Conservative Group Supports War Effort

The California state assemblyman who made history by launching the Recall Gray Davis movement that helped elect Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor has turned his attention to the thousands of American soldiers currently fighting the war on terror.

Move America Forward, a Sacramento-based nonprofit led by former assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, was formed in May to create positive awareness toward U.S. troops through a series of paid TV and radio spots. The ads encourage viewers to make tax-deductible donations so that more can be produced.

“This is a tangible thing we can do for the military,” Kaloogian said.

The group claims not to endorse any candidates but does openly oppose what it calls the “blame-America crowd— liberal news media and left-wing politicians who use every negative news story to launch a political attack against our military,” according to its Web site.

“We have a two-fold goal,” said Kaloogian. “Let the troops know we’re behind them and avoid a Vietnam-type fatigue from setting in.”

To do so, the spots use patriotic imagery to emphasize heroic actions rather than highlighting negative events, such as the Iraqi prison scandal. In one ad, for example, talk-show host Melanie Morgan—the group’s vice chairman—calls for Americans to join together and “raise our voice so that even the terrorists … will hear it.”

At least two new spots featuring Kaloogian himself are expected to run during the Republican National Convention in New York.

Since breaking in June, the work has generated donations “in the high six figures,” said the group’s executive director, Siobhan Guiney. All proceeds go toward the purchase of airtime (none of the ads are considered PSAs, so they don’t qualify for media price breaks), including placement on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, cable and radio.

“But it doesn’t matter your affiliation, you can join … our cause,” Guiney said. “This isn’t about the election for us.”