Posts Tagged ‘Dan Backer’

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.

    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.

    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…

    “Conservative Action Fund” Is Another Dan Backer Scam PAC

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

    I just got a Breitbart direct email solicitation from a “Conservative Action Fund” talking about David Perdue’s race against Michelle Nunn in Georgia.

    Well, guess what? Conservative Action Fund is another Dan Backer scam PAC, just like Patriots for Economic Freedom.

    You know how much money they’ve contributed to conservative candidates in 2014? Zero.

    If you want to contribute money to David Perdue, do it directly.

    And Breitbart should kick “Conservative Action Fund” off their list of accepted advertisers.

    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.

    “Patriots for Economic Freedom” is a Scam PAC

    Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

    I’m on enough mailing lists that I get a lot of campaign/PAC/etc. solicitations. One of the ones I get pretty regularly in email are missives from “Patriots for Economic Freedom” seemingly soliciting for one or another notable conservative candidates.

    Take, for example, this one for Ted Cruz. They’ve also done solicitations featuring Allen West and Mia Love, and I just got one this morning for Oklahoma Senate candidate T. W. Shannon.

    Just one tiny little problem: Ted Cruz never authorized Patriots for Economic Freedom to solicit on his behalf.

    Well, actually two problems: The money Patriots for Economic Freedom raises doesn’t seem to get to the candidates. Indeed, the lion’s share seems to go to consultants Tyler Whitney and Dan Backer.

    That’s right: “Patriots for Economic Freedom” is a scam PAC, and has been pulling their scam since at least 2012.

    I don’t know who exactly is selling Patriots for Economic Freedom their email list (though I’m looking in your direction, NRO and Breitbart), but they need to stop. Every dollar spent supporting a scam PAC is a dollar not spent actually supporting a conservative candidate.

    And someone should consider suing Patriots for Economic Freedom for false advertising.

    And if you want to donate to Allen West, Mia Love or T.W. Shannon, do it directly.