With today's burst of negative messaging from independent groups, you'd think John McCain ended his big speech last night by crying, "Let the fall campaign begin!" and firing off a starter pistol.
As usual, the Left leads the charge. Among today's debuts:
A new voice in New Hampshire — Patriot Majority — targets Republican Sen. John Sununu in his tight race with Democratic former governor Jeanne Shaheen.
Patriot Majority is part of a network which — as dissected by esteemed colleague Will Evans — includes Patriot Majority West and Patriot Majority New Mexico, both active in that state's Senate race; and Patriot Majority Midwest, formerly known as the Oklahoma Freedom Fund. The man behind the curtain is Craig Varoga, who ran presidential campaigns for former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and retired Gen. Wesley Clark, and has created more than his share of independent liberal groups.
Change To Win, a labor coalition headed by the Service Employees International Union, offers up a web ad, "Real McCain of Genius." If you're a fan of beer ads, it might look familiar. (We leave the originals for you to find on YouTube.) Technically speaking, the ad comes from the Change to Win Committee for the American Dream, a Sec. 527 group connected to the coalition.
And the League of Conservation Voters, a veteran player in TV politics, takes this second swipe at Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer in Colorado.
The Senate seat is open, Colorado's a swing state, and both Schaffer, a former congressman, and Democrat Mark Udall, a current congressman, are getting a full dose of criticism from outside groups.