NPR logo Ad Ties Obama, Jailed Mayor


Ad Ties Obama, Jailed Mayor

Here's another entry in the "Obama's Friends" series of attack ads. This one comes from Freedom's Defense Fund, a conservative political action committee. It seeks to tar Obama for his past praise of outgoing Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who pleaded guilty last week to two felonies and is headed to jail.

The ad shows a mug shot of Kilpatrick and a list of charges against him, along with audio of Obama saying "I'm grateful to call him a friend and a colleague and I'm looking forward to a lengthy collaboration." At the end, the on-screen text says, "You should know who Barack Obama's friends are." The Obama quote is from a May 2007 speech; more recently, Obama has shunned Kilpatrick and called for his resignation.

Freedom's Defense Fund is running the ad this week in the Detroit suburb of Macomb County, MI, with hopes to expand the ad buy. The group seems particularly focused on African-American politicians. One part of its Web site says, "Does the thought of Senators Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton scare you? At the Freedom's Defense Fund, we think it should."

The PAC has raised and spent more than $400,000 in the first half of this year. Its treasurer is Scott B. Mackenzie, who served in the Reagan Administration. Jerome Corsi, author of the attack book "The Obama Nation," is a paid consultant.