Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Dick Lugar has said he will vote for Republican U.S. senate candidate 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.”
The mailer was paid for by the USA Super PAC, which is run by Terre Haute attorney Jim Bopp. He is the lawyer who successfully argued the Citizens United case before the U.S. Supreme Court which freed outside groups and unions to spend as much money as they want on political campaigns.
Bopp says they did not coordinate with Lugar‘s office, but says they did not have to because the mailer refers to the Senator‘s primary night concession speech in which he said he would vote for Mourdock.
“We did not have this authorized or coordinate. We only do independent expenditures,” Bopp says. “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 says his PAC produced the flyer to counter insinuations by Mourdock‘s Democratic opponent, Joe Donnelly, that Lugar was actually supportive of Donnelly‘s campaign.
Lugar spokesman Andy Fisher says the flyer implies that Lugar is actively supporting and/or campaigning for Mourdock. Fisher points out that Bopp‘s super PAC spent $100,000 in advertising against Lugar during the primary campaign.
Mourdock says he has not seen the mailer and did not know about it until he was interviewed about it by members of the media. Campaigns are barred by law from coordinating ads with outside groups, and Mourdock says Bopp‘s PAC and any other group are free to do what they wish for or against him.
Mourdock also repeated what he has said many times since his primary win, that Lugar is a great American, that he hopes to have Lugar‘s support, but that Lugar has earned the right to campaign or not campaign for anyone he chooses.