At a time when the Democratic Party is arguing that third party groups may be subverting democracy, it might seem counterproductive for a third-party ideological ally to go on the air during a tough Senate race.
On Tuesday, however, the organization Common Sense Ten did just that, taking out a spot attacking Kentucky Republican candidate Rand Paul.
"Here is Rand Paul. Like other libertarians he says drug laws are too harsh," the ad goes. "And Rand Paul says drugs are "not a pressing issue here in Kentucky." Not pressing? Drugs, especially meth are an epidemic in Kentucky."
Unlike, say, the Chamber of Commerce, Commonsense Ten does reveal the identities of its donors, a spokesman for the good government group Center for Responsive Politics says. Its delineation is that of a "SuperPAC," which (under non-technical terms) means it can raise unlimited amounts of money from varying sources and spend that advocating for or against candidates.
That said, the argument that Democrats have made against conservative-allied non-government groups is not just that they are operating with anonymous funds, but that they are parachuting into races where they have no interest other than running smear campaigns. Commonsense Ten, which cannot coordinate with Democratic candidates or committees, has a significantly smaller donor base compared to its conservative counterparts. But Republicans have already shown a willingness to point to it, in addition to other Democratic-allied institutions, in an attempt to show that the White House's campaign against outside-group spending is hypocritical.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more