In the light of recent events, I wanted to get this off my conscience and I feel free to now. It’s not slick or rehearsed but it’s honest.
I misspoke in the video: I was the first in-studio guest on the Dana show on The Blaze. Greg Abbott was the first guest.
BitCoin is hard to explain. It’s a currency but unlike currencies based on the backing of a government or a gold standard or…you know…something…BitCoin was based on…I don’t know…nerd’s tears and puffery.
And now the whole thing is collapsing. Here’s ZDNet:
Well, colour me surprised. A virtual currency, backed by absolutely nothing except the fierce belief in the integrity of a complex mathematical formula few of its proponents even understand, is proving to be little more trustworthy than the Zimbabwe dollar after hackers tested and defeated controls put in place to manage it fall at the first hurdle.
In developments that should surprise nobody, the disastrous decline of Mt Gox –which has filed for bankruptcy in the US after being systematically owned and dismembered by hackers – has been followed by hackers’ theft of 12.3 percent of the Bitcoin stored at the Poloniex exchange.
This is the third Bitcoin exchange to fall already, and the hackers are only just getting started. As best known methods for compromising Bitcoin are rapidly shared worldwide and new, purportedly-secure currency aggregation points fall like Fort Knox in Goldfinger, Bitcoin theft will likely surge – and then die off, as flagging trust and demand drive its value through the floor.
A currency based on a complex mathematical formula that few understand? What could do wrong?!?
Well, let’s recall that Attorney Dan Backer wanted BitCoin to be used for campaign contributions just a few months ago. Because donating to elections in bottle caps and Monopoly money is so 20th century.
Here’s an editorial Backer wrote for Politico in 2013:
The federal government is on the verge of issuing a decision that could revolutionize the ways political campaigns are conducted and, in the long run, affect the spending practices of every consumer in America. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has been asked to issue guidance to political campaigns on accepting contributions in the form of a new digital currency called Bitcoin.
It’s a great idea. Bitcoin political contributions will expand the number of Americans who can get involved in campaigns to support the candidates they want, how they want. It is the next logical iteration of democratization of the political process enabled by the Internet.
And sure enough, the Steve Stockman campaign that Backer was the treasurer for wanted to accept BitCoin, FEC approval or no.
Rep. Steve Stockman says he’ll accept Bitcoins to help fund his campaign for the U.S. Senate against Sen. John Cornyn.
One catch: The Federal Election Commissiondeadlocked in November when asked whether political action committees and candidates could accept the virtual currency
Here’s what economist Nouriel Roubini said about BitCoin on Twitter.
Huh.Maybe it’s perfect for politics.
FULL DISCLOSURE: IN OCTOBER, 2013 I ASKED DAN BACKER IF HE KNEW ANYONE WHO COULD HELP FUND MY FILM ON THE PLIGHT OF CHRISTIANS AND OFFERED HIM A FINDER’S FEE.
I recorded two podcasts last night detailing the recent troubles with Brandon Darby, where it’s become clear that he was working behind the scenes with people I’ve been writing about recently like Dan Backer, Donny Ferguson, The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund and Rep. Steve Stockman.
It’s understandable why Backer, Ferguson and Stockman would be upset with my writing.
The shocking betrayal is that Brandon Darby–my supervisor and my supposed friend–has been actively working with this group to destroy my professional reputation and discredit my reporting about Dan Backer and The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund.
Brandon is being as opaque as possible on this matter — blocking people on Twitter who ask him any questions about it. I invite transparency and will answer anyone’s questions.
There two shows discuss that in some detail.
Discover Politics Conservative Internet Radio with Radio Stranahan
Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Radio Stranahan
Do real grassroots candidates have a chance?
I just interviewed Ohio congressional candidate Eric Gurr, who is challenging John Boehner in the May primary.
If you’re following my reporting on The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund, there are number of interesting details about the difference between the real Tea Party groups in Ohio and how highly financed The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund came into Ohio and dealt with candidates.
Among the details in this interviews is the direct involvement of The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund treasurer in their ‘debate’ in Ohio. They also appear to have told Gurr he was too tough on immigration because he favored deportation.
You read that right.
Interesting listening: it’s about 20 minutes long.
Follow the money.
How did $20,000 in donations that people thought was going to the “Tea Party Movement” end up in the hands of establishment Republicans Mitch McConnell & John Cornyn?
The transactions don’t show up on the TeaParty.net Leadership Fund list of candidate expenses. It’s all a matter of public record but it’s been hidden of diverting it through a JFC or Joint Fundraising Committee.
The story was even reported back in 2013 by Roll Call, but went largely unnoticed and Roll Call didn’t catch the connection of attorney Dan Backer to so many groups involved. Roll Call wrote:
A national tea party committee, the Tea Party Leadership Fund (formerly known as the TeaParty.Net Leadership Fund), a hybrid PAC with a noncontribution account, based in Alexandria, Va., contributed $40,000 in May to In Defense of Free Speech JFC, a joint fundraising committee set up in May. The $53,800 in proceeds were split between four candidates, with each getting $13,450. The candidates were McConnell, Cruz, Lee and John Cornyn, R-Texas. The McConnell Senate Committee ’14 was sent $10,950 on June 29 and $2,500 on June 25.
Follow the steps used to send Tea Party donor money to Cornyn & McConnell and note all the connections to Dan Backer and don’t take my word for it: click the links.
When people are urged to donate to The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund, they are told their money to support the Tea Party Movement. Here’s their donation page:
How did money end up in Mitch McConnell and Cornyn’s coffers?
One common link is Virginia attorney Dan Backer, who is the treasurer for The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund, who took in over $3.4 million in donations in this election cycle. Most of the money went to fundraising and ‘unclassifiable’ expenses.
One of the groups biggest expenditures was $40,000 to a group called In Defense of Free Speech JFC.
In Defense of Free Speech JFC was originally set up by in 2013 by Dan Backer, who was also the group’s original treasurer. Laster, a woman named Christina Sirois–who works for Backer’s company DB Capitol Strategies–was named as treasurer. The group was dissolved in February, 2014.
In Defense of Free Speech JFC did one thing in its short life: gave $13,450 each to Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.
Where did the money for the In Defense of Free Speech JFCcome group set up by Dan Backer come from?
- $40,000 came from The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund – Dan Backer, Treasurer
- $5000 came from Shaun McCutcheon, a client of Dan Backer’s
- $5000 came from a group called E Pluribus Unum PAC – Dan Backer, Treasurer. The group’s only purpose appears to have been to give $5000 to the In Defense of Free Speech JFC
- $5000 came from a man Richard Campbell — who was also the sole donor for the E Pluribus Unum PAC set up by Dan Backer
Ironically, Dan Backer was the treasurer for Cornyn’s primary opponent, Rep. Steve Stockman, who got $2,500 from The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund.
This means that John Cornyn’s $10,000 take was four times what Stockman.
Just follow the arrows on this flowchart I mad.