The Committee for Truth in Politics: The name sounds official, but the organization is really a group is a lobbyist organization headed by attorney James Bopp, Jr.
The CTP was formed as a non-profit organization in 2008 by William W. Peaslee, former head legal counsel for the North Carolina Republican Party. The group sometimes operates as the Committee for a Balanced Congress. The bios of the group's leaders show clear and public goals including cancellation of laws requiring public disclosure of funds made to candidates in election contests.
James Bopp, Jr. represented Citizens United before the US Supreme Court in the landmark 2009 case that allowed unidentified donations to political candidates and organizations. He also represented the Wisconsin Right to Life group winning a 2007 court case against the Federal Election Commission to claim the right to run political ads with an issue orientation, but in reality attacking a political candidate. Proponents paying for both types of ads now need not disclose their identity.
Bopp's group was responsible for approximately $7 million dollars in funds spent in the 2010 election. The amount was not disclosed and the individuals donating the funds were not disclosed. The amount was tabulated by non-partisan groups tracking the number of times the ad ran on local television stations.
Bopp helped organize a "Republican National Committee Purity Resolution" requiring party candidates to agree to support a set agenda that includes absolute refusal to compromise on any issues related to government-run health care, abortion and programs to develop standards to deal with illegal immigration. Federal funding for abortion has been outlawed under federal statute since 1997, but the Purity Resolution requires politicians to take an oath to pass additional federal legislation against abortion as part of the 2011 congressional agenda. Any Republican candidate refusing support for these basic principles will be denied Republican Party funding in any election.
Bopp's actions in 2011 in support of this agenda have lead to a stagnation of important legislation awaiting action in the Indiana House and Senate while the group debates gag order legislation related to abortion. The current law forbids state funds for abortion, but Bopp is advocating a de facto gag order to forbid consideration of any law remotely related to the topic, including family planning. The Indiana legislature is a part-time body that must complete all action by April of each year, and this debate has taken weeks from the regular agenda.
Bill Peaselee, former chief of staff and legal counsel for the North Carolina Republican Party also serves as the party's political director. William Peaslee is responsible for much of the promotion of the group's advertising, while Bopp handles the court challenges and legal filings along with his office associates Coleson and Bostrom.
While Frank Luntz is not officially on the masthead for the Committee for Truth in Politics, he does work with the group in formulation of political advertising. Luntz' work was on display in spring 2010, notably in Arkansas, Connecticut, Montana, Colorado, North Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Virginia in an advertising campaign that claimed federal legislation made changes that were not part of the law.
These ads confused voters into believing that the legislation would have the opposite effect than what the bills actually stated. The misinformation was purposely placed into advertising with budgeting that could far outspend the other side's ability to answer the position presented.
Richard E. Coleson is a senior associate in Bopp, Coleson and Bostrom located in Terre Haute, Indiana. He received his education at the Institute of Holy Land Studies at Indiana Wesleyan University. He was admitted to the Indiana bar to practice law in 1987.
Barry A. Bostrom was also admitted to the Indiana bar in 1987. He attended the O.W. Coburn School of Law and the University of Tulsa College of Law. Bostrom is a senior associate and works with both Coleson and Bopp.
While the organization uses the name "Committee for Truth in Politics," the agency promotes hidden funding and backing by unknown donations. This makes it impossible to identify who exactly is behind the organization's operations. This group has been identified due to the public nature of the legal practice and public statements made by Peaslee and Luntz indicating support for the group.
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