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“Buying A Voice”: Americans United for Change targets Cantor

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A recent Supreme Court decision has opened the floodgates for political advertising from third party groups.  It’s now much easier for groups to fill the airwaves with issue ads, designed to convey a message that sells a point of view.  We believe you deserve to know who is behind those ads, and in our “Buying A Voice” segment we plan to do just that.

This week we take  a look at who is behind a television ad that makes some pretty critical claims about congressman Eric Cantor‘s work in Washington.

The group is called “American’s United for Change“. They put out a particularly ominous ad targeting Congressman Cantor and the summer debate over the deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

The ad accuses Congressman Cantor of threatening senior citizens and military families by preventing the debt ceiling from being raised. It shows people getting out of limos and corporate jets and accuses Cantor of caring more about the wealthy. It ends with asking people to “Thank Eric Cantor” if your check doesn’t arrive.

So who are the American’s United for Change (AUC)? First off the group is a 501 c 4. That means they are officially “non-partisan”  and don’t have to publicly reveal their donor list.  So we had to do some digging.

We learned that AUC is heavily connected to democratic interests.  Interests that are not very supportive of Congressman Cantor.  The liberal MoveOn.org gave the organization $300 thousand  and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, a union group that generally supports democrats gave $50 thousand.

But the cash is one thing, AUC also has human capital that appears to be traded regularly with strictly democratic causes. Their current executive director is Tom McMahon used to work for the Democratic National Committee. Their former president, Brad Woodhouse now works for the DNC as their communications director.

So its clear, that while Americans United for Change is concerned about things like health care and social security. Their donor base is filled political  interests that would like to see Congressman Cantor removed from office.

You can see our report on NBC12.com.  

Here is where we got our information:

FactCheck.org explains Americans United for Change’s 501-c4 status.

OpenSecrets.org lists Move.org’s list of donors.

OpenSecrets.org lists the National Air Traffic Controller’s Association’s top donations.

Politico reports on McMahon and Woodhouse swapping jobs.

Written by Ryan Nobles

November 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm

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