A group called the “Center for Individual Freedom” (CFIF) has purchased $200,000 in TV ads in the Washington D.C. media market, to convince legislators to deny Puerto Rico any immediate debt relief.
The ads will air on Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates in the D.C. area. They will also run on local D.C. news programs, as well as the Sunday, April 10, episode of “Meet the Press.” You can see the complete video of one of these ads here:
In addition to these ads, CFIF announced that it will run a national ad campaign to oppose Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief for Puerto Rico. At this point, CFIF has not disclosed how much it will spend on internet, cable, satellite and radio ads.
But the stakes are high, with billions of dollars up for grabs…so the ad spending may reach into the millions.
WHO IS BEHIND ALL THIS?
According to the New York Times, “a coalition of hedge funds and financial firms has hired dozens of lobbyists, forged alliances with Tea Party activists, and recruited so-called Astro-Turf groups on the island to make their case. This approach has proven successful overseas, in countries like Argentina and Greece, yielding billions in profit amid economic collapse.”
As a “Dark Money” group, CFIF is not required to disclose its donors, so we don’t know who is funding the ad buys.
It is reasonable to assume that several vulture funds and their lobbyists are involved…but federal law and the Citizens United decision of the US Supreme Court, make it illegal to compel the disclosure of who is paying for these “commercials.”
We may never know who creating and airing these TV ads, to keep Puerto Rico from receiving any debt relief.
That is why it’s called Dark Money.
*UPDATE: Today, the same day that I wrote this article (4/8/16), I saw this TV ad in NEW YORK CITY. Several other people reported seeing it in CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, COLORADO and ILLINOIS.
So this ad has gone national.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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