Posted Monday, Oct. 4, 2010, at 2:53 PM
Some great sleuthing by Amanda Terkel here on the origins of a West Virginia ad that oh-so-subtly attacks Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) for having chaired Arab Americans for Barack Obama in 2008.
[West Virginia Conservative Foundation's] latest ad buy amounts to $227,800 . The group was founded by West Virginia attorney Mike Stuart, who is now chairman of the state's Republican Party and received the backing of Massey CEO Don Blankenship in his earlier run for the state legislature. Until Oct. 3, Stuart's official bio on the West Virginia GOP website listed him as "President and founder" of WVCF...
Little is known about WVCF. It appears to be tied to the state's powerful coal industry, sponsoring a "pro-coal rally" in October 2009 . But its website lists no staff names. The site's blog hasn't been updated since January , and its Facebook page had been dormant since Stuart stepped down in July but began updatingagain in the past few weeks. The site lists no phone number and nophysical address (just a post office box). The Huffington Post sent ane-mail through the form on the site, but it went to the inbox of Roman Stauffer , who said that he no longer works there.
The foundation's latest Federal Election Commission filing from Oct.1 lists Nathaniel Lieberman and Lance E. Schultz as the co-heads of thegroup. Schultz is a Tea Party supporter and on Sept. 16, wrote an op-ed with another big independent spender, Americans for Prosperity VicePresident Phil Kerpen, in support of Republican John Raese for WestVirginia's Senate seat.
That doesn't answer the question of who's funding the group,* has the right to run this "issue ad" up through election day and never say how it was paid for. The Fourth Estate would probably find time better spent doing more investigations like this than giggling over more Christine O'Donnell videos.
*I originally mistakenly said this was new under Citizens United.