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Gloves off: Now, Obama calls for prosecuting GOP donor; Update: AIP responds

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 26, 2008 04:41 PM

Scroll down for updates…

I noted this morning that the Obama campaign’s Chicago-style thug effort to shut down the independent ad on Bill Ayers is part of the larger effort to intimidate conservative donors and curtail the free speech of The One’s critics.

It’s getting uglier, people.

Obama’s lawyer has sent a second letter to the Justice Department calling for the head of Dallas billionare Harold Simmons, who funded the Ayers ad that the Obama campaign doesn’t want the public to see.

Feel the chill:

Obama general counsel Bob Bauer today sent a second, sharper letter to the Justice Department, directly attacking the Dallas billionaire funding a harsh attack ad, Harold Simmons.

“We reiterate our request that the Department of Justice fulfill its commitment to take prompt action to investigate and to prosecute the American issues Project, and we further request that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute Howard (sic) Simmons for a knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits,” he wrote.

He called the group’s activities “patently illegal.”

Bauer made the case that Simmons’ group [is not] fulfilling its [...] nonprofit charter because it hasn’t spent any money on anything other than attacking Obama. Simmons’ spokesman, Christian Pinkston, told me yesterday that plans to, and dismissed the complaints as an effort to lawyer away charges the campaign can’t rebut.

I posted AIP’s rebuttal here yesterday. And as I’ve noted today and will note again: Obama has some nerve whining about campaign finance integrity after getting caught hiding $800,000 in ACORN payments.

What’s going on? Simple: The Left has its George Soros sugar daddy and can’t stand that conservatives have their own committed benefactors. They’ve got a massive non-profit infrastructure funded with taxpayers and operating flagrantly in an illegal, partisan manner (hello, ACORN Watch!). They want the playing field all to themselves. And they are fighting for that turf by any means necessary.

Can they do it?

No, they can’t. Not if you don’t let them.

***

AIP responds again:

American Issues Project Calls Obama Campaign Efforts to Prosecute Political Opponents “Bullying” and “Censorship”

AIP Responds to Second DOJ Letter from

Obama Campaign Demanding Donor Prosecution

Washington, DC – August 26, 2008 – The Barack Obama campaign has now sent a second letter to the Department of Justice calling for the prosecution of one of American Issues Project’s donors for his role in funding a political advertisement in full compliance with all election laws.

“Having failed in its attempts to get our legal, factual and fully-supported ad off the air, Barack Obama’s campaign now wants to put our donors in prison for exercising their right to free speech,” said Ed Martin, American Issues Project’s president. “These over-the-top bullying tactics are reminiscent of the kind of censorship one would see in a Stalinist dictatorship, with the only difference being that those guys generally had to wait until they were in power to throw people who disagreed with them into jail.”

In addition to two letters sent to the Department of Justice asking the government to investigate American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors, the Obama campaign has been contacting stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot. With no success on either front, the campaign has also begun running its own ad in response. Notably, this ad fails to dispute a single fact in the American Issues Project’s initial ad.

American Issues Project is a 501(c)4 organization, similar in structure to NARAL and the League of Conservation Voters, two liberal organizations that have claimed status as “qualified nonprofit corporations” for two decades. In accordance with federal law, American Issues Project only solicits and accepts contributions from individuals and not from any business corporation. The FEC also sets out specific regulations for the activities of a qualified nonprofit corporation, which American Issues Project follows.

The American Issues Project’s ad began airing Thursday, August 21, and will continue through the Democratic Convention. An electronic version of the ad and full documentation of all statements made are available at American Issues Project’s website: www.americanissuesproject.org.

About American Issues Project

American Issues Project is a 501(c)4 organization representing a coalition of conservative activists committed to raising important issues that deserve deeper examination given their impact on policy and politics. In accordance with federal law, American Issues Project only solicits and accepts contributions from individuals and not from any business corporation. For more information, visit: www.americanissuesproject.org.

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