Daily Disclosure: Olympic ads accuse Romney of outsourcing jobs

Super PAC ad tries to steal Romney's Olympic thunder

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Getting into the spirit of the Olympics, Priorities USA Action, a pro-President Barack Obama super PAC, released “Romney’s Gold” Wednesday, blasting the former Massachusetts governor’s tenure with Bain Capital.

The ad depicts footage from the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, which Mitt Romney has been credited with saving, and some creative narration describing the countries with which he has ties. (The opening ceremonies are Friday.)

"There’s Mitt Romney, who ran the Salt Lake City Games, waving to China — home to a billion people. Thousands owe their jobs to Mitt Romney’s companies," says the announcer. "India, which also gained jobs thanks to Romney, an outsourcing pioneer. And Burma, where Romney had the uniforms made for the 2002 games."

The announcer continues with Switzerland, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, accusing him of using the nations’ favorable banking laws to add to his wealth.

“Romney’s Gold” synthesizes a handful of criticisms Romney has faced from other ads and the Obama camp in recent weeks: A company based in Bermuda that Romney failed to disclose, Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island holdings, Bain’s alleged outsourcing to China and India, and Romney’s decision to have the 2002 Olympic uniforms made in Burma, an oppressive military dictatorship.

The Romney camp has strenuously denied the outsourcing claims, which were the subject of a Washington Post story.

The ad will air during the Olympics in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. While it is part of a $20 million campaign launched in May, officials would not comment as to the cost of this particular buy, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Priorities USA Action, one of the top spending super PACs in the 2012 election, took in $6.2 million and spent $7.4 million in June, finishing the month with $2.8 million cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Big June donors include:

  • Media mogul Fred Eychaner — $1 million
  • Jon Stryker, heir to the medical supply fortune of Stryker Corp. — $750,000
  • Actor Morgan Freeman —$1 million

Eychaner, the CEO of Newsweb Corp., has given $3.8 million to Democratic candidates, parties and committees since 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. This includes the $1 million to Priorities USA Action, $1.05 million to House Majority PAC (a pro-House Democrats super PAC) and $500,000 to Majority PAC (a pro-Senate Democrats super PAC) this election cycle. These contributions help make him one of the top donors to super PACs this year.

Stryker, an architect, has a long history of giving to Democratic candidates and liberal political committees, including animal rights PACs and pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender candidates and PACs. His charitable foundation, the Arcus Foundation, focuses on LGBT social justice issues and protection of great apes in particular.

He has given $971,000 to political candidates, parties and super PACs since 2008, according to the CRP.

Freeman’s $1 million contribution to Priorities USA Action is his first major political contribution.

The Obama campaign itself made a $6.1 million national ad buy with NBC, the network that is airing the Olympics. It includes an Obama ad airing every night during the games plus daytime ads with NBC affiliates, MediaPost reported. No word yet on the content of the ad.

Pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future has reserved $7.2 million for ads during the Olympics to air in 11 states — most considered up for grabs in November: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. The ads will air from July 31 to August 9, Politico reported.

While the Romney campaign has not bought Olympics air time, Romney is finishing up his overseas tour in London with two high-dollar fundraising events Thursday — and the Olympics opening ceremony Friday.

In other outside spending news

  • The Service Employees International Union released “Snow White,” which features Mitt Romney’s face pasted onto a cartoon knight on a horse surrounded by sprouting flowers.
  • Prosperity for Michigan spent $125,000 on a TV ad supporting Republican Clark Durant’s run for U.S. Senate in Michigan, an FEC filing showed Tuesday. Durant is the founder of a group of charter schools in inner-city Detroit. The buy paid for “Half and Half,” an ad comparing Durant’s opponent, former Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra, to current Democratic Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow. This comes in addition to Saturday’s $288,000 ad buy for “Part of the Problem.”
  • The Tea Party Express’ super PAC, Our Country Deserves Better, spent $106,000 supporting the Senate runs of Republicans Ted Cruz in Texas and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman in Missouri.
  • Conservative super PAC Freedom PAC reported Tuesday spending $125,000 on TV ads in support of Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., who is running for U.S. Senate in Florida.
  • Texas Conservatives Fund, a pro-David Dewhurst super PAC, spent $815,000 on advertising opposing Dewhurst’s challenger in the GOP Senate runoff in Texas, Ted Cruz. Conservative Renewal, another pro-Dewhurst super PAC, also spent $50,000 on print ads supporting Dewhurst’s run on Tuesday.
  • Cruz’s supporters countered, with an ad from Club for Growth Action, a tea party-aligned super PAC, spending $575,000 on Tuesday supporting Cruz and opposing Dewhurst with TV and internet spots.
  • Several new super PACs registered in the last week, new filings with the FEC show: 430PAC.org in Lawndale, Calif., The Fat Old Man PAC in Solon, Ohio, Defend Our Homes in Washington, D.C., Sound from the Ground in Bethesda, Md., New Opportunities PAC in New York City, Flyover Super PAC in Lawrenceberg, Ind., and END (Eradicate National Debt) in Chapel Hill, N.C. Only New Opportunities has a working website, and it shows that the super PAC is concerned with electing candidates who support science and technological development.