Secret money in Pennsylvania politics

    In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania this spring, a bunch of nasty ads popped up attacking front runner and eventual winner Tom Smith (you can see one above).

    The group sponsoring the ads didn’t reveal its donors until after the primary, and its filing a couple of weeks ago showed that virtually all of its money came from another political committee that’s registered to an Allentown UPS box rented by the former finance co-chairman for Steve Welch, another candidate in the race who was also attacking Smith.

    And as the Allentown Morning Call’s Colby Itkowitz reported last April, the media consultant that did the attack ads by the shadowy group, Brabender Cox, also did Welch’s ads.

    To complete the sordid tale, well summarized here by The Committee for Responsive Politics, it turns out the ultimate source of the cash for the attack ads comes from a non-profit group that’s allowed to hide its donors.

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    This is the kind of stomach-turning thing we’ve come to expect in the cesspool American politics, but we shouldn’t accept it.

    Any candidate that benefits from stuff like this in the future should be pressured to publicly denounce the effort, and Welch should have told his ad team that if they’re going to produce sleaze attacks for anonymous groups, he’ll take his business elsewhere.

    By the way, the name of the group that funded the attacks and kept its donors secret? Restore The Dream.

    What a nightmare.

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