For an update on the exodus of Democrats from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, see Wednesday’s article by Spencer Ackerman on the new Washington Independent website and a later piece by Isikoff and Hosenball at the Newsweek website. It seems that three other Democrats, including Rep. Eliot Engel and Sen. Chuck Schumer (whom I didn’t mention in Tuesday’s post), have resigned from the group, which last week hastily reorganized its corporate structure — and gave birth to a new organization, Defense of Democracies — to preserve its 501(c)3 status.
Of course, these Democrats are leaving primarily because FDD has become increasingly partisan in its attacks on specific Democratic lawmakers and leadership, not because of its steady drumbeat of Arabo- and Islamo-phobia that has dominated its work since its inception more than six years ago. I still wonder whether the remaining self-described Democrats, such as former Amb. Marc Ginsberg and, most particularly, James Woolsey and Sen. Lieberman (that will be an interesting test), will also desert the FDD. And what about the Democrats associated with the Committee on the Present Danger, an FDD “project?” They include former Reps. Dave McCurdy and Stephen Solarz, and former Amb. Peter Rosenblatt.
May denied to Newsweek that the funding for the controversial ads came from telecom companies, insisted they came from individual donors. I would imagine that the likely suspects include the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) donors to Freedom’s Watch, which has set a goal of raising and spending $250 million this year in support of its agenda. The current ad campaign in support of Bush’s version of the Protect America Act costs $2 million, according to Newsweek.