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American Future Fund

October Bombardment, Senate Edition, Colorado Chapter

There are so many Senate ads coming out right now that we had to slice off these Colorado ads for their own post.

The American Future Fund criticizes Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall for being out of touch and financially unresponsible. AFF blames him for "no real reform, just bickering and bailouts for billionaires," and tells him to get "a reality check."

Campaign Money Watch, on the other hand, suggests Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer has ethics problems by tying him to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The ad says Schaffer defended sweatshops on the Mariana Islands after taking a "luxury trip" there arranged by Abramoff's firm. Back in the '90s, the Marianas government was one of Abramoff's big clients. Here's a more detailed, nonpartisan version of events.

You can check out Campaign Money Watch's funding here. Funders of the group's charitible affiliate include George Soros' Open Society Institute. Now let's take a look at the group's leadership...

Campaign Money Watch is a project of the Public Campaign Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) run by David Donnelly, an advocate for public financing of elections. Donnelly has led advocacy campaigns against former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed.

The Action Fund's board includes Karen Hicks, who has worked on the presidential campaigns of Democrats Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean and, in her capacity as field director for the Democratic National Committee, John Kerry.

Other board members include longtime liberal activist Pete MacDowell; Becky Glass, who used to head the liberal Midwest States Center; and Teresa Purcell, who previously worked for the League of Conservation Voters and managed Democratic Washington Sen. Patty Murray's campaign in 1992.

On the other side of the aisle, board member Whitney North Seymour Jr. was a Republican state senator in New York in the 1960s and then, as a U.S. attorney, represented the Nixon Adminstration in suing to stop the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. He was independent counsel in the ethics case against Reagan aide Michael Deaver, and now serves on the board of the Center for Responsive Politics.

That's about it for Republicans on the board. Then again, most Republicans regard public financing as "food stamps for politicians."

Public Campaign Action Fund says it's nonpartisan. What do you think?