DGA-funded group called Branstad ‘liberal’ during GOP primary

The Democratic Governors Association was so concerned about Iowa Gov. Chet Culver’s (D) prospects in a contest against Terry Branstad (R) that it tried to scuttle his gubernatorial campaign in the primary.

The DGA funneled millions to Iowans for Responsible Government, which attacked the former governor from the right during the GOP primary, according to the Des Moines Register.

One of the group’s mailings referred to Branstad as a “liberal’s liberal.” Meanwhile, in a recent e-mail to reporters, the DGA said Branstad ran “far to the right” in the June 8 primary and “has yet to demonstrate he’s running a general election campaign.”

A spokeswoman for the DGA did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the paper, the group received all of its funding — $782,500 — for a series of ads likening the Branstad to Democrats Bill Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. The group spent $767,236 in May and June, including almost $370,000 on TV advertising.

In total, the DGA has invested some $2 million in the race, including a $750,000 donation to Culver’s campaign that accounted for more than half of the $1.5 million he’s reported raising.