Kerry hires MoveOn.org Director

In probably what is his most bold move to date, Presidential contender John Kerry hired Zach Exley as his campaign online communications director, away from his post at MoveOn.org (click for story). Anyone who has been a part of the MoveOn.org phenomenon can testify that this is a HUGE win for Kerry. If Zach can bring the same fire and passion to the Kerry campaign, that we have all known from MoveOn.org, it can only do good things for our Democracy.Kerry hires online chief from MoveOn
Bush camp cries foul

From John Mercurio
CNN Political Unit
Wednesday, April 7, 2004 Posted: 3:53 PM EDT (1953 GMT)

Story Tools
Save a link to this article and return to it at www.savethis.comSave a link to this article and return to it at www.savethis.com Email a link to this articleEmail a link to this article
Printer-friendly version of this articlePrinter-friendly version of this article View a list of the most popular articles on our siteView a list of the most popular articles on our site

ON CNN TV
Stay with CNN for updates and analysis from the campaign trail and in the aftermath of Condoleeza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 commission.
THE MORNING GRIND
Political pingpong: Evans and Kerry volley
more videoVIDEO
John Kerry criticizes President Bush’s stewardship of the economy.
premium contentPLAY VIDEO
CNN’s Bill Schneider on Kerry, Bush and the economy.
premium contentPLAY VIDEO
RELATED
Kerry suggests Iraq deadline may be ‘arbitrary’
Survey: Opinions hold steady despite ads
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
John F. Kerry
MoveOn PAC
or Create your own
Manage alerts What is this?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — John Kerry has hired an Internet-savvy Democrat to run his presidential campaign’s online communications, a move that raises new questions about the link between his campaign and the independent groups that run TV ads on his behalf.

Zach Exley, the director of special projects for the MoveOn PAC, is going to the Kerry campaign to become its director of online communications and organization.

Exley also worked during the Democratic presidential primary for Howard Dean, helping Dean set up his web-based organization.

Since Kerry became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in early March, the MoveOn PAC has spent more than $2.5 million on TV ads that attack President Bush.

But under the new campaign-finance law, those efforts cannot be coordinated with the Kerry campaign.

A MoveOn statement said Exley and the staff of all MoveOn entities have agreed that they will not be in contact through the election period to avoid the appearance of coordination, “even though federal election rules permit some forms of communication.”

MoveOn has spent roughly $17 million on ads since it started running its “misleader” campaign against Bush last year.

Republicans said Exley’s move reinforces their accusations that Kerry and his Democratic allies are circumventing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law they fought so hard to enact. (GOP challenges anti-Bush ads)

“It’s another example of the coordination between MoveOn.org and the Kerry campaign that is illegal under campaign finance law,” a Bush campaign official said.

“The Media Fund and MoveOn are functioning as Kerry’s slush fund, a shadow Democratic Party that’s illegally using soft dollars.”

MoveOn became the subject of controversy early this year when it posted two ads on its Web site that compared Bush to Adolf Hitler. The ads were submitted to the group as part of a contest to produce anti-Bush commercials, and Republican Chairman Ed Gillespie said Exley dismissed Republican complaints about them with a barnyard expletive.

“In addition to the obvious questions his hiring raises about further illegal coordination between the Kerry campaign and MoveOn.org, you have to wonder what hiring someone who considers Hitler comparisons to be legitimate political discourse says about the Kerry campaign,” Gillespie said in a statement issued Wednesday.

ads by google