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Out-of-State Group’s Ads Misleading.

Outstate Group’s Ads Misleading

Saint Paul – A shady organization based outside of the state is running misleading ads in Southern Minnesota criticizing Congressman and retired Army National Guardsman Tim Walz (D). The ad uses scary music and misleading statements as it urges voters to contact his office and tell him to pass the Senate version of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to “keep us all safe.”

“Implying that surveillance of terrorists has stopped is not only false, but dangerous,” said Denise Cardinal, Executive Director of Alliance for a Better Minnesota. “This outstate group’s false and fear-mongering attack on a retired Army National Guardsman is unwelcome in Minnesota.”

Below is a summary of information about Defense of Democracies:

Defense of Democracies is based in Washington D.C. and has filed with the IRS as a 501(c)(4) non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization. According to their website, its mission is to support and encourage policies, procedures and laws necessary to defeat terrorism. []

Defense of Democracies Not Telling the Truth in TV Ad

Walz Urged Congressional Leaders to Permanently Modernize FISA Law.  The Defense of Democracies television ad misleads the public by implying that Representative Walz chose to go “on vacation” instead of  voting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Tim Walz urged President Bush and congressional leaders in both parties to stay in Washington and reach an agreement to permanently modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. [Owatonna People’s Press, 2/24/08; Office of Representative Tim Walz, Press Release, 2/13/08, 2/23/08; Defense of Democracies ad, “Midnight”]

Walz has Strong Record of Supporting Anti-Terror Legislation.  In 2007, Representative Tim Walz voted for the Protect America Act, which permitted surveillance in foreign countries by the U.S. government without the supervision by the FISA court.  Walz also voted for the Restore America Act, which would expand court oversight of government surveillance inside the U.S. without retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies. [Owatonna People’s Press, 2/24/08]

Defense of Democracies Includes Well-Known Conservative Republicans

Defense of Democracies Staff and Advisors Include Neo-Conservative Republicans.  According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies website, the group includes numerous right-wing, neo-conservative Republicans:

  • President Clifford D. May was the Director of Communications for the Republican National Committee from 1997-2001.
  • Board Member Steve Forbes ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for President in 1996 and 2000.
  • Board Member Jack Kemp was the Republican nominee for Vice-President in 1996.
  • Board Member Gary Bauer ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2000.
  • Board Member Bill Kristol is editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, and recently advocated for using “the politics of fear.” [Foundation for Defense of Democracies; Fox News Sunday, 2/24/08]

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