Swift Boat Watch: Judicial Confirmation Network

See all Swift Boat Watch entries here .

Who They Are: Judicial Confirmation Network

Purpose: The group supports conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. In this election, they oppose Barack Obama.

President: Gary Marx, former coalitions director for Bush-Cheney 2004 and Mitt Romney.

Funding: The group is a registered 501(c)4, funded through individual donations.

Cost of the Ad: $550,000 in a $1 million campaign .

Where It Ran: Michigan, Ohio, and nationally on the Fox News Channel through Friday, Oct. 10.


Claims: Tony Rezko, a slumlord who was convicted on 16 counts of corruption, donated money to Obama. Obama also associated with William Ayers, a member of the Weather Underground who planted a bomb in the Pentagon in 1972 and later said he “didn’t do enough.” The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor for years, blamed the U.S. for the Sept. 11 attacks. If Obama “chose” these people as associates and backers, the ad suggests, how can we trust him to choose Supreme Court justices?


Accuracy: The majority of the facts in the ad are correct. Rezko started to donate to Obama’s state senate campaign in 1995, although Obama recently gave Rezko donations to charity. Obama and Ayers worked together on the board of the same Chicago anti-poverty foundation for three years. Ayers, when he was a member of the Weather Underground, planted a bomb and later said it wasn’t enough . Wright did say in a sermon that African Americans should not sing “God Bless America” but “God damn America.” But the ad is wrong to equate this statement with blaming the U.S. for 9/11. It was another controversial Wright statement—” America’s chickens are coming home to roost “—that suggests the U.S. is partly to blame.


Background: The group was created in 2004 to help President George W. Bush’s nominations get confirmed in the Supreme Court. The group campaigned heavily for Samuel Alito’s confirmation .

Swift Boat Rating:

Although the facts in the ad are essentially correct, suggesting that these associations have anything to do with Supreme Court nominations is a stretch.