Michigan

When Speeches Come Back To Haunt

Obama said in Wednesday's debate that he would try to find "common ground" on abortion. But his words on the issue to a liberal advocacy group certainly didn't help him with a conservative one.

The new ad from the Family Research Council Action PAC uses a speech Obama gave to Planned Parenthood — the crowd loved it — in order to hurt him with pro-life voters.

"The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act," Obama says at a Planned Parenthood podium. That one sentence — perhaps not exactly what you'd want to broadcast to swing voters — has been picked up and distributed widely by many conservative organizations and publications. The ad concludes, "Barack Obama. Dangerous values."

Family Research Council Action's PAC plans to spend $100,000 on TV ads and a radio adaptation this week in Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. The group is targeting markets and stations where the Matthew 25 Network ran its pro-Obama ads. The aim is to "counteract their message," according to executive director David Nammo. The Matthew 25 Network has sought to promote Obama's Christian credentials. Its most recent ad features conservative Douglas Kmeic, who was legal counsel to President Reagan, arguing that anti-abortion voters should support Obama.

The Family Research Council — the 501(c)(3) mothership to the FRC Action 501(c)(4) and the PAC — sprang from the efforts of evangelical leader James Dobson, and it was once a division of Dobson's Focus on the Family. Dobson still sits on the board. Dobson is campaigning for John McCain, and his group recently produced radio ads to hurt Democrats in Senate races in Colorado, Minnesota, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina.

Info about FRC's financing after the jump....

Key early money for the organization was put up by the Christian conservative Prince and DeVos families of Michigan.

The Prince family made its fortune in auto parts manufacturing. The Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation still gives to Family Research, donating $1.7 million since 2003. Elsa Prince serves on the board. The Princes' son, Erik, founded Blackwater, the controversial security contracting company.

Erik Prince's sister, Betsy, married into the DeVos family, whose fortune comes from the company Amway. Betsy DeVos was once chair of the Michigan Republican Party and her husband, Dick, ran for governor.

The Family Research Council has also recevied $450,000 from 2003-04 from the Bolthouse Foundation, which has given to Focus on the Family.

The Council's board includes Kim Bengard, whose It Takes a Family Foundation gave the Family Research Council $185,000 in recent years. Bengard, who used to co-own an auto parts company, also helps lead Family Action PAC.

Another board member, conservative scholar Robert P. George, recently starred in a Let Freedom Ring ad against Obama. Small world.

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