Perlmutter Was Swiftboated

A recent TV ad attacking Ed Perlmutter was financed by a top backer of 2004’s most infamous 527 group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, says the Rocky Mountain News. The “Amnesty” ad attacking Perlmutter on immigration issues was financed by wealthy Texan Bob. J. Perry and purchased through a new 527 group, Americans for Honesty on Issues.

The major Republican backer of the controversial Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that torpedoed John Kerry in 2004 is providing the money behind a negative ad playing in suburban Denver’s 7th Congressional race.

Texas homebuilder Bob J. Perry, who has close ties with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and White House political strategist Karl Rove, has recently pumped at least $7 million into groups supporting Republicans and taking out attack ads against Democratic congressional candidates across the U.S.One of those ads targets former state Sen. Ed Perlmutter for being soft on immigration, Federal Election Commission filings show.

The 30-second spot, called “Amnesty,” was bought for $246,000 by a new group called “Americans for Honesty on Issues.” The ad buy was financed by Perry.

Perlmutter is locked in a tightening race with Republican Rick O’Donnell for control of the swing seat left open by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez.

Both campaigns said Monday that they were unaware of Swiftboat’s ties to the immigration ad.

“It is a surprise that the Swiftboat group is playing an ad in the 7th, but it isn’t a surprise that they want Rick O’Donnell in Congress so he can rubber-stamp the Republican agenda,” Perlmutter spokesman Scott Chase said.

O’Donnell’s campaign condemned the first version of the ad, which was found to be false. And his spokesman Jonathan Tee said that such 527 groups – named after the section of the federal finance laws that allow them to raise and spend money outside normal campaign limits – were “another example of the problem in politics.”

The first version of the ad, which aired Oct. 9, inaccurately stated that Perlmutter passed legislation as a state senator defining services for illegal immigrants. In fact, the legislation was aimed at legal immigrants.The group pulled the spot after Perlmutter’s campaign and a local television station challenged the ad’s truthfulness. It was immediately replaced with a similar ad.