Head of USA Next Promises More Anti-AARP Ads, Despite Court Setback

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By: E&P Staff

A federal judge on Thursday prohibited the group USA Next, which supports President Bush’s Social Security plan, from using in its online ads attacking the AARP a photo of a gay couple that it took without permission from the Portland (Ore.) Tribune.

Meanwhile, in an interview with The New York Times that will appear this weekend in the Sunday magazine, Charlie Jarvis, director of USA Next, reveals that in a few weeks his group will begin running ads ?that very specifically and aggressively brand AARP for what they are, the planet’s largest liberal lobbying organization. When they are honest about that, we will take a large number of their members away.? AARP has 35 million members.

The ads, he said in the interview, would involve TV, radio, Web, direct mail, e-mail, and phone alerts.

He said he could not think of a single positive thing to say about AARP’s goals and that ?they don’t really know the facts about an issue like Social Security.?

Asked if USA Next was just a front group for the White House, Jarvis said he’d never had a ?one-on-one? meeting with Karl Rove, Bush’s chief strategist, but had met him, thinks ?he is a political and tactical genius,? and has attended presentations he’s given at the White House.

Jarvis previously worked for Focus on Family, which has dubbed SpongeBob SquarePants a promoter of homosexuality. ?I call him Sponge Robert Square Pants,? Jarvis quipped, ?because I don’t know him well.? He added that his two sons lean to the left and he has had ?knockdown arguments? with them.

The ad that has landed USA Next in trouble portrayed AARP as opposed to U.S. soldiers and supportive of gay marriage. A Portland couple, Richard Raymen and Steven Hansen, who appeared in the newspaper photo used in the ad, filed suit against USA Next on Wednesday, saying they hadn’t consented “to serve as models for a homophobic and mean-spirited campaign for a political group with whose views they strongly disagree.”

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