527 to run ads in Senate race

A 527 group dubbed Republicans who Care has reserved ad time in all four of Minnesota’s TV stations on behalf of GOP Sen. Norm Coleman.

The group has reserved nearly $500,000 worth of ads on WCCO, KARE, KSTP and Fox9 between October 21st through election day.

Calls to the group were not returned but the

An official with Republicans who Care just called and said “No Comment.”

Here’s a synopsis from the group’s website:

These years have been challenging for all Republicans, and particularly for Moderates. The rise of wedge politics, of playing to the base and of heated partisan rhetoric has been antithetical to our traditional GOP values and centrist ideas of governing. We believe in limited government, balanced budgets, free trade and a strong national defense. (We read the “Wall Street Journal” and are just as apt to read the “New York Times”). We cherish personal liberty and do not promote a socially conservative agenda. Instead we seek to build a broad inclusive base for the GOP and believe that effective government relies on our ability to reach across the aisle.

At last our time is coming and we proudly support John McCain, our Moderate standard bearer and the next President of the United States. For the Senate, we’re supporting ALL Republicans because getting to sixty is so important. That said, we’re especially pleased to support Moderate Senators Gordon Smith (OR), Norm Coleman (MN) and Susan Collins (ME)!

(Note: I emphasized Coleman’s name)

A 2006 Bloomberg story says the group was created to help moderate Republicans and counter efforts by more conservative GOP groups.

Republicans Who Care was formed to counter the Club for Growth, which seeks to defeat moderate Republicans such as Chafee and Representative Joe Schwarz of Michigan in party primaries.

But this Politicker story quotes Club For Growth officials as saying Republicans who care is a sham group for the Service Employees Internatioal Union:

This morning, the Club for Growth called Republicans Who Care, “a sham group fronting” for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), citing a recent FEC filing showing a $200,000 transfer from the labor group. The Club for Growth notes this covers the $180,000 First District ad buy.

That’s true. A search of the contributions to the 527 on the IRS site found that Republicans Who Care’s 1st Quarter report shows that the Human Rights Campaign and the Service Employees International Union gave money to the group. So did Tim Gill, head of the Gill Foundation which support Gay rights.

Another financial disclosure report shows that former GOP Congressman Amory Houghton (and a few other Houghton’s) has given to the group. Gordon Gund, a venture capitalist and CEO of the Gund Investment Group, also ponied up. So did Robert Ziff, who is listed as one of the richest Americans.

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