Monday, June 24, 2024

AR-Sen [Follow-up]: If Not Mitchell Berry, Then Who?

Yesterday, I mentioned (and Blue Arkansas detailed more fully) an attack ad against Bill Halter that was created by a group headed by Marion Berry’s son, Mitchell.

Except, then it wasn’t headed by Mitchell Berry; he was merely the lawyer who did the paperwork to create the group.

Which all seemed well and good for a moment, until someone asked the question in the title to this post: if it wasn’t Mitchell Berry, then who was behind the group?  Always vigilant when it comes to Bill Halter, Daily Kos started sniffing around and came up with some interesting evidence.  It’s not air-tight by any means, but a lot of the signs seem to point to Blanche Lincoln.

So to recap:

  1. Strother and Duffy have DC political media firm Strother Duffy Strother. Among their clients are Blanche Lincoln (and Zell Miller).
  2. Strother has new firm, Strother Strategies, that works with shadow donors to launch baseless attacks on Halter.
  3. Duffy, his longtime business partner (see screenshot bragging about being the “oldest existing Democratic media firm”) is working directly with Lincoln via Murphy Putnam.
  4. And it’s all one big coincidence!

Obviously this stinks to high hell. it’s everything that is wrong with politics today.

Meanwhile, Mitchell Berry is claiming he doesn’t run the shadow group, that he just coincidentally happened to be the lawyer that filed the organization’s paperwork even though this father is Halter’s biggest nemesis in Arkansas.

So many coincidences!

Yet Berry won’t say who is running that sleaze operation, if it in fact isn’t him. His is the only name associated with the group, yet he won’t reveal who else is involved, and where its money comes from.

Now, I agree with everyone who has said that this whole thing smells fishy, and I agree in a sense with Kos that this is an example of all that is wrong with modern political campaigning.  That said, c’mon…let’s not pretend for a second like this ad is the first of its kind.  What, it’s supposed to be different because it might possibly be backed by the son of a retiring Congressman?  Says who?  I think Kos (and others) are playing up the “what ails politics” angle so that they can tie ads like this into Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, 558 U.S. ___ (2010).  Until we have any sort of proof that this ad was funded from the general treasury account of a union or a corporation, Citizens United has nothing to do with this.

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