Fox allows Dick Morris to fundraise on-air for anti-Reid group he's advising (without disclosure)

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Yesterday on Hannity, Fox News "political analyst" Dick Morris suggested that viewers donate to the anti-Harry Reid group Americans for New Leadership. Left unsaid was that Morris is currently fundraising and helping with ad strategy for Americans for New Leadership.

Morris has sent five fundraising solicitations on behalf of Americans for New Leadership through his email list from DickMorris.com, a website that Fox News has repeatedly promoted. All five Morris-signed emails state they were "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership." In the fundraising emails, Morris makes clear he's also helping the group with advertising strategy.

While Morris is advising the anti-Reid group, it's not clear whether Morris is getting paid. According to records with the Federal Election Commission, Americans for New Leadership -- an "independent expenditure political committee" -- has made independent expenditures to firms specializing in ad production, direct mail, and media placement. Media Matters did not find any independent expenditure related to Morris, or the consulting firm association with him, Triangulation Strategies. The group's records do not currently list any disbursements for salaries, supplies, or other overhead.

"Paid" solicitations through DickMorris.com regularly come at a price. An advertising section on his website offers an email list "rental" for $10 (full list sponsorship) to $35 (full list exclusive) per thousand. Morris states that his list has 250,000 emails, meaning a full list rental would cost between $2,500 and $8,750. Though Morris' emails state they were "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership," it's not clear whether the group paid Morris for his email list.

Media Matters' requests for comment and clarification from Americans for New Leadership have not been returned as of posting time.

Media Matters has noted that Fox News has repeatedly failed to address the ethically dubious behavior of its "political analyst" and Fox News contributor.

Morris has frequently pushed groups and causes without disclosing his ties to them. In 2008, Morris asked Fox News viewers to "give funds to GOPTrust.com," the website of the National Republican Trust PAC, without disclosing that the organization had paid $24,000 to Triangulation Strategies. In February, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania paid Morris $10,000 for speaking at its 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner. Following the payment, Morris repeatedly appeared on Fox News to discuss Pennsylvania politics, and shill for Pennsylvania Republicans and causes -- without disclosure. And Morris appeared on Fox News twice to tout then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum and attack his opponent, Rick Scott. In neither appearance did Morris disclose that he had taken part in a fundraiser for McCollum.

The following is a brief summary of the five DickMorris.com emails:

  • On June 23, Morris sent an email stating, "I am urgently seeking funds to run a rebuttal ad explaining Angle's position and showing how Reid is distorting her record." The solicitation contained the Americans for New Leadership banner, and footer at the bottom stated, "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership."
  • On June 28, Morris sent an email asking, in part, "Please send the Americans for New Leadership a substantial donation immediately!" Morris ended the email: "Please answer our SOS!" The footer of the email stated it was "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership."
  • On July 14, Morris sent an email stating, "Please go to AmericansForNewLeadership.com and donate." A footer stated, "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership."
  • On August 4, Morris sent an email fundraising solicitation stating, "You answered my appeal for funds to rebut this harsh negative and we have been able to run upwards of $300,000 to do so due to your donations!" Morris added: "Our average donation has been $100, but please give more if you can and less if you want. We need help urgently. Reid has millions on hand. But with intelligent use of our resources (which I promise you I will do) a little money can go a very long way in defeating him." The footer stated, "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership."
  • On August 25, Morris sent an email stating, "The next step we want to take is to put up a very simple ad that contrasts Reid's and Angle's positions on the issues. ... Our coffers are bare. We have enough to produce the ad but not to air it. Please send us additional funds so that we can go on the offensive and put his race away!!!!!!!!!!!!!" A footer stated, "Paid for by Americans For New Leadership."

From the August 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

HANNITY: So in your mind, Wisconsin, Illinois, California, Connecticut, New York are the big -- look, I want people to still stay focus on Nevada.

(CROSSTALK)

MORRIS: If there's one --

HANNITY: Harry Reid is pouring millions into that race.

MORRIS: If there are two places where I think money and assistance is needed it's Wisconsin, it's Illinois and Nevada. In Nevada, there's a group called AmericansforNewLeadership.org that's been doing some good independent expenditures.

The June 23 email:

WE NEED YOUR HELP - URGENTLY - AGAINST HARRY REID

Dear Subscriber,

Every race is important when you are attempting to win majorities in both Houses, but the effort to defeat Harry Reid deserves a special place in our hearts and a special claim on our wallets, credit cards, checkbooks, and pocketbooks!

I have always believed that it is critical to rebut attacks from one's opponents as soon as they are made. In Nevada, right now, the need is especially urgent.

Harry Reid has thrown a devastating attack ad on the air against Republican nominee Sharron Angle which started running right after she won the GOP primary. The ad falsely accuses her of wanting to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare. If this attack is allowed to stand unanswered, it will do what seemed impossible a few months ago - re-elect Reid.

The truth is that Angle wants to assure that the feds - led by Senators like Reid - cannot raid the Social Security fund as they now do every year to pay for their deficit spending. She wants to assign Social Security accounts to each individual and prohibit the government from invading their accounts. She also favors increased efforts to "personalize" Social Security for those not yet receiving benefits so that they can make their own investments with their own Social Security tax money.

On Medicare, she wants to implement incentives for cost savings like individual accounts where the retiree can keep the funds he or she does not spend on medical care.

I am urgently seeking funds to run a rebuttal ad explaining Angle's position and showing how Reid is distorting her record.

These first skirmishes are the most important in a Senate or Governor race. They forever define the challenger, stereotyping her as a hopeless wacko and flake (Reid's goal) or as a true conservative fighting for our values (the truth).

If we rebut Reid's ad successfully, his future attacks will have less and less credibility. But if we leave this ad unanswered, or answer it inadequately, we will not recover.

We need about $500,000 to run the rebuttal effectively throughout Nevada. Reid is spending upwards of a million making the attack.

Please click here and send us as much as you can. Since the donations will flow to a federal independent expenditure committee, Americans for New Leadership, which will spend it on behalf of Angle's candidacy, your donations can be unlimited. Please send us a substantial sum. This is very, very important.

Yours,


Dick Morris

Contributions to Americans For New Leadership are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. As a nonconnected, unauthorized federal political committee that will do only independent expenditures, Americans For New Leadership may accept unlimited contributions from individuals. Contributions from federal government contractors, national banks, foreign nationals without permanent residency status (non-green card holders) and children under the age of 18 are prohibited. Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in an election cycle.

Paid for by Americans For New Leadership
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee
www.AmericansForNewLeadership.com

The June 28 email:

URGENT! WE NEED HELP AGAINST HARRY REID

Printer-Friendly Version

Dear Friend,

The campaign in Nevada to replace Harry Reid is in a desperate situation and needs your help right now!

Immediately after Sharron Angle, a committed conservative, won the Republican primary, Harry Reid's people put this vicious negative ad on the air. It takes a quote of Sharron's out of context to mislead voters into thinking that she means to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare. We have to answer immediately or we are toast!

Americans for New Leadership, a PAC in Nevada, filmed an effective answer but has, so far, been able only to raise $50,000 to air the commercial. Reid has $1 million behind his attack.

This is an example of Churchill's quote that "a lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth puts its shoes on in the morning."

Now, with Reid pushing for amnesty for illegal immigrants, it is especially important that we defeat him for re-election!

Please send the Americans for New Leadership a substantial donation immediately! (Unless you want six more years of Harry Reid).

Go here to send them funds.

Go here to see Reid's ad we have to rebut.

Go here to see the rebuttal ad we need to air.

Please answer our SOS!

Thanks,

Dick Morris

* Contributions to Americans For New Leadership are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. As a nonconnected, unauthorized federal political committee that will do only independent expenditures, Americans For New Leadership may accept unlimited contributions from individuals. Contributions from federal government contractors, national banks, foreign nationals without permanent residency status (non-green card holders) and children under the age of 18 are prohibited. Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in an election cycle.

* Paid for by Americans For New Leadership

* Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

* www.AmericansForNewLeadership.com

* https://secure.donationreport.com/donate.html?key=XBAERICWHRI3

The July 14 email:

CRITICAL TIME IN RACE AGAINST HARRY REID

Printer-Friendly Version

Dear Friend,

The next few weeks will determine whether Harry Reid is defeated or re-elected and, most likely, whether or not the Republican Party can win a Senate majority. We need your help URGENTLY to win this race. Right now. Please go to AmericansForNewLeadership.com and donate. Even if you have done so already, please give again.

To recap: Right after the primary earlier in June, Reid put a vicious negative ad on the air saying that Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee, wanted to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare. He used her own voice saying those words in his ad.

Sharron really had said that we need to "phase out" the method of funding Social Security and Medicare so that the Congress, led by Reid, cannot raid the funds to pay for their deficit spending as happens now. But Reid edited the clip to give a false impression.

And then Reid spent $1 million pushing this false charge on Nevada TV. (The average Nevadan saw the Reid attack ad about 25 times!!!).

As Churchill said, "A lie makes it halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on in the morning."

Americans for New Leadership, a federal PAC, aired a rebuttal ad telling the truth and showing the full clip of Angle but has, so far, only been able to raise about $100,000 to run the ad. Another group, Citizens United, has come up with another $200,000 and will soon start running the ad. But we are still way, way behind the lie.

But this presents a wonderful opportunity. If we can show how Reid lied, then we can strip him of any credibility and make any new accusations that much less believable.

As a result of the Reid assault, he has been gaining in the polls. Right after the primary, Rasmussen had Angle ahead by 49-41. How it is only 46-43. Among women, Reid is way ahead.

We have to have more money to answer Reid's ads!!!! Please donate right now and please give generously. Make your generosity proportionate to your animosity toward Reid!

Click here to donate to Sharron Angle

Click here to see the rebuttal ad

Thanks,

Dick Morris

* Contributions to Americans For New Leadership are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. As a nonconnected, unauthorized federal political committee that will do only independent expenditures, Americans For New Leadership may accept unlimited contributions from individuals. Contributions from federal government contractors, national banks, foreign nationals without permanent residency status (non-green card holders) and children under the age of 18 are prohibited. Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in an election cycle.

* Paid for by Americans For New Leadership

* Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

* www.AmericansForNewLeadership.com

*
https://secure.donationreport.com/donate.html?key=XBAERICWHRI3

The August 4 email:

REID V. ANGLE UPDATE

Printer-Friendly Version

Dear Friend who Hates Harry Reid as Much as I Do,

When we last communicated about the Nevada race, Harry Reid had pounced on Sharron Angle as soon as she won the Republican primary and, using his vastly superior campaign war chest, had run negative ads accusing her of wanting to "phase out" Social Security and Medicare.

You answered my appeal for funds to rebut this harsh negative and we have been able to run upwards of $300,000 to do so due to your donations!

While Reid's negative ads turned the polling around from an initial 10 point Angle lead to a 7 point Reid lead, our rebuttal has killed Reid's lead and the race is now statistically a dead tie!

Without your help, Angle would have been lost.

Now it's time to go over to the offensive!

If you want to get rid of Reid, please donate again (or for the first time) so that we may amass a war chest to give Angle back the lead, this time for good.

Our average donation has been $100, but please give more if you can and less if you want. We need help urgently. Reid has millions on hand. But with intelligent use of our resources (which I promise you I will do) a little money can go a very long way in defeating him.

Click here to donate

Thanks and stay tuned.

Dick Morris

* Contributions to Americans For New Leadership are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. As a nonconnected, unauthorized federal political committee that will do only independent expenditures, Americans For New Leadership may accept unlimited contributions from individuals. Contributions from federal government contractors, national banks, foreign nationals without permanent residency status (non-green card holders) and children under the age of 18 are prohibited. Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in an election cycle.

* Paid for by Americans For New Leadership

* Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

* www.AmericansForNewLeadership.com

* https://secure.donationreport.com/donate.html?key=XBAERICWHRI3

The August 25 email:

REID IN RETREAT! NOW WE ATTACK!

Printer-Friendly Version

Dear Friend,

As a direct result of your contributions (all $400,000 of them), we have been able to stop Harry Reid's advance in Nevada and roll back his gains. Now we need more money to go over to the offensive!

After the primary in Nevada, you will recall, Reid put up a negative ad using a doctored clip of Sharron Angle, his Republican opponent, seemingly saying that she wanted to "phase out Social Security and Medicare." The ad sent her reeling. She did not have the money to counter it and Reid piled on $1 million behind the negative. Angle fell from a 9 point lead to a 7 point deficit under the impact of this ad. Some gave up.

We didn't. We appealed to you for funds for the Americans for New Leadership, the Independent Expenditure group sponsoring the ads and put up a rebuttal ad.

The rebuttal accurately explained that Angle wanted to phase out the method of financing Social Security and Medicare so that the Congress and the Democrats couldn't borrow the money to fund their deficit spending.

With $400,000 behind the rebuttal, Angle moved up in the polls and now leads Reid 46-43 in our polls.

The next step we want to take is to put up a very simple ad that contrasts Reid's and Angle's positions on the issues. As a result of Reid's attacks, Angle has acquired the reputation for taking eccentric and flakey positions on issues. We want to stress that "on the issues that matter, Reid is wrong, wrong, wrong."

So here's the ad we want to run:

"Do you support the $850 billion stimulus package Obama passed last year? Reid voted yes. Sharron Angle says no.

The TARP bailout? Reid, yes, Angle no

Cap and Trade? Reid backs it. Angle is opposed.

Obamacare? Reid pushed it through. Angle says repeal it.

On the issues that really matter, Reid is wrong, wrong, wrong."

Our coffers are bare. We have enough to produce the ad but not to air it. Please send us additional funds so that we can go on the offensive and put his race away!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CLICK HERE to donate.

Thanks.

Dick Morris

* Contributions to Americans For New Leadership are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. As a nonconnected, unauthorized federal political committee that will do only independent expenditures, Americans For New Leadership may accept unlimited contributions from individuals. Contributions from federal government contractors, national banks, foreign nationals without permanent residency status (non-green card holders) and children under the age of 18 are prohibited. Federal law requires political committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contributions aggregate in excess of $200 in an election cycle.

* Paid for by Americans For New Leadership

* Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

* www.AmericansForNewLeadership.com

* https://secure.donationreport.com/donate.html?key=XBAERICWHRI3

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Dick Morris
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