Dems’ dark-money bid aimed to paint Josh Hawley as an anti-gun lefty

Dems' dark-money bid aimed to paint Josh Hawley as an anti-gun lefty

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R). Photos: Getty Images A dark-money group aligned with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer helped pay for deceptive ads aimed at depressing Republican general election turnout in 2018, newly released records show. Why it matters: These contests were decided more than two years ago, but the details show how partisan operatives exploited gaps in campaign finance laws to attack their rivals while obscuring their true motives — tactics both sides may adopt in next year’s pivotal midterms. Republicans Josh Hawley and Mike Braun, now U.S. senators, were among those targeted. So were then-Sen. Dean Heller and now-Rep. Matt Rosendale, who lost their races. Details: Majority Forward is the nonprofit arm of Senate Majority PAC, a high-dollar super PAC affiliated with Senate Democrats. Newly released tax records show that Majority Forward gave nearly $2.7 million in 2018 to another nonprofit called the Coalition for a Safe and Secure America (CSSA). That was the majority of the $4 million CSSA raised that year. It used those funds to finance direct mail and digital advertising campaigns attacking Republican candidates in some of the nation’s most competitive Senate contests. Majority Forward did not respond to Axios’ request for comment. Background: CSSA’s ads ran on a handful of state-specific Facebook pages. They hit those Republican candidates from the right, accusing them of caving on issues central to the conservative political brand. Nevada’s Heller "allowed almost 200,000 foreign workers a backdoor entry into our country," […]

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