In a report out at Politico. Paul H. Jossey finally lets everyone know that the Tea Party was just a greedy fundraising scam by various players in the Tea Party movement.
However, that being said, let’s get something else straight. We here at BU have been calling out these organizations, many of which were run by Dan Backer, for years as a scam, In the article by Paul Jossey, he specifically calls out Dan Backer and Jenny Beth Martin for raising millions of dollars for their organizations, while only spending a a few percentage points for what they raised the money for. The rest of the money went to pay their huge salaries and office expenses for what is basically a website page that begged people for money for causes that none of these organizations really cared about.
Greedy super PACs drained the movement with endless pleas for money to support “conservative” candidates—while instead using the money to enrich themselves. I should know. I worked for one of them.
That’s Paul Jossey’s statement. He worked for one of them alright, and he knew long before he wrote about it that it was a scam. However, he decided to wait until the milk teat dried up and the Tea Party was no more before disclosing it. What’s worse is he calls for a new Tea party 3.0 as he calls it at the end of his article without of course asking for any ACCOUNTABILITY for the previous Tea Party organizations.
What is patently obvious now that Trump has changed the political landscape is that Tea Party fundraisers were seeing a major decline in funds coming in. Most of the people that supported the tea party backed candidates ended up losing their elections, some like Ted Cruz ended badly. So, when the money milk dried up, its now time for Paul Jossey, who was a part of it, to come clean.
Coming clean however should come with a price, and that price should be numerous federal investigations of Dan Backer and Jenny Beth Martin and others involved in these fundraising scams. Paul Jossey would in fact be a star witness to these scams, and should be looking at an aggressive US Attorney asking him questions about how millions of Tea Party supporters were basically grifted out of their hard earned money for what amounts to a major fraud on people who didn’t know any better.
Those people were sold a bill of goods, and that bill of goods was nothing more than a sham to enrich the people behind it. Jenny Beth Martin for instance was a house cleaner before she jumped onto the Tea Party bandwagon and raised millions of dollars while paying herself 15k a month just to run the organization. Now those millions of dollars can basically fund her for the foreseeable future. What should happen is she should be hauled before a Federal court and forced to return the millions she grifted out of people. Same thing should apply to Dan Backer and the numerous organizations he created just to grift people out of money. But right now Paul Jossey is thinking to himself, how can he get back in the saddle and raise more money, instead of calling for accountability and prosecutions for those grifters who ripped people off to the tune of millions of dollars.
A lot of what Paul Jossey said in his article came from us at BU, because we had been reporting this for years. Lee Stranahan was the first conservative to call out Dan Backer years ago based on work product he received from us. Lee wont admit it, but he knows where the Dan Backer files came from, and he also knows we know how he got it and if he continues to deny it we will finally show him to be a liar about it, but I digress. At any rate, despite calls for accountability, Jossey declines to comment, or even demand money be returned to those gullible donors on the internet. Instead, he just wants to restart milking the fundraising teat, but on his own terms.
If there is a Tea Party 3.0 it must unshackle itself and rise again as a grass-roots movement.
That of course should be the last thing on Paul’s mind at present. For coming clean can and should come with a price if Federal prosecutors smell a fish in the water looking for a confessional booth. When you admit you were part and parcel of a scam, especially a scam that raised millions of dollars, you are begging for a prosecution, and possibly even a jail term at some point. You shouldn’t be thinking about how others can fleece more sheep. Instead you should be thinking about how best to pay penance for previous scamming for those you worked for and or supported. While Paul may not have actually scammed people himself, he knows that others did, and he knows how they did it as well.
Starting a new PAC is easy: Fill out some paperwork, throw up a splash-page website, rent an email list, and you’re off. It’s an entrepreneurial endeavor. Through trial-and-error, operatives test messages to see which resonate best and are most likely to get them and their vendors paid. They may pay someone known in the movement to “sign” the pitch, as current Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Piersonhas on TPLF emails
Second were lawyers and consultants who read 2009’s political winds and saw a chance to get rich.
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. I thus benefited from the Tea Party’s fleecing.
The PACs seem to operate through a familiar model. It works something like this: Prospects whose name appear on a vendor’s list get a phone call, email or glossy mailer from a group they’ve likely never heard of asking them for money. Conservative pundit and Redstate.com Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson described one such encounter. A woman called and asked if she could play a taped message touting efforts to help Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz fight for conservative governance. When the recording stopped an older man (the woman was gone) offered Erickson the chance to join “the Tea Party.” He wouldn’t say who paid him, just “the Tea Party.” Membership was even half price. For just $100 he was in! Erickson declined.
So, if you benefitted Paul, then you need to come clean with returning money. I’m sure its hard for you to contemplate, but if you benefitted, then you need to add up all the money you benefitted from and set aside a fund where you can return it to those that will surely claim they are due a refund of something that they paid in. Else, your article rings hollow.
We noted numerous times that Dan Backer had a very deep relationship with convicted felon Ali Akbar, who now claims he runs the Black Conservatives fund @BlacksFund. Akbar also ran the National Bloggers Club, an organization of conservative, if not extremist at times, bloggers whom Akbar ordered to get the word out for those fundraising efforts that Dan Backer and other organizations needed funding help with. Backer also paid Akbar money for doing “outreach” and “web development” which we could hardly find any real website development or outreach that Akbar did for his money.
Erickson’s call came from InfoCision or a similar vendor hired by PACs to “prospect” for new donors. Often PAC creators have financial interests in the vendors—in fact, sometimes they are the vendors, too—which makes keeping money in house easier, and harder to track. PAC names include “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” “Freedom,” or some other emotive term to assure benevolence. And names and images of political figures the prospects admire (or detest), usually accompany the solicitation, giving the illusion of imprimatur. Those people are almost never actually involved and little money ends up supporting candidates.
Is it any wonder that the IRS BOLO list was created to put additional scrutiny on these organizations? But back in the day there were conservative calls against the IRS that screamed to the rooftops that they were denied non profit status because they were conservatives. But now, now we see that they were screaming to the rooftops because they had money making scams they needed to get started, and the IRS was paying close attention to them to protect honest citizens from these greedy sharks. But see, back in the day conservatives were being harassed by being held to account. But today we see why they were on those watch lists. We see that had more of them been allowed to proliferate, more money would have been scammed out of honest hard working gullible conservatives.
POLITICO last year reviewed the activity of 33 conservative PACs for the 2014 cycle. Combined, they raked in $43 million dollars, according to the POLITICO report. Of that, $39.5 million went to overhead including $6 million to entities owned by PAC operators; candidates got $3 million. Another report analyzed 17 conservative PACs from the 2014 midterm. It came up with different numbers than POLITICO, finding that the bottom 10 PACs in terms of the ratio of spending to actual candidate support received $54,318,498 and spent only $3,621,896 supporting candidates.
And who is Constitutional Rights’ treasurer? My old boss Dan Backer. Backer also serves as treasurer to TPLF, and many others. 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.
Let me just say this: Federal law enforcement gets involved when over 5000.00 dollars is gained in any one year period, which would then make it a FEDERAL CRIME to go beyond that threshold. Granted, federal prosecutions for that small threshold are few and far between. However, when you reach MILLIONS of dollars, then any prosecutor can find that these scams meet the federal threshold for prosecution.
So, take this as a message Paul, those who scammed people out of money might be protected by the FEC laws, but scamming people out of money nationwide, well, all it takes is a few pissed off conservatives to complain to the FBI or an aggressive US Attorney to make that a federal criminal investigation. And all it takes is one guy who rats them all out and says “I WAS A PART OF IT” to end up behind some desk in the US Attorney’s office answering questions under the lights of a potential federal criminal indictment. And Paul, I’m sure you know where all the “skeletons” are buried. Just take note, the first to make a deal is the first guy who has an easier time of it down the road. Will any of that happen? Well, conservatives are calling to “Lock Her Up” when it comes to Hillary Clinton. I wonder if there will be calls to “Lock Em Up” when it comes to Tea Party Pac’s and those that ran them?