Their names roll off the tongue with a patriotic cadence: Freedom's Watch, Democracy Alliance, Citizens United, Progress for America, Foundation for a Secure and Prosperous America. They're the new giants of American politics, and in one way or another, operating largely in the untested margins of federal election law, they aim to influence the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.
As Section 527 groups and other independent organizations spend millions of dollars on advertisements and other election activity, the Center for Public Integrity examines where they came from and why they're becoming an increasingly popular tool for political operatives.
In this second installment of the Center for Public Integrity's report on campaign spending, Sara Fritz, a veteran journalist who helped pioneer the campaign finance beat, discusses these groups for the Center's Buying of the President 2008 project.
Sara Fritz is a freelance writer and former political journalist in Washington, D.C. During her long journalism career, she worked as an investigative reporter for The Los Angeles Times, White House correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, managing editor for Congressional Quarterly and Washington bureau chief for The St. Petersburg Times. She retired from full-time journalism in 2004.
Ms. Fritz has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting on Congress and Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. She is a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, a former president of the White House Correspondents Association and a member of the Gridiron Club.
This free podcast is from our '08 Conversations series.