I suspect John McCain and his staff will take a certain pride in the fact that they’re the first Republican candidate to be the target of a paid attack ad campaign by a Democratic group. Yes, this ungodly sped-up primary process now has across-the-aisle attack ads.
The group is the perfectly-generically-named VoteVets, which makes you think they might be associated with the VFW or American Legion or something. Nope.
VoteVets advisory board members include former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, former Democratic congressional candidates Paul Hackett, Tammy Duckworth and Andrew Horne, and former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey.
Co-founder and chairman Jon Soltz headed “Veterans for Kerry 2004″, hosted events for Kerry, and during the 2004 campaign criticized Bush for his attacks on McCain in 2000. (I guess McCain is only useful to Soltz when he can be used to criticize another Republican.)
VoteVets’ communications director, Eric Schmeltzer, was a staffer for Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, and was deputy director of Howard Dean’s New York campaign. The group’s finance director, Malea Stenzel, was a fundraiser for unsuccessful Democratic House candidates Judy Aydelott and Shaun McNally. Political Director Evan Hutchison was regional director for Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign in 2004.
In the 2006 election cycle, VoteVets contributed $29,700 to Democratic candidates and organizations; the group contributed $2,100 to Sam Schultz, a primary challenger to GOP Rep. Mike Sodrel of Indiana.
The VoteVets ad will appear after the GOP debate on Fox News this evening.
UPDATE: I am reminded by a Hill source that VoteVets’ “body armor” ads from 2006 were ripped to shreds by FactCheck.org.