Democrat Peter DeFazio is a perfect example of the effects of the Supreme Court's ruling. DeFazio is running for re-election in Oregon's 4th Congressional District. A few weeks ago, he got a call from one of his staffers about a new attack ad. The ad was different from previous attack ads that his opponent, Republican Art Robinson, had been running during the campaign.
"The ad was very sophisticated. I knew it wasn't my opponent's. I would pay money to put my opponent's ad up," DeFazio says.
The Concerned Taxpayers for America turned out to be the group responsible for the attack ad. But neither DeFazio nor his opponent, Art Robinson, knew anything about them. Robinson, who agrees with what the ad says about DeFazio, refuses to distance himself from the group or investigate any further for legal reasons.
"I haven't been trying to find out, because I think that's the legal position I'm supposed to take," Robinson explains.
DeFazio on the other hand was concerned about the group's identity. He did some digging around and found that the Concerned Taxpayers of America actually had a mailing address in D.C.: a town house on Capitol Hill to be exact.
With a group of reporters from the Washington Post trailing closely behind him, DeFazio went to the address he had found and knocked on their door.
"So I go up, knock on the door, no answer," DeFazio recounts. "They had a big mail slot, so I looked through it and I kinda saw what I thought was movement. So I just shouted through the mail slot ... Finally this fellow came to the door kinda reluctantly." MORE...
Sunday, October 03, 2010
NPR: "Following The Money Behind Mystery Attack Ads" (with audio/text)
NPR with audio (11:10) and text: