Posts Tagged ‘PAC’

Another Crop of Dan Backer Scam PACs

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

A commenter brought this up on a previous Dan Backer thread: Committee To Defend the President is another Dan Backer scam PAC, like so many others. (For those unfamiliar with Mr. Backer’s methods, he runs dozens of scam PACs that claim to be raising money for conservative causes and candidates, but somehow the vast majority of the money raised always seems to find it’s way into his pockets, much through “consulting” fees paid to other entities he owns.) That made me wonder how many more Dan Backer scam PACs had sprung up since I last looked. The tell, as usual, is sharing the same address as other Dan Backer scam PACs (203 South Union Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA, 22314).

And I found even more using an Open Secrets Search.

So here’s a comprehensive round-up of all the Dan Backer scam PACs and related organizations I’ve found, with the new ones in bold. Some of these are probably defunct.

  • American Defense News
  • Bit PAC
  • The Capitol Foundation: “The Capitol Foundation operates in and around the Greater Washington, DC metro region of DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our mailing address is: 203 South Union Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314. We can be reached at 202-210-5431 or via email at info@TheCapitolFoundation.org.”
  • Citizen Revolt PAC
  • Combat Veterans for Congress PAC (Actual address is in San Diego, and they seem to have sent more money on than the usual Becker PAC, but he’s still listed as Treasurer.)
  • Committee To Defend the President
  • The Committee to Draft Judge Andrew Napolitano for President
  • Conservative Action Fund
  • Conservative America Now
  • Constitutional Rights PAC
  • DB Capitol Strategies, consultancy owned and operated by Dan Backer, and the recipient of lots of his PAC’s “expenditures.”
  • Draft Newt
  • EaglesPAC
  • EndJeb2016.com
  • Finelli PAC
  • Freedom to Carry PAC
  • Freshman Hold’em PAC
  • Gator PAC
  • George Washington Leadership Foundation
  • Grassroots Victory
  • Great America PAC
  • In Flanders Field Fund: Subsidiary of The Capitol Foundation
  • InnovationPAC
  • Liberty USA PAC
  • One Nation PAC
  • Patriots for Economic Freedom
  • Peach Tea PAC
  • Progress Action Fund PAC (PAF PAC)
  • Restore Colorado
  • Revolution PAC
  • Special Operations Speaks
  • Stand With Rand
  • Stop Hillary PAC
  • Stop Pelosi PAC
  • Stop Reckless Economic Instability Caused by Democrats (go by ‘STOP R.E.I.D.’)
  • Stark360 PAC
  • Tea Party Forward
  • The Tea Party Leadership Fund
  • Themis PAC
  • Women Warriors PAC
  • ZetePAC (another Zeta Psi PAC)
  • ZP Action PAC (“ZP Action is in no way affiliated with Zeta Psi Fraternity of N.A. or the Zeta Psi Educational Foundation”)
  • There are too many worthy conservative causes and organizations you could be donating to to ever give anything associated with Dan Backer a dime.

    LinkSwarm for August 11, 2017

    Friday, August 11th, 2017

    North Korea is making crazy threats again, which at this point is a dog-bites-man type story if ever there was one. They’ve done this sort of crazy lunatic invalid sabre-rattling before and, if President Trump doesn’t end up wiping them off the map entirely, will undoubtedly do it again. But it doesn’t change the underlying dynamic of the situation: North Korea can hurt us, but we can completely erase North Korea from the Prime Material Plane. So unless actual military action occurs, I doubt I have much to say (or link to) on North Korea…

  • NSA says no Russian hack of DNC computers. “Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak—a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.” Will the Trump Derangement Brigades finally let go of their Russian hacking fantasy? (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Why Does the Left Suddenly Hate Russia?”

    The new progressive hatred of Russia is baffling. Of course, Vladimir Putin is a thug and a killer who in the grand tradition of Russian autocracy has no intention ever of holding free elections. But he is perhaps no more a murderer than are the Castro brothers in Cuba, with whom we have concluded a détente and who have no arsenal capable of destroying the U.S.

    Putin is no more or less trustworthy than are the Iranians, with whom in 2015 we cut a deal on nuclear proliferation and who are far more likely than the Russians to send a nuclear missile into Israel someday. Putin’s brutal suppression of the press recalls the ongoing repression by President Recep Erdogan of Turkey — a linchpin member of NATO.

    There is no freedom in China. The Communists still in control have the blood of 50 million Chinese dead on their hands from Mao’s brutal revolutions and genocides. Yet we enjoy all sorts of cultural, political, and economic bipartisan relationships with China, whose nuclear patronage of North Korea has done more damage to U.S. security than any plot from the dark mind of Vladimir Putin.

    In terms of Russia’s macabre history, Putin is a piker compared with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, who may have orchestrated the deaths of 20 million Russians. After December 1941, the United States concluded a “Big Three” wartime pact with Stalin and supplied 20 percent of the Soviet Union’s wartime resources and arms — some of it later lavishly recycled to post-war Communist uprisings around the globe.

  • “Australian terror suspect planted plane bomb on brother.” And of course the BBC puts this information 17 paragraphs into the story: “The two suspects – Khaled Khayat, 49, and Mahmoud Khayat, 32.”
  • Democrats are screwed in 2018…and beyond:

    Even if Democrats were to win every single 2018 House and Senate race for seats representing places that Hillary Clinton won or that Trump won by less than 3 percentage points — a pretty good midterm by historical standards — they could still fall short of the House majority and lose five Senate seats.

    Snip.

    In the last few decades, Democrats have expanded their advantages in California and New York — states with huge urban centers that combined to give Clinton a 6 million vote edge, more than twice her national margin. But those two states elect only 4 percent of the Senate. Meanwhile, Republicans have made huge advances in small rural states — think Arkansas, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana and West Virginia — that wield disproportionate power in the upper chamber compared to their populations.

    Snip.

    Consider: In 1980, there were 18 states where the presidential margin was at least 5 points more Democratic than the national result, 18 states where it was at least 5 points more Republican than the national result and 14 states in between. Hypothetically, over three successive election cycles, all either party needed to do to win a Senate majority was win all 36 of the seats in the friendly states plus at least 15 of the 28 swing-state seats.

    Today, Republicans don’t even need to win any “swing states” to win a Senate majority: 52 seats are in states where the 2016 presidential margin was at least 5 percentage points more Republican than the national outcome. By contrast, there are just 28 seats in states where the margin was at least 5 points more Democratic, and only 20 seats in swing states.

  • 23% of federal prisoners are illegal aliens.
  • Former “sanctuary cities” in Clark County in Nevada and Miami-Dade County in Florida have confirmed they’re now in compliance with federal immigration law. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “For Fear Of Leaks, Google Cancels All-Hands Meeting Over Engineer Firing Fiasco.” Google went full Social Justice Warrior. Never go full Social Justice Warrior…
  • Christina Hoff Sommers: “Google has excommunicated James Damore for crimes against the Pink Police State.”
  • Trump Appoints More Judges in 200 Days Than Obama, Bush, Clinton.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Perhaps the Second Amendment is the black man’s ultimate sign of full citizenship.” Also this: “The National African-American Gun Association he founded has grown from 800 to 20,000 members since 2015.” Though the piece is marbled with the usual leftwing “America the racist” framing. (Hat tip: Shall not Be Questioned.)
  • This is, I think, a grave miscarriage of justice: man convicted of DUI for driving in and out of his own garage while drunk, never leaving his own property, which strikes me as a takings clause violation.
  • Julian Castro forms a PAC. Possibly eyeing a 2020 Presidential run? Well he’s certainly not going to win statewide…
  • Democrats “pro-worker” policies hurt workers. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Why is Spain arresting European journalists on Turkey’s behalf? Swedish citizen Hamza Yalcin is in jail for “treason” which seems to mean “criticizing the Erdogan regime.” (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • How Japan could have won World War II. “Win” in this case is not “pummeling America into submission” (impossible) but “making the costs of a protracted war so high that it avoids defeat.” Not striking Pearl Harbor was one key possibility. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Giant mech fight! Finally, the 21st Century I was promised! (The headline says “robots” but the video clearly shows piloted vehicles.) Now, from an actual military standpoint, that under-armored, under-powered mech is going to last about 15 seconds on a real battlefield and could be taken out by a single RPG (or any 8-year quick enough to jam a crowbar into the exposed, undersized tread gears), much less a real tank…
  • NY Times Editors Deny Reading Their Own Newspaper.”
  • “Emails Show WaPo, NYT Reporters Didn’t Want to Cover Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting.”
  • Paper beats rock. Rock beats Mexican. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • I hate linking to ESPN given its SJW turn, but this profile of fighter Conor McGregor was too good not to.
  • Neanderthal cave structure dated to 176,500 years ago.
  • The fate of Viking settlers in Greenland. (Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle.)
  • Tweets:

    I encourage Antifa to buy a Soviet tank. They’ll discover tanks are cool, which will be a gateway drug to learning that guns are cool, after which it’s only a matter of time until they’re eating BBQ, driving pickup trucks and listening to Garth Brooks…

  • Cinton Corruption Update for May 4, 2017

    Thursday, May 4th, 2017

    The big Clinton Corruption news is the the felonious sharing her top aide committed of classified emails with said aide’s scumbag husband:

    FBI Director James Comey testified Wednesday that Huma Abedin, an aide to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, forwarded emails containing classified information to her husband, former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).

    During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said that Weiner had classified information on his laptop.

    “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him, I think, to print out for her so she could then deliver them to the secretary of state,” he said.

    So she illegally forwarded classified emails from Hillary’s illegal server to her scumbag, non-security-cleared husband’s laptop to illegally print them out for Hillary.

    Oh, that makes everything better.

    Amid all these felonies, one has to ask: Why couldn’t Abedin pay for her own freaking laptop??? She was working something like four jobs and pulling down $490,000 a year. And yet she never thought to buy her own laptop to illegally print out classified emails rather than using her husband’s?

    Or, like Hillary, she wanted to use something she thought (erroneously) was beyond judicial reach.

    Oh, and those forwarded emails number in the thousands, and include 29 previously unknown classified emails. You can’t keep up with the Clinton felonies without a scorecard. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

    In other Clinton Corruption news:

  • “Wikileaks Posts Unclassified Email to Hillary Clinton From Foreign Policy Advisor: ‘Al Qaeda is on Our Side in Syria.'” Assad is a scumbag, but he didn’t attack us on 9/11. Yet more indication of the moral idiocy at the heart of Obama’s Syrian policy.
  • Andrew Sullivan wonders why Democrats feel sorry for Hillary Clinton:

    I’ve done what I could in this space to avoid the subject of Hillary Clinton. I don’t want to be the perennial turd in the punchbowl. I’d hoped we’d finally seen the last of that name in public life — it’s been a long quarter of a century — and that we could all move on. Alas, no. Her daughter (angels and ministers of grace defend us) seems to be positioning herself for a political career. And Clinton herself duly emerged last week for a fawning, rapturous reception at the Women in the World conference in New York City. It simply amazes me the hold this family still has on the Democratic Party — and on liberals in general. The most popular question that came from interviewer Nick Kristof’s social-media outreach, for example, was: “Are you doing okay?” Here’s Michelle Goldberg: “I find myself wondering at odd times of the day and night: How is Hillary? Is she going to be all right?” Seriously, can you imagine anyone wondering the same after Walter Mondale or Michael Dukakis or John Kerry blew elections?

    And everywhere you see not an excoriation of one of the worst campaigns in recent history, leading to the Trump nightmare, but an attempt to blame anyone or anything but Clinton herself for the epic fail. It wasn’t Clinton’s fault, we’re told. It never is. It was the voters’ — those ungrateful, deplorable know-nothings! Their sexism defeated her (despite a majority of white women voting for Trump). A wave of misogyny defeated her (ditto). James Comey is to blame. Bernie Sanders’s campaign — because it highlighted her enmeshment with Wall Street, her brain-dead interventionism and her rapacious money-grubbing since she left the State Department — was the problem. Millennial feminists were guilty as well, for not seeing what an amazing crusader for their cause this candidate was. And this, of course, is how Clinton sees it as well: She wasn’t responsible for her own campaign — her staffers were. As a new book on her campaign notes, after Clinton lost the Michigan primary to Sanders, “The blame belonged to her campaign team, she believed, for failing to hone her message, energize important constituencies, and take care of business in getting voters to the polls.” So by the time the general-election campaign came round, they’d fix that and win Michigan, right?

    In case you forgot just how somewhat unhinged the 2016 election was.

    Let us review the facts: Clinton had the backing of the entire Democratic establishment, including the president (his biggest mistake in eight years by far), and was even married to the last, popular Democratic president. As in 2008, when she managed to lose to a neophyte whose middle name was Hussein, everything was stacked in her favor. In fact, the Clintons so intimidated other potential candidates and donors, she had the nomination all but wrapped up before she even started. And yet she was so bad a candidate, she still only managed to squeak through in the primaries against an elderly, stopped-clock socialist who wasn’t even in her party, and who spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. She ran with a popular Democratic incumbent president in the White House in a growing economy. She had the extra allure of possibly breaking a glass ceiling that — with any other female candidate — would have been as inspiring as the election of the first black president. In the general election, she was running against a malevolent buffoon with no political experience, with a deeply divided party behind him, and whose negatives were stratospheric. She outspent him by almost two-to-one. Her convention was far more impressive than his. The demographics favored her. And yet she still managed to lose!

    (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.)

  • “FBI got subpoenas from grand jury targeting Hillary Clinton.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Another tidbit from Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign: After Clinton lost in 2008, she went on a witch hunt to pubish Democrats disloyal to her:

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton created “loyalty scores” to measure how loyal Democrats were to her after her failed 2008 campaign, according to a new book on her latest campaign failure.

    Clinton had two staffers “toil” to rate every Democrat members of Congress on a scale of one to seven — one being the most loyal — after she lost the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. Her husband Bill Clinton then deliberately campaigned against the disloyal “sevens” in subsequent primary elections, and succeeded in getting some of them removed. Some of those who remained apparently took note, and were quick to endorse Hillary in 2016.

    Here’s the relevant excerpt from “Shattered,” a tell-all on her 2016 bid from Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes:

    “After the 2008 campaign, two of her aides, Kris Balderston and Adrienne Elrod, had toiled to assign loyalty scores to members of Congress, ranging from one for the most loyal to seven for those who had committed the most egregious acts of treachery. Bill Clinton had campaigned against some of the sevens in subsequent primary elections, helping to knock them out of office. The fear of retribution was not lost on the remaining sevens, some of whom rushed to endorse Hillary early in the 2016 cycle.”

    Clinton was especially paranoid after losing the 2008 election to former President Barack Obama, Allen and Parnes say in the book, believing that leaks on negative information and disloyal Democrats had led her to lose the presidency in 2008. “Over the course of the summer, the confidence of party insiders had been replaced by a degree of paranoia that nearly matched Hillary’s own outsize phobia,” they wrote. “She was convinced that leaks of information had helped doom her 2008 campaign.”

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • Naturally, after Shattered came out, Hillary launched Witch Hunt II: Traitor Boogaloo to punish staffers who might have spoken to the authors. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • In response to a question commenter pouncer asked in this thread, yes, that almost certainly is Stan Lee at the same party as Hillary Clinton and convicted felon Peter Paul, as Paul was a co-founder of Stan Lee media.
  • She still doesn’t get it. “All the money in the world didn’t stop Clinton from having sky-high untrustworthy numbers. Poll after poll, throughout the campaign, showed that most voters didn’t think Clinton was honest or trustworthy. At the end of the day, Clinton was responsible for her election loss. It’s sad that even months after Election Day, Clinton can still not take the blame for her own massive failures as a candidate.”
  • Wow, even David Axelrod has had enough of Hillary’s BS: “Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin.”
  • Hillary Clinton is launching a new PAC. How can we miss you if you won’t go away? (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Man Who Used to Work for Dan Backer: “How We Killed the Tea Party”

    Thursday, August 18th, 2016

    The headline on “How We Killed the Tea Party” overstates the case, but the movement isn’t what it once was, or could have been. And it does identify a major culprit:

    As we watch the Republican Party tear itself to shreds over Donald Trump, perhaps it’s time to take note of another conservative political phenomenon that the GOP nominee has utterly eclipsed: the Tea Party. The Tea Party movement is pretty much dead now, but it didn’t 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.

    What began as an organic, policy-driven grass-roots movement was drained of its vitality and resources by national political action committees that dunned the movement’s true believers endlessly for money to support its candidates and causes. The PACs used that money first to enrich themselves and their vendors and then deployed most of the rest to search for more “prospects.” In Tea Party world, that meant mostly older, technologically unsavvy people willing to divulge personal information through “petitions”—which only made them prey to further attempts to lighten their wallets for what they believed was a good cause. While the solicitations continue, the audience has greatly diminished because of a lack of policy results and changing political winds.

    I was an employee at one of the firms that ran these operations.

    After stating that, I wasn’t at all surprised to see this: “For 18 months ending in 2013, I worked for one of these consultants, Dan Backer, who has served as treasurer for dozens of PACs, many now defunct, through his law and consulting firm.”

    Yep, Dan Backer, who I’ve been sounding the scam alarm about since 2014. Backer has been running scam PACs like Patriots for Economic Freedom, Conservative Action Fund, Stop Hillary PAC, and a host of others.

    And Backer is now cashing in on Donald Trump’s name:

    This cycle, Backer and MacKenzie have kept Trump’s lawyers busy. Despite Trump’s constant protests about “corrupt” super PACs, MacKenzie started “Patriots for Trump” and Backer founded “TrumPAC.” MacKenzie shuttered Patriots when the Trump campaign complained, although the Facebook page remains active. The campaign persuaded Backer to change TrumPAC’s name to “Great America PAC.” But the PAC begged off requests to shutter and “refund any funds raised” based on Trump’s candidacy. Jesse Benton, Great America’s chief strategist and formerly a Ron Paul operative, explained the PAC would remain active because Trump would need “a robust and effective finance organization … after he secured the nomination.” By law, the campaign can have no say in how this “finance organization” spends its money, though its website still prominently features the candidate and his trademark slogan. It pledged to raise $20 million dollars before the Republican convention.

    And yes, I wrote about Great America PAC as well.

    Evidently Scott MacKenzie is puling the same scam. “An analysis found 10 conservative PACs whose treasurer was Scott MacKenzie spent 92 percent of the $17.5 million they raised on operating expenses, and less than 1 percent on candidate support.”

    The lesson, yet again, is never donate to a random email or mail solicitation, and when you do donate, use a candidate’s direct donation page.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

    Great America PAC is Yet Another Dan Backer Scam PAC

    Saturday, May 14th, 2016

    Hey, remember Dan Backer, the man behind such scam PACs as Stop Hillary PAC, Conservative Action Now and Patriots for Economic Freedom? Now he has a new Great America PAC ostensibly supporting Trump, run out of the same building as his other scam PACs.

    If past experiences with his other PACs are any guide, expect lots of money to disappear into the pockets of Dan Becker and his associates, and very little spent supporting Trump. Which is probably one reason the Trump campaign has already disavowed Great America PAC. As of the last reporting cycle, Great America PAC sent a whopping total of $10 to the Donald J. Trump For President campaign.

    Here’s another mystery: The top Great America PAC donor for the cycle was listed as Atlanta IT firm Revily Inc. giving $100,000. And the top recipient of Great America PAC expenditures? Revily Inc., who received…$100,000.

    I just sent Revily Inc. an email asking about the amount. I’ll let you know if they reply.

    Scott Adams Says This Anti-Trump Ad Backfires

    Thursday, March 17th, 2016

    So an anti-Trump group put together an ad consisting of women reading the mean/stupid thing Donald Trump has said about women:

    Says Scott Adams:

    Have you seen the anti-Trump video that features women quoting Donald Trump’s most offensive statements about women?

    I just showed it to a woman. She thought it was funny. Apparently nothing that Trump says comes off as offensive to her.

    The reason I checked with a woman is because I didn’t trust my own reaction. To me, the video looked like the most tone-deaf ad of all time. I would rank it as among the worst I have ever seen in terms of persuasion. I’m guessing it worked in Trump’s favor.

    On the 2D level of reality – where we pretend people are rational – the video makes perfect sense. The makers of the video figured women voters would not like a candidate that says bad things about women. That seems totally logical. I can see why they made the video.

    But on the 3D level of persuasion, what the viewer sees is several average-looking women in bad moods complaining about a guy being, well… a guy. I assume men won’t be offended by the video because Trump is no more of a jerk than most men. And men probably don’t get a warm feeling from the judgmental, angry messengers in the video. That video looks like a huge fail to me.

    While I’m not on-board with Adams’ “people are just moist robots” thesis, I think he’s right about this video.

    “Oh look, Reginald! That uncouth vulgarian is distressing his class betters again!”

    “Shocking, Eleanor, simply shocking!” (drops monocle)

    The ad ignores the reality that a great deal of Trump’s appeal is his willingness to transgress against the unspoken shibboleths of the overclass. People are voting Trump because they can’t punch an NPR host in their smug face over the radio.

    When a whole bunch of dour middle-aged feminist scolds (which is what it comes off as) read Trump quotes in the manner of “celebrities read mean tweets,” the result is laughter, not outrage. The real tone of the ad is “We know better than you, and Trump offends our finely-tuned sensibilities! Doesn’t our naked contempt dissuade you from voting Trump, you dim-witted flyover country rubes?”

    No wonder they disabled video comments on YouTube.

    So the Our Principles PAC (headed up by ex-Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush staff) should stop running this thing, as it’s only helping Trump.

    And that Princess Di quote is pure comedy gold…

    Stop Hillary PAC is Another Dan Backer Scam PAC (And American Action News is a Sham Newsletter)

    Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

    Recently I received a solicitation email from a “Stop Hillary PAC.” Well guess what? It’s another Dan Backer scam PAC.

    Like “Conservative Action Fund” or “Patriots for Economic Freedom” or any of a number of scam PACs run by Backer and his associates Tyler Whitney and Michael Gruccio, they’re happy to take money from gullible conservatives, but almost none of that money ever ends up supporting actual candidates. Instead it gets channeled into the pockets of a small number of consultants.

    Among the consultants getting the lions share of Stop Hillary PAC disbursements (warning: big PDF):

  • DB Capitol Strategies (owned and operated by Dan Backer)
  • American Action News, which has recently started spamming me with pro-Donald Trump email, and which, surprise surprise, has the exact same address as DB Capitol Strategies (203 S. Union St., Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314)!
  • Campaign Solutions of Alexandria, Virginia
  • Strategic Fundraising, which may be defunct
  • A Ted Harvey of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, which I assume is this Colorado State Representative.
  • For the record, here are the other groups that show up for that same 203 S. Union St., Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314 address:

  • American Defense News
  • Conservative America Now
  • Constitutional Rights PAC
  • EndJeb2016.com
  • innovationPAC
  • Special Operations Speaks
  • Stand With Rand
  • Stark360 PAC
  • The Tea Party Leadership Fund
  • ZP Action PAC (“ZP Action is in no way affiliated with Zeta Psi Fraternity of N.A. or the Zeta Psi Educational Foundation”)
  • It looks like I may a little late to this party: Someone outed Stop Hillary PAC as a Dan Backer scam last year. But boy does his weedy garden of fake PACs and sham news sources continue to grow like Topsy…

    An In-Depth Look at Scam PACs

    Monday, March 2nd, 2015

    If you remember my pieces exposing Conservative Action Fund, Conservative America Now and Patriots for Economic Freedom as scam PACs, you know it’s an ongoing concern.

    Now Right Wing news has done an in-depth piece on 17 high-profile PACs, only three of which gave more than 50% of the money raised to candidates. It was particularly disappointing to see Tea Party Express use only miserable 5% of the funds raised on candidates and campaigns.

    Read the whole thing, including their caveats about the difficulty in measuring spending from some groups.

    Annie’s List of Fail

    Monday, January 12th, 2015

    Via PushJunction comes word that Amber Mostyn (wife of rich trial lawyer Steve Mostyn) is stepping down as chair of Annie’s List. What’s Annie’s List, you ask? Essentially an attempt to do Emily’s List for Texas, i.e. elect liberal female Democrats to office.

    So how did Annie’s List do in 2014? By one measure they were quite successful: They raised 18th largest amount of money of any statewide political entity in 2014, raising $1,422,009.16 and spending $1,601,945.83.

    But by another, more important measure, namely winning elections…not so hot. Let’s look at the results for the candidates they endorsed

  • Wendy Davis – Candidate for Governor: Lost to Greg Abbott 2,790,227 votes (59.3%) to 1,832,254 votes (38.9%).
  • Leticia Van de Putte – Candidate for Lieutenant Governor: Lost to Dan Patrick 2,718,406 votes (58.1%), to 1,810,720 votes (38.7%).
  • Libby Willis – Candidate for Senate District 10 (Wendy Davis’s old seat): Lost to Konni Burton, 95,484 votes (52.8%) to 80,806 votes (44.7%).
  • Susan Criss – Candidate for House District 23 (Galveston Island, La Marque and Texas City): Lost to Wayne Faircloth 17,702 votes (54.6%) to 14,716 votes (45.4%).
  • Kim Gonzalez – Candidate for House District 43 (San Patricio, Jim Wells, Kleberg and Bee Counties): Lost to Jose Manuel Lozano 17,273 votes (61.4%) to 10,847 votes (38.6%).
  • Susan Motley – Candidate for House District 105 (Irving and Grand Prairie): Lost to Rodney Anderson 13,587 votes (55.4%) to 10,469 votes (42.7%).
  • Carol Donovan – Candidate for House District 107 (Dallas, Garland and Mesquite): Lost to Kenneth Sheets 16,879 votes (55%) to 13,803 votes (45%).
  • Leigh Bailey – Candidate for House District 108 (Dan Branch’s old district): Lost to Morgan Meyer, 24,953 votes (60.7%) to 16,170 votes (39.3%).
  • Celia Israel – Candidate for House District 50 (Austin, Pflugerville and Wells Branch): The lone bright spot among their endorsed candidates, she Won, beating Mike VanDeWalle 22,651 votes (58.7%) to 14,339 votes (37.1%). This is the district Democratic incumbent Mark Strama left to run Google Fiber Austin.
  • So Annie’s List racked up a winning percentage of .111 for the races they publicly supported, which is pretty far below the Mendoza Line, and their lone win came for a seat Democrats already held. Going through Annie’s List campaign reports for 2013-2014 (more about which anon) shows two other campaigns they backed at some point in the cycle:

  • Incumbent Mary Ann Perez’s campaign to retain House District 144 (Southeast suburban Houston area near the chip channel). She Lost to Gilbert Pena, 6,009 votes (50.7%) to 5,854 votes (49.3%). Maybe because it wasn’t a “new” endorsement, they didn’t do as much for Perez, but at just over 150 vote difference between the two candidates, this is one of the few races where additional support could have made a difference.
  • Incumbent Toni Rose’s successful attempt to win the Democratic Primary for House District 110, a 90% black southeast Dallas district that drew no Republican candidate in the 2014 general election.
  • One wonders how long Annie’s pale, middle-aged, female leadership can keep raising money with such poor results.

    For the sake of completeness, and providing a “one stop shop” for information about Annie’s List, here’s their official filing information via the Texas State Ethics Commission:

    POLITICAL COMMITTEE INFORMATION
    Annie’s List
    Account: 00053715
    Committee Type: General Purpose
    Files Reports: Semi-Annually
    8146-A Ceberry Drive
    Austin, TX 78759

    TREASURER INFORMATION
    Pinnelli, Janis W.
    P.O. Box 50038
    Austin, TX 78763
    (512) 478-4487

    And here are their electronic filings covering the 2013 to 2014 fundraising period:

  • October 27th, 2014
  • October 6th, 2014
  • July 15th, 2014 (semiannual)
  • May 19th, 2014 (runoff report; see how many times “The Mostyn Law Firm” appears in that list…)
  • February 25th, 2014 (very brief)
  • February 3rd, 2014
  • January 15th, 2014 (corrected semiannual report; uncorrected version omitted)
  • July 15th, 2013 (semiannual; another report where “The Mostyn Law Firm” makes many an appearance)
  • January 15th, 2013
  • Beyond Mostyn and Lisa Blue Baron, some of the names who gave significant amounts to Annie’s List include Obama bundler Naomi Aberly, Lee and Amy Fikes, and Serena Connelly, the daughter of late billionaire businessman Harold Simmons. So your usual batch of rich left-wing pro-abortion feminists. Fortunately for Texas, the state’s voters seem actively hostile to precisely the message they seek to push…

    Conservative America Now is Another Tyler Whitney Scam PAC

    Friday, May 16th, 2014

    If you can remember all the way back to Tuesday, I noted how “Patriots for Economic Freedom” is a scam PAC run for the benefit of consultant Tyler Whitney and lawyer Dan Backer.

    Another group I get email from is “Conservative America Now.” Just today they sent me a solicitation for Julianne Ortman in her senate race against Al Franken.

    Well, guess who is registered as the treasurer for Conservative America Now?

    And how much of the money this Tyler Whitney group raised found it’s way to actual conservative candidates?

    “This PAC didn’t make any contributions to federal candidates in the 2014 election cycle.”

    Again: If you want to donate to Julianne Ortman, do it directly.