UPDATE (4/3): After posting yesterday about the Indiana Senate primary, I was contacted by Sen. Richard Lugar's son David Lugar and political consultant Pat Hynes about errors in my post.
It is true I mixed up the efforts of two super PACs that are buying ads to support Lugar in Indiana: 1) Hoosiers for Economic Growth and Jobs; and 2) Indiana Values Super PAC.
Also, David Lugar confirms that he has no association with the Indiana Values Super PAC.
I inferred that there was, because the super PAC used the same address that was once listed for Lugar's lobbying firm. However, a fourth quarter 2011 lobbying disclosure filed about the same time as the super PAC's formation lists a different address for The Lugar Group.
There was no need for me to make additional assumptions about the Indiana Values Super PAC, and I sincerely apologize to David Lugar.
Long-time Indiana Senator Richard Lugar is fighting for his political life against a challenge from Tea Party State Treasurer Dick Mourdock. And conservative groups such as FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth have turned it into the most heated Senate primary in America.
Lugar, who was first elected to the Senate in 1976, is being challenged by these conservative organizations for what they consider to be his insufficiently conservative record. More specifically, they point to his vote for the creation of the Department of Energy, his vote for the Bush-era Medicare Part D, and his support of the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act.
Media reports show Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative leader in the Senate known for keeping a low profile, has taken the unusual step of transferring at least $500,000 from his Senate Conservatives Fund to the Club for Growth to fund attack ads currently running on Indiana television, such as this one.
In response, a pro-Lugar Super PAC launched its own attack ad. However, its target isn’t Mourdock. Instead, it's focused on the Club for Growth’s president, Chris Chocola, who is from Indiana and who hasn’t been in Congress since 2006 when he was defeated by Rep. Joe Donnelly, who will be the Democrat candidate for Lugar’s Senate seat.
Another pro-lugar Super PAC running ads is Indiana Values Super PAC, Inc. shows its treasurer is Andrew Klingenstein, a former staffer Lugar who is registered
at the address of David Lugar’s lobbying firm: The Lugar Group, LLC. At 555 12th St. NW #770, Washington, D.C.
Also, the super PAC’s 2011 FEC report for Indiana Values, which covers the last two weeks of December, lists a $10,000 contribution from Robert J. Kabel on December 21 and a $17,000 expenditure for a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies.
According to the Federal Election Campaign Act, non-connected PACs are required to register with the FEC within 10 days, once contributions or expenditures exceed $1,000. But while that poll was commissioned on December 13, Indiana Values' state of organization report with the FEC wasn't signed and postmarked until January 5. This appears to be a violation of FEC rules.
This may be another problem Lugar has to wrestle with, after he received good news on Friday that his 604 acre farm, which Lugar considers too “rustic” to live on, can be used as Lugar's address for voting purposes. Until now, Lugar was being pummeled for living fulltime in suburban Washington and not maintaining a home and voting address in the state he represents.
Primaries in 2012 have already been bad news for incumbents across the country, with angry Tea Party voters showing up to the polls. Perhaps Indiana is next.
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