Freedom's Watch is already being compared with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which falsely attacked John Kerry's military credentials in 2004. But the Swift Boat Vets' top donor, Bob Perry, has not yet given money to the new conservative group, the Huffington Post has learned.
Perry, who owns a Texas homebuilding firm that nets hundreds of millions of dollars in income every year, gave around $4.5 million to the Swift Boat Vets in 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records. The group's campaign against Kerry's Vietnam war service record ultimately earned it almost $300,000 in fines from the FEC last December.
Anthony Holm, a spokesman for Perry, told the Huffington Post on Friday that the conservative moneyman has kept his powder dry so far as Freedom's Watch is concerned. He couldn't say whether Perry had been approached about giving to the group.
Perry donated around $5 million to the Economic Freedom Fund, a lower-profile group that ran negative ads against vulnerable Democratic congressional incumbents in 2006.
But Freedom's Watch could come calling. Like Mel Sembler, who we profiled on Friday, Perry has come out in favor of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, serving on his Texas Finance Committee. If Sembler hasn't approached Perry already, you have to wonder if he'll be knocking soon.