Submitted by John Stauber on
The Associated Press examines two dueling partisan lobby groups composed of military veterans, "valuable public relations tools" for politicians in the debate over the war in Iraq. VoteVets "has spent about $850,000 this year on political ads. ... Its board of advisers includes ... former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey," who lobbied for attacking Iraq as a member of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. VoteVets is part of Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, the MoveOn and SEIU coalition that pressures pro-war Republicans but not Democrats. On the Republican side, the pro-war Vets for Freedom "has worked with former White House spokesman Taylor Gross, and Campaign Solutions - headed by Republican consultant R. Rebecca Donatelli - helps manage its online media. Adriel Domenech, the press contact for the group, is a former intern with the Republican National Committee," who worked in public affairs for the Bush Administration in Iraq. The AP article fails to mention Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), an independent grassroots group that criticizes both Republicans and Democrats. The Center for Media and Democracy hosted IVAW leaders at a Coffee with the Troops in Chicago at the Netroots Nation (formerly Yearly Kos) convention.