Corruption, Faith & Why I’m In South Dakota

Corruption, Faith & Why I’m In South Dakota

Anyone who follows my writing knows that I’ve been working on the story of how corruption impacts the political process for months now. If you go back through my archives, I’ve posted example after example of how a small group of people is taking advantage of the conservative grassroots, sucking away money and time.

Now, I’m seeing what corruption looks like up close.

I’ve spent the past two months in South Dakota, first working doing video production work for a couple of candidates running for the U.S Senate and then as an unpaid consultant and spokesperson for one of those candidates, a woman named Dr. Annette Bosworth.

Dr. Bosworth is currently facing 24 years in prison; a mother of three and political newcomer being railroaded by the corrupt Republican establishment up here in South Dakota. It’s a huge story and one with very practical consequences: a good woman who’s a Christian and a conservative may go to prison if I can’t help get the truth out.

But hey, no pressure. God’s on it.

If you follow my writing, you also know I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior back in December. This whole experience has been another proof for me of God’s glory and timing. So many things have happened to me in the past couple of months have been amazing examples of every day miracles. If you don’t believe in God, you’d say I had a lot of lucky breaks and strange coincidences but I believe in God for a reason.

Although I miss my patient and supportive wife Lauren and our kids, I feel like where I’m supposed to be right now and working on what I should be working on.

I have a lot to tell you. I’ve barely blogged in the last two months but look for a lot more coming soon, both here and elsewhere.

My work on the film The Caliphate continues, too, and I’ll have a lot more on that very soon, too.

I originally thought I was coming to South Dakota for about three days. I’m still here right now 60 days on because it’s an an amazing, living example of the corruption I’ve been writing about for months.

But another reason I’m in South Dakota is good and decent people I’ve met at every step of the way; my new friends. I’m grateful to God for them, too.

In the next week or so, I’ll start introducing you to the people involved and what they are up to. You’ll be shocked and disgusted by a lot of what you see.but there’s something big going on here—something that I think can be an example to the entire country about the unseen dangers of corruption but also a path to beat it back and defeat it.

Keep watching and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Thanks and God bless.

In This Short Video Clip, John Boehner Just Handed Democrats A PR Victory

In This Short Video Clip, John Boehner Just Handed Democrats A PR Victory

Have you seen this video yet?

It’s John Boehner mocking Republicans in Congress who aren’t going along with his plan for comprehensive immigration reform happening pre-election.

It’s hard to fathom how Boehner thought this would help him with his colleagues. Maybe with the funders at the Chamber of Commerce, sure. But for the people he works with in the big building with the domed roof? his is an epic leadership fail.

And the Democrsats know.

Here’s Greg Sargent in WaPo, practically writing John a Thank You note:

Boehner has laid bare the real crux of the issue here, undoing in one stroke what months and months of spin from Republicans was designed to obscure. Boehner has repeatedly said Republicans won’t act because Obama’s refusal to enforce the law proves he can’t be trusted to honor his end of any immigration compromise. But the first and most important question Republicans face is this: What set of terms and conditions will it take for Republicans to embrace some form of legal status for the 11 million?

(snip)

Boehner’s comments can be taken as an admission that this is the core issue here: Republicans don’t want to solve the basic policy problem we face, which will require accepting uncomfortable trade-offs, when doing nothing — allowing the status quo to fester — is politically easier.

From the GOP Congress? Probably less of a Thank You, more of #&*$ you.

The Great Allen West Hoax

The Great Allen West Hoax

A quick reminder of the not so distant past : Patriots For Economic Freedom’s Allen West Scam

You may remember the recount drama back in the 2012 elections over Allen West’s congressional seat. Well, libertarian Tyler Whitney’s faux-conservative group Patriots For Economic Freedom was  right there trying to cash in on it.

But as you’ll see in a moment, Tyler Whitney and his (Dan Backer connected) Patriots For Economic Freedom group were once again running a scam.

Here’s Tyler Whitney (using his pseudonym Andrew Whitney) posted about on their ‘Allen West Facing Recount!’ page:

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But It Was A Scam, According To The West Campaign

A Politico story from 2012 tells the story:

There’s a new super PAC popping up in this year’s campaign: SCAM PAC.

In the presidential race, and tied to the coattails of Republican firebrand Rep. Allen West, a cottage industry has sprung up in which groups with such seemingly innocuous names as “Patriots for Economic Freedom” use high-profile campaigns and big names like West to raise money for themselves and build their email lists.

It’s the inevitable, if unsightly, convergence of the Internet, tea party, the post-Citizens United campaign-finance era and the presence of a Democrat in the White House who is despised by many conservatives. 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.

History Repeats & The Scams Keep Going

Tyler Whitney and group is still at and so is attorney Dan Backer; using the name and reputation of well-known conservative figures to raise cash in deceptive ways.

A quick pitch: I’ve been covering the story of how these people are ripping off conservative and Tea Party donors. Please hit my tip jar with a donation to support this work. 

 

Sunlight=Disinfectant: Republican Group Lays Out Case Against National Right To Work Committee

Sunlight=Disinfectant: Republican Group Lays Out Case Against National Right To Work Committee

Two complaints filed this week by a Republican led group in Montana lay out a damning case against lobbying group National Right To Work Committee and affiliated groups and individuals for years of extensive illegal campaign activity.

Two complaints were filed on Monday, April 21st with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices. The first was filed against the National Right to Work Committee and people associated with it. The second complaint was against people and organizations including Western Tradition Partnership / American Tradition Partnership and the people behind those groups including Christian and Allison LeFer and Donny Ferguson. Ferguson is currently communications director for Texas Congressman Steve Stockman.

National Right To Work Committee Allegations

The allegations made against the National Right to Work committee are stark and consistent with the months of reporting I’ve done on the group — it claims that they operated secret printing presses, coordinated illegally with candidates and operated a number of deceptive front groups.

This complaint is being filed against National Right to Work Committee and its affiliates, agents, officers, and directors for violations of Montana campaign finance and practices laws. For many years, the National Right to Work Committee has operated a secret political mail operation. The National Right to Work Committee owns its own printing presses and has the ability to produce thousands of mailings

in less than a few weeks. During the 2008, 2010, and 2012 election cycles the National Right to Work Committee through its affiliates and agents mailed thousands of pieces of election material to Montana voters. The National Prolife Alliance, National League of Taxpayers, National Association of Gun Rights, National Gun Owners Alliance, and Western Tradition Partnership/American Tradition Partnership are nothing more than front groups/agents of the National Right to Work Committee and act under the direction of the National Right to Work Committee.

Although the National Right to Work Committee has taken various steps to conceal the connection of the front groups/affiliates, there is enough publically available information to suggest a connection between the National Right to Work Committee and entities identified above. The National Right to Work Committee is located at 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 500 in Springfield, VA 22160. The National Prolife Alliance is located at 5211 Port Royal Road, Suite 500, Springfield, VA 22151. It is believed these addresses are for the same office building. The office building where the National Right to Work Committee is located is at the intersection of Braddock Road and Port Royal Road in Springfield, Virginia. An analysis of Google Maps shows the same office building is used for both addresses.

The connection between these entities is more apparent when reviewing other publically available information. According to documents submitted to the Federal Elections Commission, the treasurer for the National Prolife Alliance PAC is Steve Antosh. Mr. Antosh’s personal residence is 3237 Fairfax, VA. (Fairfax County Treasurer Records). This is the same address as the National League of Taxpayers. The President of the National Gun Owners Alliance is Dennis Fusaro who was also a prominent member of the National Right to Work Committee. The National Gun Owners Alliance has also used the same mailing address as the National League of Taxpayers.

Christian Lefer is the officer of Montana Citizens for Right to Work. Montana Citizens for Right to Work is financed by the National Right to Work Committee. See National Right to Work IRS Tax Returns. Mr. Lefer has also acted as an agent of Western Tradition Partnership/American Tradition Partnership. On information and belief, the National Right to Work Committee contributed to and/or financed the political operation of Montana Citizens for Right to Work/Western TraditionPartnership/American Tradition Partnership. These entities have never filed any of the necessary paperwork required by Montana law and have never disclosed any contributions and/or expenditures. The complaint filed by Bruce Tutvedt shows a flyer paid for by the National Association for Gun Rights. The bulk mail postage stamp shows the flyer originated from the same mail house as the mailers sent by Western Tradition Partnership. It is believed the mailers were produced by Christian Lefer and/or Direct Mail and Communicati ons.

Lefers, Donny Ferguson May Face Multi-Million Dollar Fines

Both complaints is seeking remedies including hefty fines and other injunctions from the LeFers, Ferguson, National Right to Work President Mark Mix and others because it says they are personally liable under Montana law:

The agents, officers, and directors of WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW are personally liable for all fines, penalties, and other sanctions resulting from the violations listed above under the following statutes:

1.  Section 13-35-105, MCA. Under Montana law, a person who aids and abets the conduct of a person who violates a provision of Montana election law is also guilty of a violation of that provision.

2.   Section 28-10-702, MCA. Under Montana law, a person who assumes to act as an agent is responsible to third persons when the agent’s acts are wrongful in their nature.

The complaint asks for:

  A fine against each party in the amount of three times the amount spent by WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW and the other associated entities in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles under § 13-37-128, MCA. It is my understanding WTP/ATP alone spent roughly $500,000 in the 2010 election cycle. Thus, for the 2010 election cycle, I would request a fine against each person or entity who committed violations in the 2010 election cycle for the amount of $1,500,000 just for the WTP/ATP expenditures.  I would request other equivalent fines based upon the amount of spending by the other entities in 2010 and 2012;

An inspection of documents and reports under § 13-37-121, MCA and issuance of orders of noncompliance as authorized by law;

An injunction pursuant to § 13-35-108, MCA to prohibit WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW  and its entities, associates, affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, treasurers, and agents from spending any money or performing any election related activity until WTP/ATP/TFL/AAF/MCRW are in compliance with Montana law;

Complaints Filed By Republican Group

The complaints were filed by a Republican affiliated group called Business Advocates for Sensible Elections. As Montana TV station KXLH reported:

“Dark money” is the term commonly used to refer to money spent to influence an election that does not disclose the source of the funding.

After MT State Senator Ed Buttrey (R-Great Falls) didn’t vote in a way that satisfied so called “dark money” groups during the session, he says that he was threatened: “It was told to me, ‘You are dead in the next election…we are coming after you.'”

But despite fear of possible retaliation, Buttrey, along with several Republican lawmakers, are fighting back.

The group is called Montana Business Advocates for Sensible Elections – abbreviated Montana BASE – and their issue is with 501(c)4 organizations, also known as “dark money” groups.

Exploiting The Tea Party: New Mailer From Dan Backer Connected Group Uses Louie Gohmert

Exploiting The Tea Party: New Mailer From Dan Backer Connected Group Uses Louie Gohmert

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.

PFEF

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.

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According to OpenSecrets, they brought in about $136,000 so far this cycle.

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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.

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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!

bannerTexas Congressman Louie Gohmert Is Standing Up Against The Left! We Cannot Afford To Lose Him!
 gohmert
Like few leaders in Washington, Louie Gohmert is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in – the conservative principles of less government, greater freedom and fiscal responsibility. Louie Gohmert’s courageous leadership has made him a target of the left. Liberals are doing everything in their power to remove him from Congress! We cannot let the left steal one of our greatest leaders. Your contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more will go toward voter outreach and advertising efforts to support this vital Member of Congress!The left wants to see Nancy Pelosi running Congress. Congressman Gohmert is standing in her way and working to stop amnesty, curb reckless spending and repeal ObamaCare.Please support Louie Gohmert and see that he is able to stay in Washington and continue his patriotic efforts to restore liberty.
contribute

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 isn’t afraid of the bullies on the left. He continues to speak up even when liberals attack him. Conservatives cannot allow the left’s lies and scare tactics to work this November. We must reach voters with the truth. Please support advertising and voter outreach efforts for Louie Gohmert with a contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more.
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.
Gohmert 2
There is very little leadership in Washington and we cannot afford to lose leaders like Congressman Louie Gohmert. He is committed to protecting our conservative principles and ending Obama’s tyrannical policies! Please support advertising and voter outreach efforts for Louie Gohmert with a contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more.
contribute
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

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As BitCoin Collapses, Remember: Dan Backer Wanted To Use It For Campaigns

As BitCoin Collapses, Remember: Dan Backer Wanted To Use It For Campaigns

 

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.

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