Swift Boat Watch: Public Campaign Action Fund

See all Swift Boat Watch entries here .

Who They Are: Public Campaign Action Fund

Purpose: To promote publicly financed elections and hold politicians accountable for their sources of campaign money.

Director : David Donnelly , co-author of Are Elections for Sale?

Funding: contributed $400,000 for this ad.

Cost of the Ad: According to IRS reports , the group paid a little more than $1 million to a political consulting firm in October for media production and placement. The group’s press release says that the media buy was six figures.


Where It Ran: Tallahassee, Fla., Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va., and national cable through Nov. 3.

Claims: John McCain loves gambling and has gambled with lobbyists in their own casinos. Gambling interest groups have contributed $1 million to McCain.

Accuracy: The Las Vegas Review Journal wrote an in-depth analysis about McCain’s ties to gambling, personal and campaign-related. An investigative piece by the New York Times reported that McCain gambled with a lobbyist of a casino he oversaw while he was on the Senate Indian affairs committee. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the casino/gambling industry gave $276,276 to McCain and $178,094 to Obama. According to the Review Journal article, a liberal watchdog group estimates McCain has received $951,000 in donations. Wynn Resorts, one company mentioned in the article, contributed $158,500 to the RNC in 2008, according to the Center For Responsive Politics.


Swift Boat Rating:

The claims made in the ad are accurate. It’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount of contributions or fundraising from the gambling industry, but $1 million seems like a fair estimate.