Monday night Rachel Maddow expanded on her Friday report about the weird ad running in opposition to Chuck Hagel's nomination. The group running the ad calls themselves "Use Your Mandate" and claims to be a group of liberals -- gay liberals, even -- who are afraid to come out into the light for fear of White House retribution.
Because this White House has been so bitterly retributive, don't you know? When I first heard about it I thought it was bull too, because liberals tend to oppose nominations loudly and without any guise of secrecy. In fact, I can't think of a time where any liberal group I've had contact with has been secretive about who they are and why they're running an ad. That seems to be the province of the US Chamber of Commerce and Koch-funded front groups..
Rachel's instinct seems to be right on the money. As she reports, "Use Your Mandate" used a media buyer in San Diego to place the ad by the name of Del Cielo Media, LLC*. Del Cielo Media is the company name for Sarah Linden, who is the west coast media director for Smart Media Group.
DelCielo Media's website is a splash page and a link to a map now, but as Rachel reports, one of Linden's clients is the Emergency Committee for Israel, a relatively new neocon group whose directors include Bill Kristol, Gary Bauer, and Michael Goldfarb. Michael Goldfarb is an advisor to Liz Cheney's neocon message machine, Keep America Safe, where Kristol also serves as a director.
The other firm Rachel mentions is Tusk Strategies. Michael Tusk was Michael Bloomberg's campaign director in 2009 and now has his own New York PR firm. Tusk's client list boasts of relationships with Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst and Education Reform Now, two groups which call themselves liberal but which are not, by any stretch of the imagination, liberal.