Lugar Not Happy With Pro-Mourdock Mailer
Super PAC says it doesn't need Lugar's permission to use his own words
Part of a mailer from a super PAC which has Senator Dick Lugar upset
Dick Lugar has said he will vote for Richard Mourdock, but the soon-to-be former Senator is not happy with a mailer he says implies he is actively campaigning for the man who ousted Lugar in the Republican primary this year.
The flyer was mailed to thousands of homes in Indiana by the USA Super PAC in support of Mourdock's campaign. The mailer shows a person's hand passing a torch to another person with the headline "Indiana's Lugar Backs Mourdock In Senate Run."
Distribution of the flyer was paid for by the PAC that is run by Terre Haute attorney Jim Bopp, the lawyer who successfully argued the Citizens United case before the U.S. Supreme Court which freed outside groups like PAC's and unions to spend as much money as they want on political campaigns. "We want people who would be interested in that or concerned about that to know what public statements Senator Lugar has made about the race, so that they would not be misled by Congressman Donnelly," said Bopp, who says Donnelly has implied recently that Lugar might be supportive of the Democrat's candidacy.
Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher says the flyer implies that Lugar is actively supporting or campaigning for Mourdock. "During the primary, Mourdock and his supporters perpetuated misleading statements about Senator Lugar. Unfortunately that has continued with this mailer funded by a committee that spent over $100,000 to defeat Lugar," Fisher said. "It was clearly unauthorized and done without consultation with us."
Bopp says the PAC did not have to get Lugar's permission because the mailer refers to the Senator's primary night concession speech in which he said he would vote for Mourdock. "We only do independent expenditures. We do not coordinate with any candidates or public officials. We did not say that we talked to Senator Lugar about that, and in fact, we did not talk to him," Bopp said.
Mourdock says he has not seen the mailer and did not know about it until he was interviewed by members of the media. "My only thought was independent expenditure campaigns get to do what they do," said Mourdock when questioned about the flyers during an appearance in Indianapolis with Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
Campaigns are barred by law from coordinating ads with outside groups, and both Mourdock and Bopp say there has been no contact between the two. Mourdock also repeated what he has said many times since his primary win. "Senator Lugar is a great American and a great Hoosier. He has earned the right to respond any way he wants to and any way he chooses to."