"Please, please help" Scott Brown: Fox "political analyst" Morris uses position to fundraise for Mass. GOPer
Research ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI
During the January 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity, Dick Morris urged viewers to "go to DickMorris.com ... to help elect [U.S. Senate candidate Scott] Brown [R-MA]," because if "we win this fight, then there will never be another victory for Obama." DickMorris.com includes a fundraising plea "to help us raise $300,000 for a last minute media buy to push Brown and the Republicans to victory"; Fox News executives allow Morris to solicit funds for Republican efforts despite reportedly telling colleague Mike Huckabee to cease conflict-of-interest promotions that help his political action committee.
Morris: "Please, please help" elect Scott Brown
On Hannity, "political analyst" Morris claimed that "if we win this fight, then there will never be another victory for Obama." Morris told viewers that "if you go to DickMorris.com, my website, I have a whole column about what you can do to help elect Brown."
From the January 11 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
MORRIS: They vote Democrat for the legislature. But then they want a Republican governor to check and balance their legislature, because they don't trust it.
And I think that what's going on now is the voters of Massachusetts are saying, "Wait a minute. We want checks and balances. We don't want just one-party governance." And I think that that's helping Brown.
By the way, if you go to DickMorris.com, my website, I have a whole column there about what you can do to help elect Brown. Because if we win this fight, then there'll never be another victory for Obama. He probably will get health care, because the House will pass the Senate version. But he'll never get 60 votes again.
SEAN HANNITY (host): All right.
MORRIS: And boy, if we could pull this one out, incredible.
HANNITY: I agree.
MORRIS: So please, please help.
HANNITY: The fact that it's close is amazing. We're going to follow that race, as we have been following closely.
Morris' website: Donate to our "media buy to push Brown and the Republicans to victory"
From a January 11 column posted on DickMorris.com:
The League of American voters [LAV] is about to unveil an ad to be run in Massachusetts emphasizing the importance of having a system of checks and balances in Washington. The ad says "it's not about party or politics. It's about checks and balances."
Please help us put the ad on the air. CLICK HERE to donate to help us raise $300,000 for a last minute media buy to push Brown and the Republicans to victory.
We will send you the ad as soon as it is finished (likely tomorrow). With your funds, we can roll back the 60 vote Democratic supermajority and restore some sense of balance to Washington.
The ad draws on the recent tradition in Massachusetts of electing Republican governors to check the excesses of Democrats in the State Legislature. For twenty years, the state has elected one Republican after the other as Governor while returning a solidly Democratic Congressional and Senatorial delegation, top heavy Democratic legislative majorities and a full slate of Democrats for other statewide offices. The idea of checks and balances -- of restraining the liberal big spending policies of the Democrats -- sells well in Massachusetts.
We may have a rare opportunity here to change the nation's course and we all have to pitch in to make it possible.
Morris' fundraising link goes to a contribution page for the LAV. Morris serves as "the chief strategist for the organization" and helps craft their "ads and national campaign."
Morris uses Fox News position to raise pro-GOP funds and fight Democrats
Morris asked Fox viewers to "give funds to GOPTrust.com" without noting his apparent financial ties to the organization. Between October 27, 2008, and November 17, 2008, Morris mentioned GOPTrust.com during at least 13 Fox News appearances and asked viewers to "give funds to GOPTrust.com," the website of the National Republican Trust PAC, without disclosing that the organization has paid $24,000 to a company apparently connected to Morris. Through publicly available records with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Media Matters for America found that GOPTrust.com paid Triangulation Strategies at least $24,000 from the beginning of October 2008 to November 24, 2008, mostly for "Email Communication." The "Mailing Address" for Triangulation Strategies is listed in one of the National Republican Trust PAC's FEC filings as "dickmorris.com."
Morris frequently touts website as way to oppose Democratic efforts. Morris frequently encourages people to oppose Democratic initiatives and support Republican efforts through his website. For instance:
- On the December 18 edition of On the Record, Morris said that "right now, there are huge numbers of ads running on television every five minutes in Nebraska urging [Sen. Bill] Nelson [D] to stand firm and oppose this bill. If you go to Dickmorris.com, you can find out how to help do that."
- On the December 17 edition of Hannity, Morris said: "But you know, Sean, this is wonderful day because I am beginning to believe that there is an increasing chance now of stopping or diluting the health care reform bill. I think that Lieberman did a fine job in getting rid of the public option and getting rid of the Medicare buy-in. Now Nelson is standing firm. And you can go to dickmorris.com and contribute to this effort, but they're running thousands of points of media in Nebraska this weekend."
- On the December 3 edition of On the Record (retrieved from Nexis), Morris said: "The broader point here is the president announced 30,000 troops to a Afghanistan, a health care bill that will destroy the health care system -- go to DickMorris.com and find out how to fight it as it's making its way through Congress."
- On the November 23 edition of Hannity, Morris touted "the work we're trying to do through DickMorris.com" to oppose health care reform and instructed viewers to "go there and help us."
- On the October 22 edition of On the Record, Morris said that "one of the things that's making a huge difference in this is the advertisements that are being run all over the country explaining to people the facts about this program, 'cause the other networks aren't covering it. Fox is, but the others aren't. And if you go to DickMorris.com, I give you step-by-step guide as to what you can do to stop this bill from passing. And I believe we have every chance of stopping this bill, because the public is running out on it."
- On the October 19 edition of Hannity, Morris claimed that "at DickMorris.com we've raised now $2.5 million to run ads" against health care reform.
- On September 28 edition of Hannity, while discussing health care, Morris said: "We've got to stop them. Go to my Web site and look up how to contribute to run these ads."
- On the September 21 edition of Hannity, Morris stated: "[O]n my website, DickMorris.com, I'll tell you how to contribute to 10-second ads we are now running." His website featured an LAV ad and solicited donations for "[t]he New Ad Against Obamacare."
Fox execs reportedly forbade Huckabee from conflict-of-interest promotions -- what about Morris?
Washington Post: Fox execs forbade Huckabee from plugging website, "which the network deemed a conflict of interest." Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote in a December 21 article that Fox News executives "told Huckabee to stop plugging the Web site on the air after learning that it linked to his political action committee, which the network deemed a conflict of interest":
Huckabee hasn't exactly abandoned Republican politics, either. On Sunday, he headlined a Nebraska rally staged to oppose the Democrats' health care bill. His HuckPAC has been involved in local races, raising $305,000 in this campaign cycle. His Web site urges followers to "Vote No Against Senate Health Care Bill" and invites fans to join him and his wife, Janet (for just $3,999!), on a tour of Israel next month. Fox executives told Huckabee to stop plugging the Web site on the air after learning that it linked to his political action committee, which the network deemed a conflict of interest.
Despite the reported order, Huckabee and FoxNews.com still plug Huckabee's personal website, MikeHuckabee.com, which actively promotes and links to his political action committee.