Tags: Iran | Rand Paul | Rand Paul | Carl Forti | ad | attack | Iran

GOP Strategist Under Scrutiny Over Rand Paul Attack

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:32 PM

The co-founder of a Republican firm that worked on a controversial $1 million ad campaign attacking Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is in hot water for his involvement with a super PAC trying to help Senate Republicans like Paul stay in office, Politico reports.

The Black Rock Group did communications work for the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America, whose ads last month called Paul "dangerous" because of his positions on Iran.

But Black Rock’s co-founder, Carl Forti, also works as the political director for American Crossroads, which has formed the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"Leader McConnell was of course not aware of this activity," Brian McGuire, a top aide to McConnell, a fellow Kentucky Republican, tells Politico.

"But those involved should know that in his view it’s completely unacceptable, and that no consultant who makes a living attacking members of his conference who are running for re-election should expect to do any business with the party committees."

Politico also quotes an unnamed official with the National Republican Senatorial Committee scolding Forti, saying: "What advisers do on the presidential level is their business, but if it starts affecting a 2016 Senate race, that is when we will have an issue."

Paul is seeking a Senate revelation while also running for president.

Forti tells Politico that while he works with Crossroads, the senior director at his firm, Lisa Boothe, was hired by Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America for communications on the anti-Paul campaign.

"I’m the one who works with Crossroads and Senate Leadership Fund, and Lisa was acting as spokesperson for the group, so you got different people within a company here," Forti tells Politico. "So I don’t think there’s any conflict whatsoever."

The ad buy, launched in the four early primary states the week Paul announced his presidential run last month, said Paul "doesn’t understand" the threat from Iran, calling him "wrong and dangerous" for "siding with [President Barack] Obama," according to Politico.

In an interview, Paul downplayed its effect on his presidential bid.

"We haven’t seen any impact from that," he insists, Politico reports.

Steven Law, president and CEO of Crossroads, said the group was assured Forti was not involved in the anti-Paul effort, adding Crossroads has "zero connection" to the Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America or the ad.

Law added Crossroads will support Paul "100 percent" in his Senate re-election or if he wins the GOP nomination for president.

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The co-founder of a Republican firm that worked on a controversial $1 million ad campaign attacking Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is in hot water for his involvement with a super PAC trying to help Senate Republicans like Paul stay in office, Politico reports.
Rand Paul, Carl Forti, ad, attack, Iran
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2015-32-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:32 PM
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