"Standing in a medical exam room, a neurosurgeon in a white lab coat stares solemnly into the camera and warns that President Obama’s health care plan 'will hurt our seniors' and 'end Medicare as we know it.' ... How this ad came to be produced and distributed provides a case study in modern American political advocacy. It shows how a quickly assembled group with uncertain origins and funding can make a mark on one of the most contentious public policy debates in memory. The group that says it paid for the campaign -- the League of American Voters -- incorporated less than two weeks before the ad was released online. The League’s executive director, its only employee, declined to identify its founders or donors but claims that in less than two months of existence it has built a membership of 16,000 and raised about $1.7 million in donations. ... Interviews and a review of public records show that a wide-ranging group of people coalesced to launch the League or its ad campaign: Dick Morris, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and one of the nation’s more flamboyant political operatives; a one-time West Virginia political candidate ([Bob Adams); a New York City public relations executive with ties to health care groups (Alexandra Preate]; a New York rabbi; a filmmaker best known for an ad questioning the patriotism of Vietnam War veteran and then-Georgia senator Max Cleland (Rick Wilson); and a Florida doctor who once settled a state medical board allegation that he had operated on the wrong site during a spinal procedure."
By John Stauber on September 25, 2009