Dictators for Obama?

Evangelical leader Gary Bauer leads the Campaign for American Values PAC, which produced the ad "Dictator Vote."

President Barack Obama has the dictator vote, at least according to a super PAC run by evangelical leader Gary Bauer. Hours before Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney began a debate on foreign policy, Bauer’s super PAC released an ad with quotes from Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, expressing their admiration for the president. “Obama secured the dictator vote,” the narrator says. “Does he have yours?”

Bauer’s Campaign for American Values PAC has spent more than a half-million dollars on ads supporting Romney and opposing Obama. An August ad said Obama is “forcing gay marriage on the country.” Another accused the president of “bowing to Islam.” And a third ad asked, “Why was God booed by Obama’s delegates” at the Democratic National Convention? Bauer, a former adviser to the Reagan administration, is also president of American Values, a nonprofit, and president of Campaign for Working Families, a political action committee. All oppose abortion and gay marriage.

The Campaign for American Values PAC has received $892,000 in contributions this election cycle. A full $600,000 has come from an obscure corporation called Corporate Land Management. Mother Jones identified Tim Horner, the president of the jewelry company Premier Designs Inc., as the man behind it. Premier Designs’ mission includes advocating for Christian causes, like creating opportunity for “mothers to be able to stay home more with their children,” according to its website.

Bauer is also the former president of the conservative Christian group, Family Research Council, and the former vice president of Focus on the Family, which runs a politically active nonprofit called CitizenLink that has spent $1.8 million on socially conservative candidates for U.S. Senate. Bauer considers himself “unapologetically pro-family [and] pro-life” and a “staunch supporter of President Bush’s war on terrorism.” He ran for president in 2000 before dropping out and endorsing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. He is also on the board of the hawkish Emergency Committee for Israel, founded by neoconservative Bill Kristol, founder and editor of the Weekly Standard. The committee has spent almost $800,000 opposing Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

In other outside spending news:

  • SEIU PEA-Federal, the super PAC of the Service Employees International Union, reported spending $3.9 million on ads in the presidential, U.S. House and U.S. Senate races.  
  • Conservative nonprofit Crossroads GPS reported spending $389,000 on ads opposing Cheri Bustos, the Democratic candidate for U.S. House in Illinois’ 17th District. The alderwoman faces Republican Rep. Bobby Schilling in one of the most expensive House races for outside spenders in the country.  
  • YG Network, a conservative nonprofit, reported spending $343,000 on “Pennsylvania Values,” an ad opposing Rep. Mark Critz, D-Pa. Critz faces Republican Keith Rothfus, an attorney.  
  • Club for Growth Action, a conservative super PAC, also weighed in on the Critz-Rothfus matchup with “Views.”  
  • The NFIB, the Voice of Free Enterprise Inc., a nonprofit affiliated with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, reported spending $1 millionsupporting Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel in his bid for U.S. Senate.  
  • The National Republican Senatorial Committee reported spending $4.2 million opposing Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Nevada, North Dakota, Montana, Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin and Arizona.  
  • The Congressional Leadership Fund, a conservative super PAC affiliated with the American Action Network, released “Out of Touch,” opposing Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Iowa, and “Cherry Hill Tax,” opposing Democrat Shelley Adler, who is running for U.S. House in New Jersey’s 3rd District. Adler is an attorney and the wife of the late Rep. John Adler, D-N.J.  
  • Day One,” from House Majority PAC, a super PAC supporting House Democrats, opposes businessman Chris Collins, the Republican running for U.S. House in New York’s 27th District against Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul.  
  • American Future Fund, a conservative nonprofit, released “Responsibility,” criticizing Obama for the way his administration handled security at the U.S. embassy in Libya.  
  • Destroy” from the nonprofit Center Forward, formerly the Blue Dog Democrats, opposes attorney Andy Barr, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in Kentucky’s 6th District.

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And PLEASE tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

About the author

Rachael Marcus is a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit, non-partisan independent investigative news outlet, which contributes campaign finance coverage to Marketplace. For more of their reporting on money and politics go to publicintegrity.org.

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