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Shadowy Ark. group run out of Va. P.O. box

The other day I ranted about a shadowy group called Americans for Job Security, which is spending more than $1 million in ads attacking Bill Halter in an effort to sway the Arkansas Senate primary -- without any of us knowing where any of that cash is coming from.

Here's something that drives home the absurdity of this. Halter's campaign has tracked down the group's mailing address and sends over a pic. It's a P.O. box at this store in Alexandria:

ajs.JPG

Says it all. I know this isn't news to anyone. But it is nonetheless remarkable that this group could help to decide who represents the state of Arkansas in the upper chamber -- even though we know nothing about who's funding it, why, and who the group even supports.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 10, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

It's also remarkable how well that UPS store meshes with the other buildings in Alexandria's old town. Creepy.

Mike from Arlington, get over there and stake that place out.

We await your report.

Ps. Take Emilio Estevez if you need company.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Wanted: One thesaurus for Greg so he can stop writing "shadowy."

Posted by: sbj3 | May 10, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't it be funny if the culprit was, in fact, UPS? They may be a huge corporation with virtually unlimited cash to spend, but they're just like you and me.

Posted by: mattslavick | May 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't like "shadowy"? How about "scuzzy"?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 10, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Matt, that would completely change the dynamic of "what can brown do for you?"

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

This is starting to sound like what came out through Nate Silver's crusade against Strategic Vision, LLC last year.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | May 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

This is the farce that is campaign finance in the US. I don't care how much individuals give to candidates, but the money should not be able to be access until that person's name is published online, with the amount and who it went to.

Money is speech, and free speech is of course protected, but why is secret speech protected?

Posted by: ChicagoIndependant | May 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

thanks holly. I take that as a high compliment. :)

And agreed, ChicagoIndependent, that pic was meant to capture this in one image. Welcome, if you haven't commented before...

And where's Mike? He does have to stake the place out.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 10, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

As you should Greg, as you should.

Posted by: holyhandgrenaid | May 10, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

That you don't know it's "plumb line" makes me dubious about your work. A good education is hard to find these days.

Posted by: alguess | May 10, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

alguess --

It's a cross between "plumb line," and "Plum Book," the legendary insiders guide to D.C.

Unfortunately too few people know about the Plum Book, so I find myself explaining this all the time.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 10, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ChicagoIndependent. Excellent point. It is one thing to protect free speech but there is no place for secret speech in PUBLIC elections.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 10, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Paging Rachel Maddow. I remember AJS from Paul Wellstone. This group has been around a long time.

Posted by: avahome | May 10, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

OT...TPM has the goods on the RNC strategy to fight ANY SC nominee:
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/05/top-strategist-advises-gop-to-prolong-scotus-fight-to-block-obama-agenda.php?ref=fpb

A tad predictable, these folks.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 10, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/happy_hour_roundup_4.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 10, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

A trip to guidestar will inform you that its directors are Art Hackney (lobbyist political consultant), Patrick Hynes (self-styled political mafioso), Tabitha Connor (political consultant), Stephen Demaura (pres of the front group), Nicholas Terzulli and Michael Dubke. It spent over $12 million on pushing a pro-business agenda in 2008 and <$600,000 in 2007 indicating that it's very focused on electoral campaigns. 07 directors included Jean Cottington and Kirk Miller. I didn't google the rest, it's not my job. Clearly it's a front group for the Chamber and other anti-labor, anti-tax groups since its board consists of professional lobbyists and PR folks who are clearly fronts.

Posted by: RinOregon | May 11, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

"Clearly it's a front group for the Chamber and other anti-labor, anti-tax groups since its board consists of professional lobbyists and PR folks who are clearly fronts."

And it's opposing Bill Halter and supporting Blanche Lincoln. Tells you all you really need to know if you are an AR Dem primary voter.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 11, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

By the way, if someone enterprising really wanted to figure them out, they could look at the lobbying disclosures from the different board members and see who their firm's clients are and who they specifically lobby for - giving you the pool of possible funders.

Posted by: RinOregon | May 11, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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