Changing of the Guard at Freedom's Watch

Freedom's Watch, the right-wing advocacy group, recently hired Carl Forti, the former political director for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, signalling that the group "is getting ready to gear up for Election 2008," reports Bill Berkowitz. Forti, a notorious mudslinger, was communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee from 2004 to 2006, turning it into what the the Annenberg Political Fact Check called an "attack-ad factory" whose work "stands out ... for the sheer volume of assaults on the personal character of Democratic House challengers." Freedom's Watch has pledged to spend close to $250 million during the coming election cycle, but Berkowitz notes that several prominent staffers have recently left the group, including its co-founder, Bradley Blakeman, and Matt S. David, its communications director, amid "reported questions about the actual existence of the $250 million war chest that Freedom's Watch's leaders have boasted about." The group has also been criticized by some conservative activists as a "rootless organization built to capitalize on the Republican agenda" that "no doubt will raise and spend a lot of money and much of it will go to the PR company that organized it and for which they are a front."