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Outside Groups Press Their Case

The inside message from a mailer sent to N.H. voters by the Alliance for a New America.

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:

Alliance for a New America flyer sent to N.H. voters.

Alliance for a New America flyer sent to N.H. voters.

AFSCME flyer sent to N.H. voters.

AFSCME flyer sent to N.H. voters.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 27, 2007; 3:50 PM ET
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geesh, Obama is going to go balistic over the fact that his plan is a band-aid.
He hates it when facts about his plans are exposed... he'll call it negative campaigning and launch another personal attack.

Posted by: newagent99 | December 27, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well. The NYT barely covers Edwards for the entire campaign and then right before the Iowa caucus they run several pieces on 527s and a story about him being tardy to campaign events. I'm almost afraid to see what they will do next.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | December 27, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Who do you blame for the national medical health care crisis?


Posted by: PollM | December 27, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

zuckermand, I recall you expressing similar illogic back on the initial thread about the AFSCME mailing. As was noted then, the mailer is from an organization that supports Senator Clinton. Yet the mailer in no way references Sen Clinton as the preferred candidate; nor does it quote her describing her own plan - or criticizing anyone elses. Instead, the AFSCME chose to quote John Edwards in a piece directed wholly at criticizing Sen Obama's health care plan. Don't you agree that a reasonable person would read this as a hit piece on Obama by Edwards? Given that its not a piece from the Edwards campaign - or even an organization that supports Edwards - isn't it fair to call the ad misleading?

Posted by: bsimon | December 27, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Is this the same flyer Sailagh Murray wrote this about last week:
"The Attack is in the Mail
By Shailagh Murray
DES MOINES -- Open a mailbox in Iowa this week, and those aren't Christmas cards jammed inside.

A flier that reads like an attack on Sen. Barack Obama by former senator John Edwards actually came from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which is supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton. "

This is nothing like I expected. I pictured Edwards' quote featured more prominently. Clearly, Ms Murray was inaccurate in her characterization of the flier's reading "like an attack on Sen. Barack Obama by former senator John Edwards". It is neither an attack nor misleadingly attributed. It appears I was misinformed. I guess that's what I get for reading the Washington Post.

Posted by: zukermand | December 27, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

You can all thank Senators McCain and Feingold for that . . .

Posted by: JakeD | December 27, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

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