The anti-Obama SuperPAC Special Forces for America, is planning its own high profile meeting in Charlotte one month after the Democratic National Convention.
“It’s a going to be a conversation between veteran groups,” Montana State Senator and former NAVY Seal Commander Ryan Zinke, the group’s founder and chairman, told BuzzFeed.
The discussions, says Zinke, will be about President Obama’s “national security record” and how to handle cuts in the defense budget. The gathering could carry a particular political charge because special forces have been responsible for key foreign policy successes of the Obama Administration, beginning with the slaying of terror leader Osama Bin Laden.
Zinke says the invitation is going to be open to all veterans groups — including, he says, VETPAC, a liberal veterans group that recently clashed with Zinke’s Special Operations for America organization.
The meeting is tentatively planned for October 11-13, timed with the Bank of America 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race that will be held on Saturday night.
Special Operations for America, which launched last month, already had one NASCAR themed event, sponsoring the #32 car of Ken Shrader at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis.
At that event, the car was detailed with the slogan “Join the Battle,” a line that SOFA says is part of its push during the final months of the campaign to reach the “conservative values” of the NASCAR audience.
“We’re proud to be part of NASCAR and this opportunity to reach millions of voters who share our time-honored, conservative values,” Zinke said at the time.
It’s unclear where the superPAC gets its funding, though VetPAC has accused it of being fueled by the Koch Brothers and possibly Karl Rove.
Rove, who runs the SuperPAC American Crossroads, is currently featured prominently on the front page of SOFA’s website.
UPDATE: Jim Arkedis, head of communications for VETPAC, responds: “It’s highly unlikely VETPAC would attend. Despite Zinke’s recent claims that he’ll try to be more bipartisan, this type of invitation is a shallow attempt to score points in the media. Zinke is still featured in pictures with Karl Rove on his website for crying out loud! Zinke continues to associate himself with practitioners of Swiftboat-style gutter politics, while VETPAC exists to endorse candidates who share our commitment to veterans’ issues and a strong national security policies. VETPAC has no desire to associate itself with Ryan Zinke, and we encourage members veterans community to avoid Zinke’s transparent attempt at self promotion…If Zinke is serious about being more bipartisan, he should public ally disavow Karl Rove’s style of politics and refuse to take money from the likes of the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson.”