It’s a disturbing trend.
As I’ve been researching the group Patriots for Economic Freedom, I’ve now spoken to four of the groups’s top donors and according to information from their Federal Election Commission reports none of them claim to have actually donated to the group.
Three of the four people I spoke to had charges on their credit card ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 for the Patriots for Economic Freedom group and contacted their credit card company to have the charges reversed. One of the four–a man in his 90s–didn’t remember the transaction that was shown as reversed on the FEC report at all.
All four people were conservatives who have donated to other groups in small amounts. None of them were familiar with Patriots for Economic Freedom other than the charges made to their credit cards. All four were also elderly, ranging in age from their late sixties to nineties. The four came from different states.
Patriots for Economic Freedom took in over $200,000 in this election and at least $84,000 of that money went to either treasurer / founder Tyler Whitney or his company Amagi and nearly $13,000 went to attorney Dan Backer’s company DB Capitol Strategies.
As I reported on this Storify story, Tyler Whitney’s name does not appear on the site for the group but instead lists an “Andrew Whitney.”
A new mailer by a group called Patriots for economic freedom that claims to support Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert appears to be another attempt to take advantage of patriotic conservatives and the Tea Party base with a mailer that claims to support a candidate but seems to have no actual connection to that candidate.
The mailer from Patriots For Economic Freedoom was sent out under the subject line “We Can’t Lost Gohmert!” In fact, Rep. Louie Gohlnert won his March primary is a shoe-in to carry the November election.
This exploitation of the Tea Party base seems to be rampant. A few days ago, I reported on a new mailer by TheTeaParty.Net treasurer Dan Backer that was raising money to ‘Draft Sarah Palin’, who has made it clear that she is not running for Senate.
Patriots For Economic Freedom’s Tyler Whitney & Dan Backer
The group Patriots For Economic Freedom lists Tyler Whitney as their treasurer.
According to OpenSecrets, they brought in about $136,000 so far this cycle.
The OpenSecrets Expenditure reports shows at least $12,000 going to Mr. Whitney. The expenditure report also shows $73,000 going to a consulting company called Amagi Strategies. That’s notable because Amagi Strategies lists Tyler Whitney as their registered agent.
Patriots For Economic Freedom also has connections to attorney Dan Backer, according to their expenditure report as posted on Open Secrets, where Backer’s DB Capitol Strategies received at least $12,000 from Patriots For Economic Freedom.
One interesting biographical side-note (worthy of mention because of the apparent cynical hypocrisy it shows on both Whitney’s part AND on the part of the liberal gay media was savaged him): Tyler Whitney was reported in 2007 to have come out as gay to his friends. That article lists his connection to The Leadership Institute (notable because people like Dan Backer client Rep. Steve Stockman worked there for years) and Whitney’s activities before coming out.
Whitney is also pictured in a Nov. 20 protest holding a sign which reads “Go back in the closet.” The protest was against a proposed comprehensive human rights ordinance in the city of Lansing, an ordinance that was later adopted by a unanimous vote of the City Council.
The Leadership Institute, for which Whitney works, supports conservative college and high school groups around the country and provides nonpartisan campaign training. It has provided funds to Whitney, who used them to publish a conservative newspaper at East Lansing High School in 2005, as well as to YAF chapters at MSU and CMU.
How is this happening?
For one thing, very few of the big media outlets on the right are covering it.
For another, it’s become rampant.
As Politico reported in 2012:
Political operatives can create a PAC and corresponding website on the cheap, drop some cash to rent an email list and, voilà— in come the small-dollar contributions from grass-roots Republicans eager to support any effort aiming to turn out President Barack Obama or reelect the fiery West.
Except those chunks of $25 and $50 don’t often find their way to any serious campaigns to beat Obama or boost West.
“The vast majority of the groups that we know are engaged in this have done nothing for West,” said Jill Holtzman Vogel, the congressman’s campaign attorney.
And the 2012 Politico article mentions Patriots for Economic Freeedom–the group behind the Gohmert mailer–as one you raised money on Allen West’s name in 2012, gave him nothing, and won’t respond to comments.
More egregious to West’s campaign, though, are those groups that use his name and have given nothing to the congressman.
Patriots for Economic Freedom, the Republican Majority Campaign and Conservative Strike Force have all raised money off of West’s name and haven’t supported his campaign.
None of these groups list phone numbers on their websites, and they didn’t respond to requests for comment submitted online.
Here’s the complete mailer :
Subject: We Can’t Lose Gohmert!
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert Is Standing Up Against The Left! We Cannot Afford To Lose Him!
Louie Gohmert is working to hold Washington accountable. During a recent House Judiciary Hearing, Congressman Gohmert questioned Eric Holder about the Justice Department’s refusal to hand over documents related to Islamic charities. What happens when you question this Administration about anything? You are bullied in hopes that you will be silenced.
Eric Holder has made many statements since this Hearing to convince Americans that Louie Gohmert is treating him differently than past Attorney Generals. This is ridiculous. The Obama Administration believes that they are above the law and should answer to no one. We must support Louie Gohmert’s strong leadership!
Louie Gohmert fights to repeal ObamaCare, end Washington’s out of control spending and hold the White House accountable for the scandals they call “phony”. Louie Gohmert is a patriot and true conservative. We need him in Washington to stop the big government agenda that is killing jobs and hindering future success.
Also, checks can be mailed to:
Patriots For Economic Freedom
P.O. Box 90
New York, NY 10009
|Paid for and authorized by Patriots For Economic Freedom- a federal political action committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Patriots For Economic Freedom is responsible for the content of this message. Contributions are not tax deductible for tax purposes. www.EconomicFreedomNow.org Patriots For Economic Freedom 424 E. 10th Street, #3D New York, NY 10009
Let’s call this what it is: exploitation.
For weeks, I’ve been reporting on how TheTeaParty.net Leadership Fund uses ‘petitions’ and ‘Draft’ schemes as a way to make money and build big mailing lists.
Today, Backer and the TPLF are at it again.
A new email about ‘Draft Sarah Palin’ is a humdinger, with copy written to seperate well-meaning patriots from their money, including saying in bold “you can be a tangible part of saving our nation from slipping into the vast sea of liberal socialism.”
How does sending money to Dan Backer and TheTeaParty.net Leadership Fund accomplish that? It DOESN’T.
Palin isn’t running. She isn’t going to run. And IF she ran, she has a HUGE war chest.
So giving money to the group wont do a thing to stop the sea of liberal socialism but it will make money for TheTea Party.Net Leadership Fund.
Here’s the email in its entirety. See for yourself how manipulative it is.
||Friend,Sarah called it!
Obama led the way for Putin’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Even before he took the oath of office, Sarah Palin warned us about the disasters to come under Obama’s terrible leadership.
“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.” — Sarah Palin, 2008
AND Palin was right…when Obama did nothing, Russia took what they wanted. This proves Obama is nothing more than a weak homeland bully — attacking American citizens and watching freedom around the world burn.
Sarah Palin is the conservative leader we need in the U.S. Senate, NOW.
But her window to commit to this race has almost closed, and that’s why I need you to respond to this request IMMEDIATELY. We need your help to gather the signatures necessary to push Sarah Palin over the top in a critical run for Alaska’s Senate seat in 2014.
CLICK HERE to sign your Draft Sarah Palin petition.
Incumbent liberal Democrat Mark Begich is terrified of an Obama vist to Alaska, because he knows the American people are awakening.
Sarah’s the proven leader we need. She has a better grasp on world politics, and she knows what it means to cherish and protect our American freedoms far better than THE MAN WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE LEADING THE FREE WORLD.
Last I checked, Mark Begich has spent too much time in Washington D.C. begging the Obama administration for favors rather than representing the good people of Alaska. Send Sarah to replace Begich and stop Obama!
Senator Sarah Palin, this is the name we need to put an end to Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s reign of liberal terror.
The United States Senate rests just outside conservative control, and by electing more Tea Party Heroes to replace the establishment cronies from either party — you can be a tangible part of saving our nation from slipping into the vast sea of liberal socialism.
Now more than ever, we need another Tea Party Hero in the Senate to halt Harry Reid and his pals in their war against our Constitution on issues like amnesty and gun control and our nation’s crushing debt. With Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America will rest easier at night knowing she’s at the watch.
That’s why I need your renewed support today by signing the Tea Party Leadership Fund’s petition to draft Sarah Palin to the U.S. Senate — and I need you to chip in $5 or more to get Sarah’s name on the ballot.
Sarah is the proven Maverick who’s stood up to the special interests in Alaska and has been a tireless advocate for our Tea Party values ever since she hit the national stage.
Sign your name to the petition right now, and make a donation of $5 or more to convince her we’re serious.
Tea Party Organizer
P.S. We worked hard to get her attention — now let’s seal the deal. By signing our renewed petition, you make a bold statement — you’re tired of the wishy-washy sellout establishment shills and you’re ready to put a real leader in the Senate next to Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. Follow this link, sign your name to our petition, and help us show Sarah Palin the Tea Party Leadership Fund has her back!
|Paid for by The Tea Party Leadership Fund PAC
|Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions from foreign nationals or entities are prohibited. Contributions are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Covering this story cost me my job at Breitbart Texas when Brandon Darby fired me and then tried to discredit me with the help of TeaParty.Net Treasurer Dan Backer, who signed this promotion. As I posted a few weeks ago.
Was Backer accomplice Darby paid to shut me up? He won’t answer.
I thought it was an April Fool’s joke but apparently Brad Pitt’s production company really IS in the early stages of developing a movie about the Steubenville rape case that makes Deric Lostutter aka KYAnonymous out as the hero.
That’s an odd choice since Deric Lostutter aka KYAnonymous isn’t a hero.
Forget the fact that he takes credit for helping the case when he did no such thing.
Forget him releasing the victim’s full name in an underrated transcipt that he didn’t even bother to read before posting it to a site where he couldn’t remove it.
Let’s just look at the ‘hacking the site of a person–Jim Parks–who had zero to do with the case and then defaming Parks.
Look at it.
This week’s Supreme Court decision in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC is a victory for the political establishment class in Washington D.C. and a big setback for regular citizens. It’s being sold to conservatives as a victory for free speech, but buyer beware: you’re being sold down the river.
If you do much reading about the recent Supreme Court McCutcheon decision, one thing that you’ll hear over and over is how the decision doesn’t impact the amount of money that can be given to any single candidate, just the aggregate limit. This means that if George Soros or Charles Koch want to get money to their favorite candidates, they are still limited to only giving $5200 to them per campaign cycle. McCutcheon advocates say all McCutcheon did is remove the aggregate limit–the total amount that can be given to all candidates.
It’s a common argument by advocates of McCutcheon that this limits the influence that a gazillionaire can have, so don’t worry–we’re still safe from corruption, because people are still limited to only giving $5200 to a candidate and a measly five grand is hardly going to buy much influence.
Well, that argument is a tub of radioactive poop; the McCuctheon decision will allow (insert rich person you hate) to give as much money to (insert candidate you hate) as they want to.
That’s because the decision also lifts the aggregate limit on the amount of money that can given to PACs–political action committees–and that’s where the shenanigans kick in.
The whole trick is to use PACs to funnel money to candidates. This can be done very directly; when a donor maxes out on direct giving to a candidate, they send money to a PAC and then that PAC passes the money onto the politician. This workaround has already been happening and the aggregate limit of about $75,000 had the effect of the keeping this in check.
After McCutcheon,there’s nothing keeping someone from giving a PAC a million dollars and then having that PAC disperse that money through a couple of hundred different PACs to a candidate.
This makes situation much worse because it creates a much more opaque system. (My personal issue on campaign finance isn’t about money, primarily — it’s about transparency.)
Okay, you may be saying–but who wants to set up hundred of PACs and handle the all that money shuffling?
One obvious answer is Dan Backer, the attorney behind McCutcheon v. FEC.
McCutcheon is a absolute boon for his business at DB Capitol Strategies. He already is the treasurer for at least thirty PACs including The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund and Sen. Tim Scott’s TIM PAC.
Here’s the apparent Backer business model; Backer can control both expenditures and compliance. In other words, he can control where the money goes and at the same time make sure that the paperwork is all on the up and up for the Federal Election Commission. Because he’s a lawyer, he can claim attorney-client privilege and clam up if anyone comes snooping around and trying to uphold the law.
If you doubt that an attorney / treasurer like Backer would take such a hands on, direct role in operations of a PAC, look no further than the current election going on in Ohio where my interview with Tea Party backed candidate Eric Gurr revealed that Dan Backer himself travelled to Ohio in his role with The TeaParty.net Leadership Fund to play kingmaker among the candidates vying to unseat John Boehner.
Then factor in how Backer funneled Tea Party donor money to establishment GOP leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn. And then remember that Backer worked with Breitbart News to discredit my reporting on that story, as I explain in this video.
Our political system is rigged by attorneys and politicians so they can all get rich. Meanwhile, our country declines. Don’t be fooled by their marketing.