The Conservative Majority Fund just called me from (703) 454-0303 to tell me how awesome Donald Trump is and let me listen to a message from Donald Trump himself.
I assume the Conservative Majority Fund is a scam PAC.
In its February filing with the FEC it claims to be paying an outside group to support Ted Cruz.
Well, that's not very conservative. Anyone raising money for Trump, obviously, isn't someone you'd want to give money to anyway. In fact, if they're raising money for a liberal, shouldn't they change their name? It is misleading. At least drop the "Conservative" from the name. Erickson identifies the culprit of this group, a guy named Scott McKenzie:
The guy behind this group is named Scott McKenzie and he has a well documented history of running conservative groups that raise lots and spend little on campaigns.
There's a link in the article to a New York Times article about organizations Scott McKenzie is involved with. It shows he raised a lot of money, and spent very little on candidates and elections:
The VIGOP committee is different from other state party committees in several respects. First, it appears to raise no significant money from the territory, whereas most state parties depend on in-state support from individual donors. Second, it has no local bank account listed on its registration form, and the same person — Mr. MacKenzie — is listed as both the custodian of the committee’s records and its treasurer. Third, no Virgin Islander is listed on the committee’s forms.
Finally, most state parties link their federal and nonfederal accounts so that they can share administrative expenses between them (see an example here), but the VIGOP committee has no record of any shared expenditures. In fact, the federal committee is focused on elections outside the territory.
The fund-raising approach of the Virgin Islands committee is unusual for party organizations, but it’s not unusual for Mr. MacKenzie. In addition to the party committee, Mr. MacKenzie is the treasurer of nine other active political action committees that have raised a combined $10.1 million from individuals since the beginning of last year.
Erickson has railed against groups who like to turn campaigns into cash machines. His "A Primer for Rich Donors Who Got Taken to the Cleaners by Republican Consultants" he wrote in 2012 is a classic and a must-read. Another article you should read is his "The Incestuous Bleeding of the Republican Party", where he lays out the scope of the tangled web:
If money is the root of all evil, for the Republican Party evil is located on the fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza, Alexandria, VA 22314.Strip away the candidate and coalition and it is on the fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza where the seeds of Mitt Romney’s ruin and the RNC’s get out the vote (GOTV) effort collapsed — bled to death by charlatan consultants making millions off the party, its donors, and the grassroots.66 Canal Center Plaza is also why Jeff Larson, the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee, should not be put in charge of the autopsy of the GOP’s defeat. Multiple sources confirm to me that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has already put Larson in charge of the so called autopsy.This is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. The fifth floor of 66 Canal Center Plaza reveals a tangled web of incestuous relationships among Republican consultants who have made millions all while the GOP went down the tubes. Here the top party consultants waged war with conservative activists and here they waged war with the Democrats. On both fronts, they raked in millions along the way with a more fractured, minority party in their wake. And they show no signs of recognizing just how much a part of the problem they are.
In a later article, he gives an example of the collusion with FLS Connect:
Take, for example, FLS Connect. It is the phone vendor for the Republicans. In fact, on more than one occasion people within the RNC have told me the RNC has refused to even entertain giving phone contracts to anyone other than FLS Connect. It is no wonder, because the RNC Political Director is typically an FLS Connect partner who takes a leave of absence to go to the RNC.
Rich Beeson was one such FLS Connect Partner. He went to the RNC as Political Director and gave the RNC contract to FLS. When Rich Beeson left to work for Mitt Romney, he was replaced by Jeff Larson, who is the “L” in FLS Connect.
In 2013, Larson left the RNC, but stayed on as a “Senior Advisor.” He was replaced by Mike Shields.
Larson, in 2014, went to the NRSC as its independent expenditure guy and spent $93,000.00 to do robocalls attacking Republicans, among other things — you know, Republicans who were opposed to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS).
Mike Shields, Larson’s replacement, surprisingly did not come from FLS Connect but rather the National Republican Congressional Committee, though FLS Connect has continued getting business. When Shields left the RNC, he went out to run the American Action Network, which is the outside group Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has used to attack conservatives in the House of Representatives. Any conservative opposed to raising the debt ceiling or amnesty or Obamacare has seen a barrage of attacks from Mike Shield’s group.
Shields, I should mention, was replaced at the RNC by Katie Walsh, who is highly regarded, but also worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the time it opposed Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) among others.
This all goes full circle to Rich Beeson, who left the RNC to work for Romney and, along with Zac Moffat at Targeted Victory, made a lot of money delivering a Romney defeat and Project ORCA. Beeson was the guy who came up with the idea and Moffat was the digital director, who’d never, to my knowledge, written a line of code in his life.
It's quite a rabbit hole, and he, and others, have written plenty about this problem, so it's a good idea to at least be aware of it. In these articles, he has tons of supporting links, so make some time, grab a cup of coffee, and plow through them so you're up to speed.
We're in a political environment where there's a lot of money sloshing around, and we can be easy prey to one of these groups. Even me. If some group called me up, told me they're a die-hard tea party group, supports Cruz, and supports any candidate who wants to eliminate the IRS, my first action would be to hop on my online banking and fire off a check. Even if they sound promising and hit the topics that rile us up, we need to do a better job performing our due diligence. The last thing I want to do is send money to a group and later find out I helped financed someone like Donald Trump or some other liberal.