How Much Does American Crossroads Hate Claire McCaskill?

mccaskill.jpg
Watch your back, Claire. They're already out to get you.
​You may have heard that Claire McCaskill, Missouri's senior senator, is running for re-election in 2012. She doesn't know who her Republican opponent is yet. (Congressman Todd Akin and former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Sarah Steelman are both vying for the job. So is businessman John Brunner, though he's also considering running in Tennessee.) She hasn't even won the primary. Election day is still seventeen months away.

Nonetheless, today American Crossroads, a conservative 527 advocacy organization based in Washington, DC, launched a campaign against McCaskill with a $50,000 statewide radio spot and a website, Truth About Claire.

Isn't all this a little...premature?

Not if McCaskill's candidacy is a sure thing, Jonathan Collegio, American Crossroads' communications director, tells Daily RFT.

"Claire McCaskill is so far to the left of her constituents, she's a top target regardless of who wins the primary," he says. (Never mind that Missouri's two biggest population centers, St. Louis and Kansas City, always go blue.) "With a targeted election, it's important to begin framing the campaign and issues early."

Not only that, Collegio says, "Claire McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for re-election net year. She has a very liberal voting record that we want to make known in the 2012 campaign. While she talks a lot of fiscal conservative talk, her voting record is far more liberal than most Missouri voters realize. If you're a fiscal conservative, you don't vote for bailouts and stimulus packages and massive government healthcare takeovers."

Truth About Claire also highlights -- and ridicules -- some other proposals McCaskill voted for, like a grant of $451,614 to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to study Brazilian wood-boring beetles.

American Crossroads is a relatively new political committee: It first appeared during the 2010 election cycle when, along with its sister organization, a non-profit called Crossroads GPS, it raised $71 million. Most of that money went toward negative campaign ads targeting, among others, Missouri senatorial candidate Robin Carnahan, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and Washington Senator Patty Murray.

"Campaign laws make it difficult for non-party organizations to support candidates," Collegio explains, almost apologetically. "We most often have to run contrast or negative ads."

(American Crossroads can, however, give money to candidates. FEC records show that American Crossroads donated several hundred thousand dollars to the campaign of Carnahan's opponent, now-Senator Roy Blunt. Its officials include several prominent Republicans, including former RNC chair Mike Duncan who serves as the chair of its board of directors, and former White House chief of staff Karl Rove, who is an adviser.)

Naturally, American Crossroads is also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and it's hired a local consultant, Paul Mouton of Joplin. All of which means: 2012 starts now, and it's going to be a very long year.

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Update 1:05 p.m.: Caitlin Legacki, a senior spokeswoman for the Missouri Democratic Party, responds via e-mail:

"All of the attacks against Claire are going to be about distorting her record. As an independent who has cut spending by going after the big contractors, she's stepped on some pretty big toes, and there are quiet a few giants who want to take her out as a result. But Claire has always been comfortable as the underdog, fighting for what's right."

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moreno
moreno

Everyone here in Mo knows exactly who mccaskill really is. When she realizes that she is in real jeapardy related to her re-election she shows up in Mo "at the drop of a hat"!! She tells us that she is in favor of gun-ownership, that she abhors the very thought of national health care, that she does NOT favor "special" rights for labor unions, that SHE BELIEVES IN THE VALUES, ETHICS AND MORALITY OF MOST Mo voters!! HOWEVER, WHEN SHE GOES BACK TO WASHINGTON SHE VOTES A STRAIGHT DEMO PARTY LINE AND WILL NEVER, NEVER, NEVER VOTE AGAINST OR CONTRADICT HER BELOVED PRESIDENT HUSSIEN!!!!!  HELL NO, SHE DOES NOT REPRESENT MOST MO FOLKS AND THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN LYING TO US EVERY TIME SHE COMES INTO OUR PART OF THE COUNTRY!!!!!!! 

JP
JP

You are clearly a fucking idiot.

KH
KH

Typical liberal response.  No fact based response regarding Moreno's points just name calling.  It is all lib have is to name call because they can't voice what they stand for just as Claire cannot.  She says one thing and does another.

Thomas Plummer
Thomas Plummer

I would vote for a half drowned shihtzu over Claire McCaskill. she is an awful senator, and has consistently ignored her constituency to go hard left.

Chad Garrison
Chad Garrison

What? Republicans are throwing a dog (half-drowned) into the fight?

Mntvernon
Mntvernon

Well Chad, it doesn't speak well for Claire when she chooses a graduate of the Mel Carnahan School of Airline Management to do her taxes.Now, thar's a mutt that needs to be drowned.

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