Swift Boat Watch: Political Action

See all Swift Boat Watch entries here .

Who They Are: Political Action

Purpose: To elect progressive candidates. In this election, they support Barack Obama.

Founders: Joan Blades and Wes Boyd

Funding : Federal PACs cannot accept donations greater than $5,000, so relies mostly on small donations. The group has deep pockets, though. According to FEC reports, it spent $1,152,073 to oppose John McCain and another $4,008,667 to support Obama as of Oct. 19, 2008.


Cost of the Ad: The ad is part of a $7 million fall campaign.

Where It Ran: Las Vegas on Oct. 20, plus other cities the day before Sarah Palin visits them until Election Day. A $25,000 ad buy was purchased for Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 21 and 22.


Claims: Sarah Palin doesn’t have any national-security experience. Even though she supports the war, she can’t explain Bush’s war policies. Palin has claimed to be an expert on Russia because she can see it. Because McCain is 72, Palin could end up in charge.

Accuracy: Palin regularly dodges questions related to her foreign-policy or national-security experience. The campaign has pushed her position as commander of the Alaskan National Guard as important foreign-policy experience, but a closer look reveals that any decision to deploy the Guard would not fall under her jurisdiction. In an interview with Charles Gibson, Palin was unable to say whether she supported the Bush Doctrine. (That said, Gibson’s definition of the Bush Doctrine was challenged .) Palin has voiced support for the Iraq war and even said it was a “task from God.” When asked by Gibson to talk about her experience with Russia, she said that she can see Russia from Alaska. At 72, McCain would be the oldest president elected to a first term, and his health has been a topic of concern in the campaign.


Background: is no newcomer it spent $30 million in the 2004 election, the fourth largest amount spent by a PAC. So far in this election, it has spent just more than half of its 2004 total. The FEC fined the group in 2004 for not properly reporting donations and expenditures to the FEC even though it was acting as a political action committee. Jonathan Cranin, responsible for the E*Trade “Baby” and MasterCard “Priceless” commercials, produced the ad.

Swift Boat Rating:

The McCain campaign has tried to equate Palin’s energy and Alaska National Guard experience with foreign-policy experience. The truth is,

they have a hard time nailing down anything

she has actually done.