Freedom’s Watch, the Republican answer to MoveOn.org, has started a new round of ads, costing millions of dollars, thanking U.S. troops for their service and reminding Americans that we live in freedom because of their sacrifices.
The ads begin this week and will run through the holidays.
“At this time when Americans come together as families to celebrate the holidays, we can’t forget those who are away from home so that we may celebrate the holidays in peace here at home,” Bradley A. Blakeman, president and CEO of Freedom’s Watch, tells Newsmax. “The ads will say we have an obligation as Americans to take a second and remember those who make it possible for us to live as free and openly as we do.”
The ads will run on national television, and full page ads will appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Stars and Stripes, and USA Today.
In the meantime, Freedom’s Watch has moved into its headquarters that were once occupied by the Washington Capitals on 9th Street NW in Washington. The 10,000 square feet of office space is laid out like Bloomberg’s offices, with lots of open space and few closed offices. The facilities include a so-called newsroom with plasma television monitors covering one wall and a television studio that will be used to broadcast programs nationally.
Since late August, Freedom’s Watch has spent $15 million on television, radio, and print ads. The targets have been anti-war critics who support a quick retreat from Iraq, MoveOn.org’s ad suggesting that Gen. David Petraeus betrayed the American people, and Columbia University’s decision to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak.
Conservatives have long wondered why no one has stepped forward to provide as much funding to push their issues as the left-of-center MoveOn.org operations started by George Soros.
The new non-profit organization is designed to fill that void: Its funding will exceed that of entities that have been underwritten by Soros.
The No. 1 issue pushed by Freedom’s Watch is protecting America and counteracting disinformation in the media about measures needed to protect the country. A lawyer, Blakeman was in charge of appointments and scheduling during President Bush’s first term.
“We’re going to educate the American people on those representatives who have less than stellar votes on keeping America safe,” according to Blakeman. “We believe in a free market, economic freedom, and a smaller government. We believe in a safe and strong America. We believe in having our streets free from drugs. And we believe that workers’ rights should be protected, and not necessarily by unions.”
Freedom’s Watch has been hiring staffers and mapping plans for future endeavors, including investing in movies.
“We plan to engage on multiple levels on issues that are important to Freedom’s Watch,” Blakeman says.
The new round of ads direct people to the organization’s Web site — freedomswatch.org — which lists ways to support the troops.
“Whether it’s volunteering at a local VA hospital, sending care packages, donating phone cards or airline miles, supporting charities that offer aid to our troops and their families, or just expressing your appreciation when you see them, our nation’s heroes deserve our gratitude and support,” the site says. “During this holiday season, we encourage you to find some time to show your support for our nation’s heroes and their families.”
The Web site provides links to a dozen non-profit organization Web sites that are sending care packages to troops.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.
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