WASHINGTON (CNN) – A fellow Democrat who was connected with John Edwards' presidential campaign is attacking Hillary Clinton in a new television ad he says will air later this week in the early voting state of Iowa.
The ad accuses the New York Democratic senator of folding to Republican pressure and will run on Iowa cable, according to Glenn Hurowitz, co-founder and president of Democratic Courage, the newly-formed political action committee that created the spot.
Hurowitz, an environmental activist, was listed as a “National Environmentalists for Edwards Leader” in an official press release sent out by the Edwards campaign earlier this fall, which described him as “principal” of Democratic Courage. He said in an interview Tuesday that he is no longer connected with the former North Carolina senator’s campaign in any way.
Hurowitz, along with fellow Democratic Courage founder Sam Goldman, has also donated to the Edwards campaign several times this election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.
John Edwards is locked in a heated three-way battle with Clinton and Barack Obama for first place in the Hawkeye State less than one month before the Iowa caucuses.
Dan Leistikow, an Edwards’ spokesman, denied that the campaign had any knowledge of Hurowitz’s activities.
“He is acting completely independent of the Edwards campaign,” Leistikow said. “We have had absolutely no contact or involvement with him since we learned of his activities outside of our campaign.”
A Clinton spokeswoman dismissed the group’s efforts in a Tuesday morning email, noting that the initial ad buy had yet to be finalized. "Only problem is that the group has NOT purchased a single second of air time there – not even on cable,” the spokeswoman wrote. “No buy means their web video should go bye-bye."
In fact, it is not clear how much money Hurowitz is putting behind the ad – information he refuses to disclose. He is actively soliciting donations on his Web site to help pay for it.
“Democratic Courage is dedicated to electing a progressive, courageous, and winning Democratic presidential candidate,” Hurowitz writes to prospective donors. “Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton has fallen short on that standard... We need your help to get this message out to Iowa voters today.”
In the interview, Hurowitz acknowledged that his newly formed political action committee was created late enough in the campaign cycle that it does not have to release the names of its donors to the FEC until January 30, weeks after voters in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina have already cast their ballots. He added that his group hopes to expand its targets beyond Clinton to other Democratic candidates, and to air positive ads for a contender that shared their vision.
Hurowitz has been an active contributor over the past year on Daily Kos, the progressive online political forum, where he has created "diaries" praising Edwards and bashing Clinton and Obama.
In a summer post titled "Ohmigod, Hillary is like, so SMART!," that called the prospect of an Edwards presidency “exciting,” Hurowitz wrote that reading a campaign dispatch from Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle “…makes it sound like Hillary is surrounded by gushing sycophants comforting her with the campaign equivalent of 'No way – your butt's not too big – you look totally hot!'"
In an October post titled "Barack Obama: World's Worst Negotiator," he said that the Illinois senator had "made a pattern of accommodation and capitulation ever since he got to the Senate – and, as a result, keeps getting rolled.”
The same month, he wrote an item for the Huffington Post in which he said the idea of Edwards as president was making him “giddy.”
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand