UPDATE: Mediaite reported in an article following the publication of this post that Fox says Chao is no longer a Fox News contributor. Mediaite wrote: "We reached out to Fox and they replied that Chao is, in fact, not a Fox News contributor." Fox identified Chao as a Fox News contributor as recently as September 6 during an appearance on Fox Business.
If it's hard to differentiate Fox News contributors from members of the Romney campaign, it might be because they're sometimes one in the same.
Four Fox News contributors are serving as surrogates or advisers for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. In many instances, Fox News has failed to disclose its employees' ties to the Romney campaign while hosting them.
Another contributor, Karl Rove, is a co-founder and adviser for the super PAC American Crossroads, which is spending millions to defeat President Obama. Jay Sekulow frequently appears on Fox News to discuss legal issues and attack the Obama administration without being identified as a Romney legal adviser.
The following are the Fox News contributors who are also members of the Romney campaign.
On its website, the Republican Party of Virginia's 2012 coordinated committee states that it will "defeat President Obama, Tim Kaine, and congressional Democrats" across the battleground state by raising money and rallying the grassroots. It can now count on an official Fox News platform for further help in those efforts.
Fox News has hired Pete Snyder, the chairman of Virginia Victory 2012, as its newest on-air contributor. Snyder made his first official appearance yesterday on Fox & Friends, where he repeated Republican platitudes about President Obama and his policies.
Snyder's hiring by the network doesn't appear to have affected his Republican Party position, as Virginia Victory still lists him as its chairman and his Twitter bio states he's a "Fox News Contributor, Chairman of Virginia Victory 2012."
Snyder's capital investment firm announced the hiring in a press release, which quoted him as saying he's "long admired Roger Ailes and his pioneering vision and look forward to working with him and the entire Fox News team during the most important election of our lifetimes." The release added that "Virginia is considered by many political observers to be the #1 battleground state in the upcoming presidential election, and Snyder is overseeing the Republicans' efforts in the Commonwealth."
Snyder appeared at a "We Did Build This" event in Roanoke on July 25 for the Romney campaign. The event was based on Fox's and the Romney campaign's distortion of President Obama's remarks about small businesses. Breitbart.com wrote that Snyder "has been traveling throughout Virginia on Romney's behalf."