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Among the street hustlers and others asking you for a handout up on Broadway is a state-registered charity called Campaign to Defend America, Inc., (CDA),>"/>
Among the street hustlers and others asking you for a handout up on Broadway is a state-registered charity called Campaign to Defend America, Inc., (CDA), a D.C.-based, Democratic-backed and non-profit presidential campaign organization which has an office suite on Capitol Hill’s funky main drag. Its Seattle fund-raising arm, Grassroots Campaigns Inc., is housed there and solicits Seattleites to help fund CDA, which in turn is funding new TV hit ads aimed at John McCain.
CDA is something of the Democratic version of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that attacked John Kerry's military record in 2004. Like the Swift Boaters, CDA's chief funding source, Fund for America, is a 527 political organization -- named after a federal provision that creates tax-exempt organizations which can receive unlimited donations. CDA was set up in part by MoveOn.org co-founder Wes Boyd, and its biggest donations, funneled through Fund for America, include investor George Soros, hedge fund manager Don Sussman and the political heavyweight labor group, Service Employees International Union. Ex-Bill Clinton chief-of-staff John Podesta, Taco bell heir Rob McKay and SEIU execs are among the fund's leaders.
Following the labyrinth money flow in and out of CDA, the Center for Investigative Reporting discovered CDA sponsored the "McSame" ads that paint John McCain the same as George Bush. The ad is, say the investigators in a report aired on NPR this week, "an example of what is expected to be a messy advertising battle between a slew of independently operating liberal and conservative groups, with hundreds of millions of dollars spent on each side."
The McCain ad, says the investigative report, isn't the only production of the CDA. The organization is also affiliated with Americans Against Escalation in Iraq, a liberal coalition targeting Republican members of Congress who opposed withdrawal timetables for the Iraq war. The Escalation coalition is an alias for CDA, according to records filed with the secretary of state in Olympia.