The Democratic National Committee announced on Wednesday that it had raised a potentially historic amount of money (all of it donor-disclosed) during the first half of October. It then took a portion of that cash and launched a national ad campaign targeting Republicans for benefiting from secret financial sources.
The DNC will file papers on Thursday reporting that for the first 13 days of October it raised $11.1 million. The total, an aide said, put the committee "on pace for one of our best months ever for a midterm election." The DNC also revised its records from September, adjusting the total amount raised during that month from $16 million to $17 million.
A chunk of the change was set aside for the newest in a growing line of attack ads the committee has launched targeting the anonymous donors bankrolling conservative causes.
"You've seen the ads," the script reads. "Millions being spent by right wing groups to buy an election, all from secret donors. What's not a secret is why. Republicans and their corporate buddies want to be back in charge. Wall Street writing its own rules again; Big Oil and insurance companies calling the shots. More jobs shipped overseas. Millions in attack ads to put the corporate interests back in charge. If they're in charge, what happens to you? Fight back!"
Titled "Secret Plan," the spot is, if nothing else, a reflection of the party's unwillingness to back off the debate over campaign financial disclosure, despite the Beltway wisdom suggesting its ineffectiveness. And while there would be a certain amount of chutzpah in the committee running an ad about well-heeled conservative groups the same day it reported its own historic fundraising pace, the DNC (like all campaign committees) has the luxury of noting that all of its donor's names will be disclosed.
"The debate over the secret money Republican-aligned groups are spending to win the election and the economy is inextricably linked," said DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse, "because if Republicans win - they are going to reward this special interest backing by returning to the economic policies of the Bush era that cost eight million Americans their jobs."