This article appeared in the Nonprofit Quaterly on June 7, 2017. Click here to view the original article.
By Ruth McCambridge
June 7, 2017
As former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before Congress tomorrow, the Great America Alliance (GAA), a non-profit 501(c)(4), will launch a 30-second attack ad labeling Comey a political “showboat” and saying he “put politics over protecting America.” It also declares that he has been “consumed with election meddling” even as “terror attacks were on the rise.” The ad will run on CNN and Fox News.
“James Comey: just another DC insider only in it for himself,” the ad concludes.
The Great America Alliance was born out of the Great America PAC, which supported Trump’s election. Wikipedia describes the Alliance as follows:
In December 2016, Great America PAC announced the formation of a new offshoot called the Great America Alliance, which it described as a research and issue advocacy organization whose mission was to support the “Trump Agenda” by advocating “a stronger economy, a more secure nation, and a society with less government intrusion and more freedom for American citizens.” The Great America Alliance is chaired by Newt Gingrich and Rudolph Giuliani. Tomi Lahren joined the organization in a communications role in April 2017.
As Wikipedia summarizes, the Great America PAC ran a number of ads during the election, including:
In June 2016, Great America PAC released its first ad, entitled “Enemies,” featuring spokesman [Carl] Higbie. In the ad, Higbie says, “The Orlando tragedy is a stark reminder that the enemy and the battlefield is moving here to our shores…Join millions of active duty military members and veterans like me who stand with Donald Trump.” Great America PAC spent $700,000 on the ad.
In July 2016, Great America PAC released its second ad, entitled “The Difference,” featuring Dorothy Woods, the widow of Ty Woods, a former Navy Seal and one of four Americans killed in the 2012 Benghazi attacks. In the ad, Woods says her husband was a “fierce patriot.” Woods goes on to say, “He was killed during the attack in Benghazi while saving American lives under the charge of our State Department,” and that when “When Hillary Clinton was challenged by Congress on who was to blame for the attack, her response was a disgrace.” Great America PAC spent two million dollars to produce and air the ad.
In July 2016, Great America PAC released its third ad, entitled “Leadership,” featuring former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In the ad, Mayor Giuliani says, “The world must come together and America needs to lead, yet President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton just wants to stay the course. The incompetence Hillary Clinton displayed during the Benghazi attack and her singular focus on protecting her own reputation proves she is not ready to be commander-in-chief. We face many challenges as a nation, but nothing is more critical than America displaying strong leadership and an unwavering resolve to defeat terrorism. America’s leadership can and must be better and with Donald Trump as president, it will be.”
Eric Beach, head of GAA, says that the group was not asked by the White House for the support, but the copy reflects statements made by the administration. As readers will recall, it was Trump who first labeled Comey a “showboat,” citing that as the reason he fired him.—Ruth McCambridge