White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs belonged to group that refused to discuss its political donors

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs spent much of his press conference defending the White House’s charge that the Chamber of Commerce should disclose all of their donors for their political ads. But as Chris Moody at the Daily Caller reports, Gibbs himself was once part of a group running political attack ads that notoriously refused to disclose their funders:

During the 2003-2004 presidential primary season, however, Gibbs worked as the spokesman for a liberal  advocacy group that ran attack ads against then-Democratic candidate Howard Dean. The “secretive” group, called Americans for Jobs, Health Care & Progressive Values, spent months organizing scathing ads without disclosing who was paying for them.

One particularly damaging  TV spot that aired in December 2003 showed a photograph of Osama Bin Laden while an ominous voice declared, “Americans want a president that can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy. It’s time for Democrats to think about that. And think about it now.” The ad, part of a series of anti-Dean spots, crippled the Dean campaign.

The Dean camp was furious, and called on the group to disclose who had funded the ad.

“Whoever is behind this should crawl out from underneath their rock and have the courage to say who they are,” Former Dean Spokesman Tricia Enright told The New York Times at the time. “It is hateful, it’s cynical, it’s exactly the kind of ad that keeps people from voting, that keeps people from getting involved in the process.”

The organization’s Treasurer, David Jones, refused.

“We will disclose donors when the law requires,” Jones was quoted as saying in The New York Times.

It would be interesting to see what happens when some enterprising White House reporter asks Gibbs about this.

Beltway Confidentialelection 2010Robert GibbsUS

Just Posted

Niners defensive lineman Joey Bosa played a major role in stopping the Eagles in a Week 2 San Francisco victory. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
What we learned from Niners beating the Eagles

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner Is your glass half-empty? Niners… Continue reading

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Most Read