On the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Barack Obama's campaign is busying itself with the handiwork of Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who, as we noted yesterday, financed an ad linking the Democratic presidential candidate with former Weather Underground-er William Ayers. As Time noted late this afternoon, Obama's campaign has a new 30-second spot that asks, “With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the 60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers?” Of course, McCain didn't pay for the ad -- Simmons did, as the sole financier behind American Issues Project -- but AIP's founder, Ed Failor Jr., used to work for McCain and still raises money for him.
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Politico.com also notes that Obama's campaign sent the Justice Department a letter -- on August 21 -- "demanding a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project, the vehicle through which Dallas investor Harold Simmons is financing the advertisements." The latter can be read in its entirety here. Meanwhile, the American Issues Project's president, Ed Martin, dismisses Obama's new ad as "more smoke and mirrors from a candidate desperate to obscure his longstanding relationship with admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers." --Robert Wilonsky