Key individuals behind the 2004 Swift Boat ads that attacked John Kerry’s Vietnam service and helped torpedo his presidential campaign are readying a major new advertising onslaught against Barack Obama, the Washington Post reports. The American Issues Project has amassed a multi-million-dollar fund. Its involvement marks a new level of campagin participation by outside groups. Organizations backing Obama, including unions and envoronmental groups, are readying ads of their own.
AIP was founded by a Swift-Boat alum and a major Bush donor. The group launched its first controversial attacks on Obama in August in ads in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Until now, outside organizations had kept relatively quiet in the race, spending just $8 million to 2004’s $100 million at this point in the campaign.