Independent Groups' Big Role in Politics

ACT has been given at least $5 million by George Soros, who has also given $4,000 to Kerry over the years. Soros has also given $2.5 million to, which has run some of the harshest anti-Bush ads. At a star-studded event in New York City on Tuesday night, unveiled 14 new ads featuring actors and directors like Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Kevin Bacon, Rob Reiner and Richard Linklater.

Two of the ads that offended the Bush campaign in the past include one showing an image of the Statue of Liberty with a hood over its head, while an announcer explained, "Now it's been reported that Donald Rumsfeld initiated the plan that encouraged the physical coercion and sexual humiliation of prisoners."

Another ad went after President Bush's history with the Texas Air National Guard, saying he "sailed to the top of a list, on his father's name, was trained as a pilot, but failed to show up for a required physical. He was grounded, wasn't seen for months, and then was released eight months early to go to Harvard Business School."'s former organizing director, Zach Exley, now works for the Kerry campaign Web site, while DNC counsel Joe Sandler, also gives the group legal advice.

"There are serious questions here in both parties," said Democracy 21's Wertheimer. "And all of it's happening because the Federal Election Commission refuses to do its job and fails to enforce the law."

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