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Thursday, August 21, 2008

American Issues Project Launches Ayers Attack Ad Against Barack Obama

AIP ad linking Barack Obama with former terrorist William Ayers, can be found above and at American Issues Project here.

The American Issues Project is a conservative outside group and is launching a $2.8 million ad campaign against Barack Obama which highlights Obama's ties with a former member of the Weatherman group, William Ayers.
The American Issues Project (AIP) is a 501(c)4 organization which means it is not required to disclose it's donors. It is said to be a product of a coalition of conservative groups, headed by the president of AIP, who is a Missouri conservative named Ed Martin. Another member of the group is Ed Failor Jr., who is a former McCain aide in Iowa who departed the scene after the McCain campaign shakeup last year.

The AIP describes itself as an "organization representing a coalition of conservative activists committed to raising important issues that deserve deeper examination given their impact on policy. In accordance with federal law, the American Issues Project only solicits and accepts contributions from individuals and not from any business corporation."

The ad campaign they are launching against Barack Obama is to highlight his ties with William Ayers, who is a former member of the Weatherman Underground Organization, which organized the Chicago Riot in 1969 and bombed buildings in the 1970's.

The AIP has announced they are spending $2.8 million on this ad campaign that starts with the video above entitled "Know Enough?"

The text of the ad states:

Narrator: "Beyond the speeches, how much do you know about Barack Obama?
What does he really believe?

Consider this: United 93 never hit the Capitol on 9/11.
But the Capitol was bombed thirty years before -

By an American terrorist group called Weather Underground that declared 'war' on the U.S. -
Targeting the Capitol, the Pentagon, police stations and more.

One of the group's leaders, William Ayers, admits to the bombings, proudly saying later:
'We didn't do enough.'

Some members of the group Ayers founded even went on to kill police.

But Barack Obama is friends with Ayers, defending him as, quote, 'Respectable' and 'Mainstream.'

Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' home. And the two served together on a left-wing board.

Why would Barack Obama be friends with someone who bombed the Capitol...and is proud of it?

Do you know enough to elect Barack Obama?

American Issues Project is responsible for the content of this ad."

The full quote referring to the bombings mentioned in the ad, was given by the New York Times in 2001 and it was, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

It is unclear why the AIP left the first portion of the statement out of the ad.

(William "Bill" Ayers, 2001, Chicago Magazine, trampling on the American Flag)

In conjunction with this ad, the AIP has also announced the release of a 167 page PDF file of what they call "back-up documentation and historical accounts" and saying they are using this new ad, which will show in Ohio and Michigan, to "shed light on Obama's friendship with Ayers."

More about Ayers can be found at Wikipedia, as a reference, and from an August 2001 interview with William Ayers at Chicago

According to an AIP spokesman, Christian Pinkston, "The idea here was to talk about the fact that his friends hate America, and that's who he's aligning himself with."

When asked for a comment, Obama spokesman, Tommy Vietor, responds via The Politico, "The fact that John McCain dispatched his paid consultant to launch this despicable ad from a so-called ‘independent’ committee shows how desperate he is to change the subject from his shocking disconnect with the economic struggles of the American people. He knows that Barack Obama has denounced the detestable crimes that Bill Ayers committed 40 years ago.

Instead of invoking Paris, Britney and obscure '60s radicals, Sen. McCain should take the day off at one of his seven homes to consider whether his support for outsourcing, tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas and continued spending of $10 billion a month in Iraq is really putting "country first." To us, it sounds like just more of the same."

The controversy surrounding Obama's relationship with Ayers is not knew and was brought up back in April, during the Democratic presidential primaries, when Hillary Clinton’s communications director Howard Wolfson argued that "if Obama can’t answer questions on topics like the Ayers connection 'appropriately and effectively and candidly' then 'it does not speak well of the kind of candidate he would be in the fall against Sen. John McCain.”'

More recently there has been controversy in the media surrounding over 100 boxes of records of internal files for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge stored at the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Ayers is a professor, being made unaccessible to the media, as reported by the Wall Street Journal and other news organizations such as LA Times Top of the Ticket and The Chicago Tribune.

The AIP news release announcing the two-phase outreach effort to influence voters this fall can be found at Market Watch.