Posted by Brendan Fischer on November 11, 2011

Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS is running an ad in Massachusetts attacking the Occupy Wall Street movement and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren with some questionable assertions.

Warren, a Harvard law professor and longtime critic of financial gambling who oversaw the development of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is running even with incumbent Scott Brown in a high-stakes race for the U.S. Senate. Crossroads GPS is a secretly-funded 501(c)(4) group affiliated with Rove's American Crossroads. A heavy hitter in the campaign spending arena, the group spent $17 million in the 2010 elections, and is expected to spend $150 million in 2012. The group is led by Stephen Law, former general counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Crossroads GPS worked closely with the Chamber in 2010 to fight the Wall Street reforms that Warren supported.

Redistribution and Violence

Crossroads GPS is spending nearly $600,000 on the Warren ad, which says "Elizabeth Warren sides with extreme left protesters" and that "at Occupy Wall Street, protesters attack police, do drugs and trash public parks. They support radical redistribution of wealth and violence."

The ad flashes the words "radical redistribution of wealth" and cites to an article by pollster Douglas Schoen in the Wall Street Journal. Schoen wrote that the protesters supported "radical redistribution," but his own numbers (which were not included in the story) actually showed only 4% of those polled supported the concept. In fact, a greater number (5%) told Schoen they wanted a flat tax, a policy typically supported by conservatives. 35% of those polled offered a much more moderate goal -- they hoped to influence the Democratic party.

In the ad, the Schoen article quote is flashed over an image of a sign that says "fight for socialism, abolish capitalism," apparently implying that the Occupy protesters are socialists and Warren is, too. A section of the Schoen poll not superimposed over the "socialist" image showed that only six percent of protesters identified with the socialist party -- the same number who identified with the libertarian party.

As for the claim that protesters "attack police," Crossroads seems to have reversed the causality. And whatever scattered violence that has occurred amidst thousands of protests over months pales in comparison to the violence that happened on a single college campus, on a single night, when a football coach got fired.

Warren Responsible?

The ad also juxtaposes images suggesting violence with a quote from Warren saying "I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do," implying she was responsible for any violence that might happen at the Occupy protests. What she actually said in an interview with The Daily Beast during the early days of the protests was this:

Look, everybody has to follow the law. That's the starting point. I've been fighting this fight for years and years now. As I see it, this is about two central points: one, this is about the lack of accountability. That Wall Street has not been held accountable for how they broke the economy. The second is a values question, a fundamental fairness around the way that markets have been distorted and families have been hurt. I'm still fighting that fight. I'm just fighting it from this angle…I want to fight it from the floor of the United States Senate. I think that is a place to make this difference.

The Daily Beast asks: Is showing solidarity with them going to get in the way of that?

It's not a question of solidarity. I just don't think that's the right way to say it. I support what they do. I want to say this in a way that doesn't sound puffy. I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do. That's the right thing. There has to be multiple ways for people to get involved and take back our country. The fight that I'm fighting now is one that is directed towards the United State Senate. That's just how I see it.

Crossroads GPS represents "the 1%"

As a 501(c)(4), Crossroads GPS can keep its donor list secret, but NBC's Michael Isikoff reported in 2010 that "a substantial portion of Crossroads GPS' money came from a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls."

In light of this, the director of the watchdog group Campaign Money Watch, David Donnelly, told The Washington Post's Greg Sargent that Crossroads GPS' Massachusetts TV spot really is "an ad by the one percent, for the one percent."

Brendan Fischer

Brendan Fischer is CMD's General Counsel. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Comments

Really. Is this the best they can come up with? Keep an eye on them, but don't let their hollow taunts get you crazy.

A free market economy as promoted by the far right is a market rigged for the rich to make them richer. If you are a small investor or have a 401k, you know how badly the current market has done you in. It's the law of the jungle - the survival of the fittest - the fat cats eat the small frys. Elizabeth Warren wants to add just enough regulation to make the market fair, open and transparent with no advantages for the special interests and the fat cats. The founding fathers would agree with Ms Warren especially Thomas Jefferson who warned future generations to watch out for corporate interests and their ability to take control of government - which they have already done. It's time for the small fry to fight back. Elizabeth Warren is the person I want in the Senate to fight for me.

Elizabeth Warren is strong, principled, intelligent, experienced champion of fairness - and I, for one, will do all I can to help put her in the Senate where she can be most effective at helping everyday working Americans.

I have seen the ad. It is showing here in Providence, RI which also covers southeastern Massachusetts. Just the tone of the ad, its stridentness, tells me how distorted it is. Hopefully, this is one attack ad that will backfire.

Elisabeth Warren is more intelligent than the entire Liberal Gang.
What these articles suggest is that GPS Crossroads/Rove;et;al;is again attempting to buy the election in 2012?
Bush & Blair have been found Guilty by a Tribunal of War Crimes, and will be arrested. Rove should be included in that deliberation, he is as Guilty as Bush in the Torturte, Kidnapping of innocent civilians, the Murder of those Innocent Civilians in Iraq and other copuntries. That entire Gang should have been charged with the same War Crimes,and the Theft of Billions of Taxpayer Dollars. Condoleeza is the administrator of that theft of $163 Billion per the GAO report.This was a plane load of cash where Bush forced the Director of the Federal Reserve to open on a Sunday. It was earmarked as money to rebuild what the US had blown up. It disappeared when Rice's plane was laoded in Iraq with this Cash.

Ron Paul for President
Rand Paul for VP
Elisabeth Warren for Secretary of State

...In which office she'll be safely powerless to do anything against the banksters. Right? :-)