Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Why Open Secrets is a great site:
The Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org, a Web site which analyzes and posts data from political campaigns, has just released a new report debunking the "Republicans for Nader" meme that has been circulating through the Web like a virus. The article is here: ["Double Impact"]. Personally, I love this section here:

"As a group, the 51 donors have given $54,300 to Nader and just over $415,000 to Republican candidates, parties and leadership PACs. They have contributed nearly $66,000 to Democrats. All but six of those donors have contributed more to Republicans than to Democrats during the current election cycle."

Hmm. Republicans gave Nader $54,300 - but they also gave Democrats "nearly $66,000." Gee, why are the Dems so mad? The Republicans gave them more money than Nader! This goes to the heart of what independents are always complaining about: Donors backing both major political parties. Now, they are throwing money at Nader, too. So maybe all this "Republicans for Nader" stuff is a bunch of bunk after all, eh?
Interestingly, this follow up by Open Secrets has been totally missed by the lamestream press over the last five days. A Google News search of "Nader, Republicans, Center for Responsive Politics," the parent group of the Open Secrets site, posted nine links and two stories published since the Center for Responsive Politics published its article. The other seven links were stories from news outlets before the Center released its article, including the USA Today, NPR, the Hartford Courant, and the Atlantic Monthly online. Here is what the two links revealed:
First, The Washington Post via MSNBC posted a story today about Nader ballot problems. The story is here: ["Nader unsure of ballot spots"].

"While Republicans do not deny offering logistical support to Nader's petition efforts in several states, direct financial contributions from those who have also donated to Bush so far amount to only $54,300, or 4 percent of the $1.5 million Nader has raised."

Not bad. At least the reporters noted that the donations were a very small amount of Nader's overall donations. However, there was no mention of the Republican money men giving to the Democrats.
Another link from the news search yielded a localized version of the story from Alabama, in The Mobile Register: ["Nader finds cash in Alabama"]. However, reporter Steve Myers also failed to mention that these Republican contributors had also given to Democrats:
"Last week, the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign finances, reported that at least 51 Nader donors also had donated to GOP campaigns.
Those donors gave Nader $54,300 while pouring $415,000 to Republican candidates, action committees and parties, according to the organization."

Howard Kurtz, Dan Kennedy, where are you? :-)
At the same time, a Google News search of "Nader, Republicans," yielded more than 2,000 news story hits. Clearly, anti-Nader media bias is starting to slip into the coverage of this story.
A Google News search of "Nader, Republicans, Capital Eye" yielded one article from the San Diego Union Tribune about the political passions of online dating [In the article, John Hlinko is talked about. Hlinko is one of the co-founders of MoveOn.org and the Nader-hating site TheNaderFactor.org].
A search of "Nader, Republicans, Open Secrets" yielded an editorial from the Albuquerque Tribune on Aug. 18 attacking state Sen. Rod Adair, a Roswell Republican, for urging people on his email list to sign Nader petitions.
"Nader, Republicans, OpenSecrets.org," yielded no results from Google News.

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