Meet the Attack Lads

Dirty politics has been around since Thomas Jefferson’s oppo researchers went after Alexander Hamilton’s mistress in 1800, but there’s more money in it these days. With campaign expenditures hitting record levels—nearly $1.2 billion was spent in 2004, much of it channeled through shadowy independent-expenditure groups, 527 committees, and the like—those schooled in politics’ darker arts are cashing in like never before. And for the off years, there’s always corporate marketing and “grassroots lobbying,” which increasingly employ the tricks of the campaign trade. Here are some key players from years past, and their current allegiances.

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Instructions: Click on the images below to watch the ads and meet the attack lads.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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