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Big Bucks Let Freedom Ring

by Will Evans
Nov 3, 2008

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Will Evans

We know that Let Freedom Ring is one of the most active anti-Obama organizations this election. It's spending millions of dollars on a seemingly infinite supply of new ads.

And now we know who's bankrolling the massive effort.

Benefactor number one is John Templeton Jr., who is also chairman of Let Freedom Ring. He plunked down $2.7 million so far. He may have given more, for activities the group doesn't have to report.

Templeton, whose father was a famous investor, was a co-chair of the faith and values steering committee of unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. A born-again Christian, he's also one of the biggest donors to a ballot initiative in California this year that would ban same-sex marriage; he and his wife gave $1.2 million.

Some of Templeton's other gifts this year: $776,000 to the College Republican National Committee, $550,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee and $200,000 to the Club for Growth.

Let Freedom Ring also received $500,000 in September from Virginia James aka Virginia Manheimer, a school voucher activist and donor. James is also a co-founder of the Club for Growth, which she gave $700,000 this year.

"Smaller" donors to Let Freedom Ring include Foster Friess and Nathan Bachman, who each gave $100,000. Friess is a sucessful Wyoming investor who formerly served as president of the Council for National Policy, an umbrella group for the religious right. Friess explains his opposition to Obama via YouTube. Bachman is an Ohio investor who gave $10,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004.

And here, below, is a sample of what that money buys: an emotional "Best Of" compendium of conservative complaints against Obama: Rev. Wright; Bill Ayres; Tony Rezko; "clinging" to guns and religion; contributions from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; ACORN; and taxes and spending. Let Freedom Ring put up the ad on TV this weekend.

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