Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Company McCain Keeps

"You better not cry, you better not pout, sign the loyalty oath and pull your wallet out, John McCain is coming to town."

He's here tonight for a private fundraiser, and alongside him will be the chair of his Michigan Victory 08 committee, John Rakolta, Jr., and co-chair Robert Liggett. Names sound familiar? You might remember these two for a certain newspaper ad that ran in July 2006 - one that linked Gov. Granholm and other Democrats to Hitler.

At first, Dick DeVos was shocked! shocked I tell you! that someone would do such a thing, denounced the ad, and disavowed any knowledge of where the funding for it might have come from.

"There is no place in Michigan politics for this ad," DeVos said. "It is appalling and this approach is despicable and wrong. Use of imagery and text that trivialize the worst tragedy of the 20th Century is disgraceful and vile."

The MI GOP was silent on the ad - for good reason. The months went by, the election was over, and in March of 2007, when this was forgotten by everyone - the truth came out.

The controversial Detroit-based group that funded a 2006 election ad comparing major Democratic politicians — including Gov. Jennifer Granholm — to Adolf Hitler was largely bankrolled by some of the most prominent Republican donors in the state.

In early July, Voice the Vote placed an ad in the Detroit-based Michigan Chronicle newspaper that featured photographs of Hitler, Granholm and former Democratic presidents, accusing the party of taking African-American voters for granted and urging voters to say no to Granholm. It was widely condemned, including by Granholm’s Republican challenger, Dick DeVos.

But a report filed this week disclosing the political action committee’s donors – some eight months after it was due – revealed that about two-thirds of the $29,000 raised by the group came from John and Terry Rakolta, Julie and Peter Cummings and Robert Liggett.

The Cummingses and the Rakoltas have given hundreds of thousands to Republican candidates or organizations. Liggett also is a major Republican Party donor.

With friends like these...

McCain will be holding a town hall meeting tomorrow morning at the Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion at Oakland University in Rochester. The AFL-CIO will be there to say "howdy", perhaps you can go help them out and ask John if he approves of the tactics of his "friends". Chances are he does. After all, MI GOP didn't seem to have a problem with it.