      Mike sums it up nicely: You want me to trust you to fight terrorists but you cry for your mommy the first time bullies at school call you names? I want a president with nads. Wait. I already have one….

    2. Steven L. Says:

      If they are using this nebulous “connections” type of argument, they’d best be careful. Last I checked, quite a few Kerry campaign people were working for — a much closer connection than anything thrown at the swiftvets.

      Maybe I am misremembering, but I thought at least one officer with moveon had come -directly- from the Kerry campaign.

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