No relief from campaigning

A group called Americans United for Change (AMFC) ran home-state television advertising attacking six supposedly vulnerable U.S. House members, one of them Dean Heller of Nevada.

The spot as it ran in Nevada opened with footage of George Bush’s famous aircraft carrier claim: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” A narrator then said, “After four years with no end in sight, thousand of Americans wounded, Iraq in civil war, and over 3,000 Americans dead, Dean Heller is still voting with the president on Iraq. On March 23rd, he voted against bringing our troops home. Tell Dean Heller, after four years, it’s time to end the war.” At various times there are shots of the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner and a photo of Heller with Bush. The spot can be viewed at

AMFC is located at 1825 K Street, N.W. in Washington D.C. Also headquartered in the same suite are two other groups, Change America Now and the US Action Education Fund.

Asked if these kinds of ads by both left and right don’t contribute to year-round campaigns that distract officials from governing, AMFC spokesperson Jeremy Funk said, “He [Heller] has to answer for his votes in Congress. Right now he’s answering to his votes in Congress. This is not, again, this is not about politics.”

Source Watch, a group that tracks the actual policy interests of political groups with sometimes misleading warm fuzzy names, reports that AMFC is a 501(c)(4) organization founded in 2005 “to fend off President Bush’s top policy priority at the time: privatizing Social Security.” at the University of Pennsylvania has previously faulted AMFC for an earlier television campaign: “A liberal, labor-funded group calling itself Americans United for Change (previously Americans United to Protect Social Security) is running a $1 million national advertising campaign that makes some dubious claims and tries to imply more than it can prove.”

Heller was caustic toward critics of the war after the March 23 vote but after a visit to Nevada during which he ran into heavy antiwar sentiment, he has begun talking about “reassessing” his position.