Democrat Paul Hodes launched an eloquent attack against outside spending during last night's New Hampshire senate debate. Hodes claimed that outside interest groups have spent millions of dollars trying to tip the election in favor of his opponent Kelly Ayotte. He pointed to the barrage of misleading attack ads that have been airing on Granite State televisions for months now, declaring that the ads have been funded by millionaires and billionaires who want to see Bush era tax cuts extended across the board. Hodes supports extending tax cuts for the middle class, but believes that doing the same for the super rich will only increase the deficit.
Hodes has a point here. Independent expenditures in opposition to Hodes' campaign are close to reaching the $1 million mark, according to the Sunlight Foundation. So where is all that money coming from?
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: They've hasÂ poured $1,327,635 into the campaign. You can view one of their anti-Hodes attack ads online at Voteforbusiness.com. The Concord Monitor reports that the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce voted not to renew its membership in the national group because of the ad blitz. Members of other local chambers in New Hampshire have also complained about the ads, with one member quitting in protest.
American Action Network: You've probably never heard of them, but this tax exempt 501(c)(4) organization has spent $875,000 bashing Hodes. The National Center for Charitable Statistics lists the group's location as Washington, D.C. One of its major funders, Kenneth Longone, is worth around $1.1 billion, according to TPMMuckraker. Here is one of the most memorable scare tactic ads they've aired in New Hampshire:
Rightchange.com: This conservative 527 group hasÂ spent $289,673.20 attacking Hodes. It is based out of Wilmington, NC. One of the group's board members is Fred Eshelman, CEO of Pharmaceutical Product Development.Â CBS News reports that Eshelman has spent $3.38 million trying to influence the outcomes of the nation's top Senate races.
Turns out that Hodes is correct in saying that Ayotte's campaign is supported by spending by millionaires and billionaires who live far away from the Granite State. He ended last night's debate claiming to represent the rest of us: folks like firefighters, shipyard workers, and teachers. As if to prove the point, Ayotte's campaign tastelessly aired an ad directly following debate. It was a tactless attempt to get the last word in. Ayotte is apparently incapable of standing on her own two feet, preferring to let high priced TV ads do the talking for her.
Picture of Paul Hodes with supporters from Wikimedia Commons.
Article Â©2010 David Anderson for Gather.com. All rights reserved