|Screencap from TV ad by Bradley Tusk's popup|
"gay rights" group, Use Your Mandate
The most mysterious of the new groups is Use Your Mandate. Portraying itself as a gay rights group, it has sent mailers to voters in seven states — including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Montana — and run television ads against Mr. Hagel in New York and Washington. It has sent out posts on Twitter questioning his gay rights record and asking, “Is this what we worked so hard for?” Established gay rights activists have expressed skepticism about the group’s authenticity.
It has no Web site and it only lists as its address a post office box in New York. But paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission link it back to Tusk Strategies, a bipartisan political group founded by Bradley Tusk, a former strategist for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York.
Bradley Tusk, former Deputy Governor of
Illinois. From the Village Voice:
Tusk left Bloomberg's City Hall staff in 2003
just a few months after Blagojevich became
governor to take what Blagojevich said in a
Voice interview Monday was his "number one
post" in the government. Tusk remained deputy
governor through Blagojevich's 2006 re-election,
leaving to join Lehman Brothers in 2007. Asked
if Tusk ever expressed any "concerns" about the
pay-to-play and other allegations that engulfed
the Blagojevich administration during those years,
the former governor said: "No, he never said that.
He did not think that things were being done
in a wrong way."
In an interview, Mr. Tusk would only identify its financiers as Democratic “gay and L.G.B.T. people who have been active in campaigns around the country.”
Yet federal records show that Use Your Mandate uses Del Cielo Media, an arm of one of the most prominent Republican ad-buying firms in the country, Smart Media, with clients that have included the presidential campaigns of former Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr. of Utah and Senator John McCain of Arizona; the 2010 Senate campaign of Christine O’Donnell, who was known for positions against homosexuality, in Delaware; and, as it happens, the Emergency Committee for Israel.