You Report: Election 2010

Published — October 5, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Non-profit led by ex-Bush official criticizes gov’t spending by both parties


While many of the independent groups trying to shape the outcome of the November election expressly endorse or criticize a candidate, some aim to highlight issues. Readers in both Grants Pass, Ore. and St. Paul, Minn. report seeing an independent ad run by, a project paid for by a group called Public Notice.

Public Notice describes itself as an “independent non-profit dedicated to providing facts and insight on the economy and how government policy affects Americans’ financial well-being.” Contributions to the group are not tax-deductible,

The lone TV ad on Bankrupting America’s YouTube channel is a 30-second spot called “Stop Digging.” The commercial blasts Washington, D.C. for “Spending and spending” and putting the nation $13 trillion in debt. After suggesting that one in a hole should “stop digging,” viewers are invited to the website to find out how to hold Congress accountable.

Because the ads do not mention a specific federal candidate, they do not have to be disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. And since the group is a 501(c)(4), it does not have to reveal its donors. The ad disclaimer only notes that it was “Paid for by Public Notice.”

According to the Public Notice website, the group’s executive director is Gretchen Hamel. Hamel served as deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for public and media affairs under President George W. Bush. Prior to that, she was press secretary to the House Republican Conference and to Texas Republican Congressman John Carter.

The Bankrupting America website takes both major parties to task over government spending, and includes one video pointing out the spending habits of Hamel’s former boss, President Bush, as well as his successor, President Barack Obama.

Ad Title: Stop Digging

Paid for By: Public Notice

Disclaimer: Paid for by Public Notice

Read more in Money and Democracy

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments