Dark Money Groups Have Ulterior Motives For Opposing Hagel
Dark money groups fresh off an unprecedented binge of election spending are now aggressively working to defeat President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be secretary of defense.
Some of those trying to bulldoze Sen. Hagel’s nomination are working overtime to conceal their motives. For instance, in efforts to stoke liberal opposition, Republicans who supported presidential candidate Mitt Romney -- despite his hardline positions against gay rights -- may well be funding the Log Cabin Republicans to run ads criticizing Sen. Hagel for anti-gay statements and positions he expressed more than a decade earlier. As it turns out, these groups are doing much more than just trying to derail Sen. Hagel’s nomination.
One of the groups taking the lead in the fight against Sen. Hagel is the American Future Fund (AFF), an Iowa-based group that spent nearly $26 million benefitting Republican candidates during the 2012 election cycle.
“Postelection we have new battle lines being drawn with the president; he kicks it off with these nominations and it made sense for us,” Nick Ryan, the founder of AFF, told The New York Times regarding the group’s decision to fight the Hagel nomination. In an effort to discredit him, AFF inaccurately has suggested Sen. Hagel violated Senate ethics rules and that he is on the board of a firm with investments in Iran.