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More oh-eight: Rise of the non-profits

The Washington Post looks at the slew of so-called non-profit groups that are inserting themselves politically into the early state primary and caucus fights.
-- "Friends of the Earth Action, a nonprofit that supports former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.), runs radio ads praising his environmental record and asking why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had not taken a stand on a global warming bill."
-- "Americans for Fair Taxation, which wants to replace all federal taxes with a national sales tax, has spent $2.5 million so far. The group bought 400 tickets to Iowa's Republican straw poll and bused in supporters who helped its favorite candidate, Mike Huckabee."
-- "NumbersUSA is mobilizing its 1.5 million members to make calls and send e-mails to pressure the candidates to end illegal immigration. The group is keeping a scorecard on the presidential candidates, finding former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) rapidly improving and Sen. John  McCain (Ariz.) as 'dead last' among the Republicans, its leader said."
-- "Common Sense Issues Inc. became the latest to jump into the fray, launching a major phone and Internet operation last weekend designed to identify potential Huckabee supporters and to get them to the Trust Huckabee Web site where they can register to become 'precinct captains' for the Iowa caucuses."

Newt Gingrich is stumping in Iowa this week, and the Washington Times suspects it's about getting himself on the veep short list for the eventual GOP nominee.