The Right Wing Scam Machine Cont’d

by Jonah Goldberg

Erick Erickson offers some worthwhile observations and critiques of the Right Wing News report I wrote about yesterday. We are on the same page about the problem(s):

Two of the great and terrible trends within the conservative movement are these. First, the rise of paid operatives who purport to be objective about issues while, in fact, they receive financial gain to write or refrain from writing about certain topics and people. Particularly troublesome at the local level, there are scores of local bloggers in states who target individuals who have either not hired them for their “services” or who happen to be opposed by those who have put the blogger on the pay roll or directed ad revenue in some way.

Second are the rise of scam PACs which also target individuals, often using the name and likeness of another to do so. The name and likeness they use receives no benefit, but consultants make out with tons of cash. They prey on the old and unknowing to line the pockets of consultants and the consultants’ friends.

However, Erick offers a critique on the RWN report. His rebuttal on the Senate Conservatives Fund, in particular, is definitely worth reading:

Reading the report, the Senate Conservatives Fund spent only 22% on candidates. I know, in fact, that the Senate Conservatives Fund spends in excess of 70% of all money raised in the last two years directly on candidates and issue advocacy. I am actually very familiar with SCF because I have a relationship with them wherein I get zero money from them, but speak in support of them. Because I try not to be affiliated with dubious groups, I have researched SCF, am familiar with its spending, know its managers, and have examined its federal filings myself. I was, at one point, an elections lawyer and am well able to navigate FEC reports to make sure I’m not lending my name to a scam.

The report omits $4.7 million in hard dollars that SCF raised and passed on directly to candidates, it omits the $2.6 million SCF’s super PAC spent on independent expenditures for those candidates, and it improperly counts $3.5 million SCF spent on issue ads as money wasted on overhead.

The post-publication footnote on SCF gives some reason as to the discrepancy. But again, it’s bad reporting.

The Senate Conservatives Fund passes through a massive amount of money to candidates. In fact, were you to talk to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)97%, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)82%, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)95%, Ben Sasse, Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)82%, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)91%, or any number of other candidates, they would tell you SCF played a direct and substantial role in their election.

Read the whole thing. And, make sure you know who you’re giving your money to and what they will do with it.

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