Skip to comments.The Right’s Grifter Problem (Blood Pressure Warning)
Posted on 06/03/2019 2:39:53 PM PDT by Sarcasm Factory
... Ive watched the two millionth the problem with conservatism is people like you, the solution for conservatism is people like me debate, and Im just sick and tired of so many of our brethren averting their eyes from the big, glaring, worsening problem that rips off so many decent, hard-working folks.
The Huge Albatross to the Conservative Movement that Few Want to Talk About
Back in 2013, Conservative StrikeForce PAC raised $2.2 million in funds vowing to support Ken Cuccinellis campaign for governor in Virginia. Court filings and FEC records showed that the PAC only contributed $10,000 to Cuccinellis effort.
Back in 2014, Politico researched 33 political action committees that claimed to be affiliated with the Tea Party and courted small donors with email and direct-mail appeals and found that they raised $43 million 74 percent of which came from small donors. The PACs spent only $3 million on ads and contributions to boost the long-shot candidates often touted in the appeals, compared to $39.5 million on operating expenses, including $6 million to firms owned or managed by the operatives who run the PACs.
Back in 2015, RightWingNews reviewed the financial filings of 21 prominent conservative PACs and found the ten 10 groups at the bottom of their list spent $54.3 million only paid out $3.6 million to help get Republicans elected.
Back in 2016, campaign finance lawyer Paul H. Jossey detailed how some of the PACs operated and lamented, the Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didnt die a natural death. It was murdered and it was an inside job. In a half decade, the spontaneous uprising that shook official Washington degenerated into a form of pyramid scheme that transferred tens of millions of dollars from rural, poorer Southerners and Midwesterners to bicoastal political operatives.
In 2016, Roger Stone founded the Committee to Restore Americas Greatness. It raised $587,000 and spent $16,000 on independent expenditures supporting Trump.
In 2016, Great America PAC raised $28.6 million from donors. They donated $30,125 to federal candidates. In 2018, Great America PAC raised $8.3 million from donors. They donated $31,840 to federal candidates.
In 2017, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said that despite the actions of a PAC that claimed to be raising money for a Clarke bid for U.S. Senate, he was not running. That PAC raised $2 million.
In 2018, a federal indictment declared grassroots conservatives across the country gave $23 million to scam PACs run by William and Robert Tierney from 2014 to 2018, believing they were supporting conservative groups like Republican Majority Campaign PAC, Americans for Law Enforcement PAC, and Rightmarch.com PAC. Only $109,000 went to candidates.
In the 2018 cycle, Tea Party Majority Fund raised $1.67 million and donated $35,000 to federal candidates. That cycle, Conservative Majority Fund raised just over $1 million and donated $7,500 to federal candidates. Conservative Strikeforce raised $258,376 and donated nothing to federal candidates.
Put Vets First PAC raised $3.9 million in the 2018 cycle; they gave $9,000 to federal candidates.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that David Bossies group, Presidential Coalition, had raised $18.5 million in 2017 and 2018 to support state and local candidates in furtherance of the Trump agenda. Only $425,442, or 3 percent, went to direct political activity.
Not every non-donation expense is illegitimate; legit political-action committees have to pay for rent, electricity, computers, the phone bill, etcetera. But when such an exceptionally small portion of the money they raise goes to the candidates theyre allegedly designed to support or measurable efforts on their behalf, one can fairly ask what the true purpose of the organization is.
Politico didnt specify which 33 PACs they reviewed; if their list overlaps entirely with the RightWingNews list, then the total sum listed above would be $127 million; if they dont overlap at all, it would be $177 million. That is money that could have gone directly to candidates campaigns or other actions that would have advanced the conservative cause in recent cycles. But instead it went into more fundraising expenses, more overhead costs, or into the pockets of those running these PACs.
And some folks want us to believe that the problem with the conservative movement is David French?
Why is the conservative movement not as effective as its supporters want it to be? Because day after day, year after year, little old ladies get called on the phone or emailed or sent letters in the mail telling them that the future of the country is at stake and that if they dont make a donation to groups that might as well be named Make Telemarketers Wealthy Again right now, the country will go to hell in a handbasket. Those little old ladies get out their checkbooks and give what they can spare, convinced that theyre making a difference and helping make the world a better place. What theyre doing is ensuring that the guys running these PACs can enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle. Meanwhile, conservative candidates lose, kicking the dirt after primary day or the general election, convinced that if they had just had another $100,000 for get-out-the-vote operations, they might have come out on top.
Whats more, most of these PACs thrive on telling conservative grassroots things that arent true. Clarke didnt want to run for Senate in Wisconsin, Laura Ingraham wasnt interested in running for Senate in Virginia, and Allen West wasnt running for Senate in Florida. The PACs propagate a narrative in which theyre the heroic crusaders for conservative values, secure borders and freedom, up against corrupt establishment elites . . . when theyre in fact run by those coastal political operatives and keeping most of the money for their own operations.
Perhaps youre thinking, Oh, every PAC does this. Nope. In that RightWingNews study, Club for Growth Action PAC had 88 percent actually went into independent expenditures and direct contributions. Republican Main Street Partnership had 78 percent, and American Crossroads was at 72 percent. That allegedly corrupt establishment is way more efficient at using donors money than all of these self-proclaimed grassroots conservative groups. Over on the liberal or Democratic side, ActBlue charges a 3.95 percent processing fee when passing along donations to campaigns.
When these individuals get called out for the way theyre spending donors money, they revert to a familiar responses of denial, evasion, and blaming the messenger. When asked about how little of the money his group raised was spent on political activity, Bossies first response was this is fake news brought to you by a collaboration of the biased liberal media and unabashed left-wing activists. Never mind the fact that the criticism was based upon his own groups periodic reports of contributions and expenditures with the IRS (forms 8872) in addition to annual tax returns (forms 990).
Imagine if instead of disappearing down rat holes and being spent on more fundraising, just $10 million of that $127 million to $177 million sum had been better spent. Imagine if that $10 million had gone to the campaigns of the GOP candidates in the 20 House districts that they lost by five percentage points or less in 2018. Thats $500,000 per campaign. If Mia Love had 625 more votes in Utah, she would have held her seat. Think she and her campaign could have identified and mobilized another 700 Love-supporting voters in her district if they had another half-million?
In Californias 21st District, David Valadao lost by about 900 votes. In Maines 2nd, Bruce Poliquin needed about 3,500 more votes. In Georgias 6th, Karen Handel needed 8,000 more votes.
If Leonard Lance had about 16,000 more votes, he would have kept his seat. Maybe not every one of these close races would be reversed if each one of those GOP candidates had another half million for GOTV. But right now, Republicans need to flip 19 seats to regain control of the House. Doing just 2.25 percentage points better in 2018 would have saved 13 seats!
What has grassroots donor money going to scam PACs cost the conservative cause? Perhaps GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives, and now at least two years of Trumps presidency will be spent on defense instead of attempting to turn conservative policy ideas into federal law.
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Very enlightening. Thanks for the post.
George Soros (drops mic, walks off-stage)
Gerghaty is THE EPITOME of establishmentarianism on the right.
American Crossroads = Karl Rove.
Club For Growth:
Pro-Amnesty Club for Growth PAC Spends Millions To Attack Candidate Donald Trump Using Pro-Rubio Media Firms
The (Republican Mainstrearm) partnership is currently composed of moderates such as Susan Collins and Todd Young; some members would fit most of the criteria of a conservative, such as Thad McCotter and Brian Bilbray.
The Main Street Partnership has allied with other moderate Republican groups, including Christine Todd Whitman’s It’s My Party Too, Ann Stone’s Republicans for Choice, the Log Cabin Republicans, the Republican Majority For Choice, The Wish List, Republicans for Environmental Protection .
As I suspected and then documented, Gerghaty is just a front-man for liberalism in elephant’s clothing.
It morphed into MAGA!
I do not give to PACs. Only directly to the candidates.
Check out the historic success of the Republican Main Street Partnership in the Senate only:
Senators: LOSERS, RETIREES AND DEMOCRATS:
Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island (lost reelection in 2006, later became an Independent and then a Democrat)
Saxby Chambliss, Georgia (retired in 2014)
Norm Coleman, Minnesota (lost reelection in 2008)
John Danforth, Missouri (retired in 1994)
Jim Jeffords, Vermont (retired in 2006)
Mark Kirk, Illinois (lost reelection in 2016)
John McCain, Arizona (died in 2018)
Warren Rudman, New Hampshire (retired in 1992)
Gordon Smith, Oregon (lost reelection in 2008)
Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania (switched to the Democratic Party, and then lost renomination in 2010)
Olympia Snowe, Maine (retired in 2012)
Ted Stevens, Alaska (lost reelection in 2008)
George Voinovich, Ohio (retired in 2010)
Agreed. If it’s true it’s true.
Though there are probably two sides to the story.
But we KNOW these groups love to fleece!
That’s why I never have and never will donate to any political movement.
Don’t give to an “amorphous” group with a “cause celebrate” name.
Give to a person directly.
You’ll feel better in the morning.
This is exactly why I donate to a candidate directly.
And only to your local candidate. Then you have decent idea who your actually donating to.
Rarely do my donations cross state lines. 8>)
Oh, I see. It has to be one or the other? Either grifters, or David French?
One of the legacies of Jonah Goldberg at National Review is that so many of the writers now follow the practice of lazily filling their pieces with straw men and disingenuous false choices.
It's gotten so tiresome. Much of NR's output is just unreadable.
I suppose it's fair to say they're not really writing for their readers but rather to satisfy the agenda of their undisclosed big funders, but still.
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