One of the Republican Party's biggest fundraisers confirmed Friday that he plans to help bankroll Keep America Safe, the new political advocacy group started by Liz Cheney to attack President Obama's national-security policies. As reported here Thursday, Keep America Safe will run radio and Web ads criticizing Obama in the home districts of vulnerable Democratic congressmen. "I love Liz Cheney and what she's doing," Mel Sembler, a Florida real-estate magnate said in a telephone interview, adding that he planned to be "as supportive as my budget will allow." Sembler wouldn't discuss numbers. But in his case those resources are considerable. A former finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who later served as President George W. Bush's ambassador to Italy (and chairman of the Scooter Libby Defense Trust), Sembler has pumped at least $456,605 into political races over the past 12 years.
Sembler has long been close to the Cheneys—he tried to persuade Dick Cheney to run for president in 1996 and is now encouraging Liz Cheney to run for Congress from Wyoming (although he added she's not yet convinced "the time is right"). So while not exactly a surprise, Sembler's comments help clear up one mystery: where at least some of the money will be coming from when Keep America Safe starts running ads blasting Obama for promising to shut down Gitmo.