Michelle Nunn Campaign Leak Reveals Campaign Plans, Vulnerabilities

Internal docs reveal ties to Hamas

Michelle Nunn / AP

Internal campaign documents for Georgia's Democratic candidate for Senate Michelle Nunn were accidentally made public. The documents, which draw on the insights of Democratic pollsters, strategists, fundraisers, and consultants, show that the campaign is concerned that Nunn may come across as "too liberal" and not a "real Georgian."

The documents, obtained by National Review, are described as "incredibly unguarded" and expose what the campaign believed to be Nunn's greatest vulnerabilities, including ties her foundation has to Hamas.

The campaign's victory plan envisions a coalition of minority voters, with a focus on the fundraising opportunities with "Jews, Asians, and gays" to overcome Nunn's probable big loss among white voters.

As southern whites have moved to the right, Democrats have been forced to cobble together a coalition of minority voters. Feldman recommends as a goal winning just 30 percent of the white vote while working to increase turnout among African Americans and Latinos. So while Jews, Asians, and gays are characterized as potential "fundraisers," African Americans and Hispanics are the ones the campaign needs to get to the polls in historic numbers, the document makes clear.

Of particular importance to the campaign was for Nunn to take a strong pro-Israel stance, though National Review notes that Israel is currently unmentioned on her campaign website.

The campaign’s finance plan draws attention to the "tremendous financial opportunity" in the Jewish community and identifies Jews as key fundraisers. It notes, however, that "Michelle’s position on Israel will largely determine the level of support here." That’s a position she has yet to articulate, and Israel goes unmentioned on her campaign website.

In fact, the document points to vulnerabilities that opposition researchers could dig up regarding ties that her Points of Light Foundation has to terrorist groups such as Hamas.

Points of Light Foundation gave a grant to Islamic Relief USA, a group that is banned by Israel for "funneling cash to Hamas."

Israel arrested the group's Gaza coordinator for working to "transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations" in 2006.

Islamic Relief Worldwide has ties to Hamas, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization. In June, Israel banned the charity from operating in the country because, according to Israeli officials, it was funneling cash to Hamas. In 2006, Israelis arrested Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. They said he was working to "transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations." Ali admitted to cooperating with local Hamas operatives while working in Jordan and, on his computer, Israeli officials found photographs of "swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols," and of Nazi officials, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Nunn's Points of Light gave the grant to the Hamas-linked group after these revelations were already made.

Nunn's campaign staff was also highly confident that the media would not be a problem.

Her strategists are optimistic that the media won’t prove much of an obstacle. They write that at some point her opponent, who at the time the document was written had yet to be determined, will be "shoveling research" against her. But they say they anticipate they will often have "fair warning" about negative news stories and can work to "kill or muddy" them.

National Review has made the entire 144-page campaign memo available:

2014 Michelle Nunn Campaign Memo