Americans for a Better Country

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Americans for a Better Country (ABC) was co-founded [1][2] in late 2003 by GOP activists Frank J. Donatelli—former Ronald Reagan White House political director and secretary and treasurer of the Young America's Foundation [3]; Craig Shirley—president and CEO of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs; and George J. Terwilliger III—former Deputy U.S. Attorney General during the George H.W. Bush administration and partner in the Washington, D.C. office of White & Chase LLP, an international law firm. [4]

In a December 2003 news release, ABC stated that is a 527 committee that was "set up with the goal of establishing an aggressive voter-mobilization and issue ad campaign to out-raise and out-spend, within the boundaries of the new campaign finance law, the liberal groups whose stated mission is the 'defeat of George W. Bush ... The liberal groups have already been raising money from billionaires, labor unions and other special interests and making plans to spend their unlimited soft dollars to affect the 2004 elections. ABC wants the advisory opinion to clarify whether this is permissible'," Joseph A. D'Agostino wrote December 24, 2003, in HumanEventsOnline.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics (OpenSecrets.org), Americans for a Better Country is a "Pro-Republican group that aims to counter the efforts of Democratic groups to defeat President Bush." The organization petitioned the Federal Election Commission "for an advisory opinion on permissible activities of 527 groups under the [then] new campaign finance law, a move seen by some observers as intended to frustrate the efforts of liberal organizations including America Coming Together and the Media Fund." [5]

Alexander Bolton related in the May 19, 2004, edition of The Hill that "Republican activists Craig Shirley, Frank Donatelli and George Terwilliger have trumpeted their plans of raising tens of millions of dollars in soft money, even though their 527 group, Americans for a Better Country, has yet to raise any funds and has been widely perceived as set up solely to prompt the FEC to regulate Americans Coming Together, a Democratic group that resembles its structure."

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