November Fund

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Definition

The November Fund (Google) is a 527 formed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to attack John Edwards. Craig L. Fuller and Bill Brock are its co-chairs. They plan to spend $10 million to attack Edwards on television, radio, print and direct mail in seven states.

Players

Sources

From "Businesses Plan Attack on Edwards," by Glen Justice in the New York Times on August 24, 2004:

The United States Chamber of Commerce and other business groups plan to spend roughly $10 million attacking trial lawyers, including Senator John Edwards, by financing a new organization that will run television and mail advertisements in critical swing states.
That organization, the November Fund, was created this month in an effort to paint Mr. Edwards as among lawyers who, through a proliferation of lawsuits, have increased the cost of health care and insurance, damaging the business climate nationwide and as a result harming many communities.
Officials involved in the new group declined to comment publicly. But its co-chairmen are Craig L. Fuller, who was an aide to President Ronald Reagan and chief of staff to his vice president, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Brock, former senator, labor secretary and Republican national chairman. . . .
"Once again, the Bush-Cheney campaign is turning to front groups to do its dirty work," said Kim Rubey, a spokeswoman for Mr. Edwards at the Kerry-Edwards camp. "But once again, the American people will see through their baseless, negative attacks. Senator Edwards is very proud of his record of standing up for children and families who didn't have a voice, and he will continue to fight for children and families all over the country."

From "US Chamber of Commerce supports Bush, to target John Edwards":

This was just a "start-up" fund. "We will give them significantly more and I am going to help them raise funds," Thomas Donahue, who heads the Chamber, said yesterday.
He said the Chamber, which traditionally avoids endorsing a presidential candidate, would target Edwards as they fear he can influence the justice system in the country.
"We are going to run a campaign that says there is a runaway legal system in this country. We have an acute problem here. If Edwards ends up in the second most important job in the government, he will infuence the appointment of at least a thousand people in the government, and he will be a party to naming the next four justices of the Supreme Court," he said.

From "U.S. Chamber will help pay for ads attacking Edwards, trial lawyers" by Shera Dalin in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on August 24, 2004:

Tort reform, including caps on medical malpractice damage awards, is the nation's top business concern, John W. Bachmann, chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in Clayton Tuesday.
"The No. 1 issue concerning business and medicine today is tort reform," said Bachmann, a senior partner of the Des Peres-based Edward Jones investment firm.
Bachmann outlined the top issues that the organization is championing. The chamber, the nation's largest business lobbying organization, said Tuesday it would help pay for ads that attack Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards and other trial lawyers for allegedly driving up health care costs.

From "Now, smearing the trial lawyers" by Robert Kuttner in the Boston Globe:

Yes, there are a few spectacular cases of runaway juries and exorbitant awards, but also many thousands of legitimate lawsuits that are the little guy's only source of redress. That's why, when you get beyond the country club set, very few regular people understand why they're suppose to hiss when they hear the dread words, "trial lawyer."
he right also blames a large portion of medical inflation on malpractice awards. In fact, rising malpractice premiums and "defensive medicine" account for less than 10 percent of rising medical costs. The bigger causes of medical inflation are new technology, an aging population -- and the 30 percent in profits and administrative costs taken by for-profit health insurers. Scapegoating malpractice awards is a handy diversion.
It's true that doctors in a few specialties have faced big premium hikes in their malpractice insurance. But many medical societies are notoriously reluctant to police their own. That's why you read so many newspaper stories about physicians whose licenses should have been lifted years ago. There are relatively few bad apples in a noble profession, but a small fraction of doctors account for a large share of malpractice costs.
The attack on trial lawyers is an attack on the rights of ordinary Americans by the corporate elite. It will be useful to have that reality come to light. If Edwards is half the skilled attorney he's said to be, he'll learn from the Kerry smear and turn the tables on this bogus attack, swiftly.
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