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Fred Davis Jumps to Pro-Huntsman "Super PAC"

Fred Davis Jumps to Pro-Huntsman "Super PAC"

By Scott Conroy - August 29, 2011


Republican ad guru Fred Davis has left Jon Huntsman's presidential campaign to join an independent expenditure group that was established recently to support the former Utah governor's presidential bid through unrestricted campaign donations, according to the group's website.  

Best known for producing John McCain’s 2008 “Celebrity” TV spot -- which juxtaposed images of then-Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton -- Davis earlier this year created a series of unorthodox web videos that sought to introduce Huntsman to the nation before the GOP White House contender officially launched his presidential bid.

According to the website set up by the pro-Huntsman Our Destiny PAC, Davis resigned from the candidate's campaign on July 27 and will now act as “an important part of the PAC’s team.”

Davis’ move appears designed to provide him and his team with a larger budget to create and distribute pro-Huntsman ads using the unlimited donations that a 2010 Supreme Court ruling allowed "super PACs" to accept.

The two current front-runners for the GOP nomination -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- each has his own super PAC, which is staffed by former aides.

Though the campaigns themselves are barred legally from coordinating with the independent groups, the super PACs will likely provide the candidates with vehicles to launch attacks against their chief rivals, while nominally running more positive campaigns.

A statement on the pro-Huntsman PAC’s website reads, in part, “Ron Jacobs, the PAC’s legal counsel, explained that with the changing legal landscape that allows citizens to participate in the process through independent expenditure committees, the PAC is an important vehicle for people to support Governor Huntsman’s election.”

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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