Outside Groups Press Their Case
By Matthew Mosk
Independent groups appear to be doing more heavy lifting in New Hampshire for two of the top Democratic candidates for president, with new mailers arriving today that focus on voter concerns about health care.
The first mailer landing in mailboxes this week appears as though it was sent directly by the John Edwards campaign. Edwards is pictured speaking at one of the largest New Hampshire medical centers, and the flyer includes almost verbatim language from Edwards' campaign material, such as: "John Edwards has a plan to make sure every American has quality health care. His plan will take on big drug and insurance companies to get it done."
But this mailer came from Alliance for a New America, an independent group financed by the Service Employees International Union, which has come under fire because it is headed by a former top Edwards campaign official, Nick Baldick.
The group's activity has been a big help to Edwards, who is the only top Democratic candidate who opted to take federal matching money, and so is limited to spending no more than about $800,000 on his New Hampshire campaign. That limit does not apply to outside groups campaigning on his behalf.
The second flyer, paid for by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, levels a direct attack on Sen. Barack Obama's health care plan and takes a veiled shot at the "change" theme of his campaign, saying his "band-aid solution is no change at all." The union is one of the largest independent groups that is backing Sen. Hillary Clinton, and is the same organization that has a radio ad in high circulation in New Hampshire right now. That ad also attacks Obama's health-care proposal.
AFSCME reported to the Federal Election Commission today that it spent $38,905 on the mailer opposing Obama.
Additional images of the Alliance for a New America and AFSCME flyers after the jump:
Web Politics Editor
December 27, 2007; 3:50 PM ET
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