[h/t Sam Stein at Huffington Post]
The minute I heard this ad I could tell it was the product of old-time Reagan-era operatives. Here's the text if you don't want to listen:
Our only recourse now is to move forward with the full impeachment of President Obama. We suspect that Obama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and that there may be grounds for impeachment as is laid out in the constitution. Further, he may not even be a U.S. citizen because nobody, I mean no one, has seen an actual physical copy of his birth certificate. Impeachment is our only option. And Republicans are already considering Obama investigations. As the nation's most effective conservative group we are launching the official impeach Obama campaign.
Yeah, it's the old birther nonsense, but don't shrug it off as the fringe of the Republican party, because it's not. The ad is paid for by the Conservative Majority Fund, champions of Joe Arpaio and birthers to this day. I'll get to them in a minute.
The text of the ad reminded me immediately of my 2009 conversation with Floyd Brown on Alan Colmes' radio show. Brown was on the show to argue for why it was imperative that Barack Obama be impeached at once. At the time, he had launched the "Impeach Obama" website and was making the rounds of wingnut and mainstream media alike claiming it was past time to get rid of the black dude in the White House for no particular reason other than Floyd Brown's dislike.
Floyd Brown and the Birther Brigade
Here's a little bit about Brown's associations in 2009. They've changed a bit since then. He has his own consulting business now but he keeps the same company he did back then.
Floyd Brown is one of the founders of Citizens United and the Citizens United Foundation. Citizens United, you may recall, created “Hillary the Movie”, a 90-minute long effort to undermine Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign, and now the topic of a major United States Supreme Court case. Brown is also a member of the Council for National Policy, the uber-secret Republican group started by Tim LaHaye which has grown to include the major funders of the Republican Party alongside bulldogs like Floyd. He also sits on the board of the American Conservative Union, which was also known as“Citizens against Rationing Health coalition” in 1994, the last time we tried to pass health care reform under the leadership of a Democratic president. One of the co-directors of The American Conservative Foundation is Tom Delay, more frequently associated with FreedomWorks these days. FreedomWorks instigated much of the town hall insanity this summer. Here’s a relationship mapthat illustrates just how incestuous these organizations are.
Floyd Brown runs several anti-Obama websites. He left Citizens United in 2007 and has occupied himself since writing smear columns for his blog at ExposeObama.com. He has now launched ImpeachObama.com and uses his column at the Scaife-funded WorldNetDaily website to step up hiscall for impeachment.
Floyd and his BFFs are Reagan worshippers. Their careers were launched by Ronald Reagan, they were staffers in the Reagan era, and now they relentlessly pimp Ronald Reagan as the Conservative God of All. It shouldn't surprise you to find out that this odious ad was conceived and paid for by even more Reagan acolytes.
Scott B. MacKenzie is the treasurer for the Conservative Majority Fund. Scott has a long history as a mid-level operative. He ran Pat Buchanan's PAC for his failed 1996 presidential bid, and has a long history of FEC complaints made against him. These days, he is not only treasurer of the PAC that bought the robocall, but also the treasurer of The Conservative Strikeforce. That group's chairman is also a former Reaganite. Here's his description from their website:
Dennis Whitfield is former Deputy Secretary of Labor for President Ronald Reagan. He was Executive Vice President of The American Conservative Union and Senior Vice President of the National Federation of Independent Business.
The post I quoted from is one calling for a "bill of indictment" against the president. How Floyd Brown-like. Suppose that has anything to do with their mutual board positions with the American Conservative Union? Yes, the leadership list for The American Conservative Union reads like a who's who of Reaganites, with Floyd Brown and Ron Robinson doing double duty with their ties to Citizens United.
As for the NFIB, they are a US Chamber of Commerce clone. This is the same group that Mitt Romney spoke to and suggested they threaten their employees with lost jobs if Barack Obama were elected. The NFIB was also the lead litigant in the effort to overturn Obamacare and plays an active role in ALEC.
These are the Reagan stalwarts, and they are funding robocalls with racist, nativist undertones. Please do not assume that there is any daylight between the so-called "tea party conservatives" in this country and the nativist wingnuts. There are not.
Infocision - Right wingers' fundraiser and robocaller of choice
These robocalls are being made by a right-wing company based in Ohio by the name of Infocision. Infocision is one of the go-tos to spend lots of right-wing money. They do fundraising, robocalls, mailers, fulfillment, and all sorts of other tasks. Citizens United and FreedomWorks use Infocision, as does Newt Gingrich. I think of them more as a Republican money-laundering operation, especially in the fundraising department. They take money in for organizations and give them about a twenty percent cut or so of the proceeds, leaving the other 80 percent for Infocision's bottom line. Infocision then gives hefty contributions to College Republicans and other organizations, so it's sort of a great big money hole where wingnut money goes to recycle.
Woe to the legitimate charity who uses Infocision to raise funds. After all, Infocision has spent all sorts of money building conservative infrastructure (and sports stadiums) in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and they need money to fuel it. Republican money is nice, but outsiders' money is nicer, especially when they keep 80 percent and give charities the scraps.
Make no mistake. These are the people who carry the heart and the torch of today's Republican Party. They are not edge cases, but mainstream Republicans doing mainstream Republican things. They have ties to Karl Rove and the neocon right, and ties to Pat Buchanan and the hardcore racist right.
Reagan built that.
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