GETTING BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM RIGHT-WING FRIENDS…. Massachusetts is obviously right smack in the middle of the political world this weekend, with Bay State voters poised to decide on Tuesday whether legislating will be possible for the foreseeable future. To help Republican Scott Brown secure a victory, some pretty unsavory characters are investing considerable resources in his campaign.
Mike Madden reported this week, for example, that Brown has received the backing of far-right anti-immigration and anti-gay organizations. As Madden noted, “[S]upport from fringe groups does underscore the point national Democrats and labor groups have been trying to make about Brown over the last week, as they leap to rescue Coakley’s campaign: he’s far too conservative for Massachusetts voters.”
Lee Fang added yesterday that it’s not just far-right culture warriors rallying behind Brown’s candidacy — the corporate/lobbyist wing of the conservative movement sees Brown as someone who’ll stand in the way of accountability for Wall Street, especially after he announced his opposition to a financial crisis responsibility fee on large banks.
Brown’s defense of the financial industry has not been ignored by Wall Street. Wall Street’s two largest political enforcers are also out fighting to elect him:
* The Wall Street front group FreedomWorks is mobilizing get out the vote efforts for Brown this weekend. FreedomWorks organized the very first tea party protests, and has used its extensive staff and resources to mobilize rallies and advocacy campaigns on behalf of corporate interests. Dick Armey, who as a corporate lobbyist represented AIG, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch during the bailouit, is the leader of FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is also funded and chaired by Steve Forbes and Frank Sands of Sands Capital Management.
* The Wall Street front group Club for Growth is strongly “boosting” Brown and is expected to run ads in support for him. According to recent disclosures, the Club for Growth is funded by a $1.4 million dollar donation from investor Stephen Jacksons of Stephens Groups Inc, a $1.4 million dollar donation from broker Richard Gilder, and $210,000-$630,000 donations from at least 10 other investors and financial industry professionals. The Club is also supporting a slate of candidates to repeal health reform, while its other endorsed candidates have opposed a financial truth commission.
I’m not in Massachusetts and have no idea if voters are aware of who’s helping Brown and why, but it seems like the kind of details that might have an effect on the outcome.