October 26, 2015

THE ASTRO-TURFROOTS:

'Fire Paul Ryan'? Rebel PACs Hit Republicans, and It Pays (ERIC LIPTON and JENNIFER STEINHAUEROCT. 23, 2015, NY Times)

[T]hese politically charged appeals to conservatives around the country were often accompanied by a solicitation for money, and the ultimate beneficiaries, records suggest, are the consultants who created the campaigns rather than the causes they are promoting. [...]

Larry Ward, the founder of Constitutional Rights PAC, defended the move to derail the ascension of Mr. Ryan, calling it a worthy goal.

"Politics is supposed to be bloody. It is supposed to be a battle of will," Mr. Ward said. "And the one who can get the American people siding with them is the one who wins."

But Mr. Ward also has a financial stake in the fight. He runs Political Media, a Washington-based firm that will charge Constitutional Rights PAC a fee for sending out the blast email with the dual purpose of asking conservatives to help dump Mr. Ryan and to donate to Mr. Ward's political action committee.

"Help us fund the fight by making an emergency donation of $30, $50 or even $100 today," the email said, even though records show that Mr. Ward's PAC spends every dollar it gets on consultants, mailings and fund-raising -- making no donations to candidates. Mr. Ward defended his use of his own firm, saying he gave his PAC a discount on his company's regular service charges.

Mr. Ward has plenty of competitors. Groups including the Tea Party Leadership Fund, the Madison Project and the Tea Party Patriots have in the past year turned the attack on the Republican leadership into a fund-raising tool, records show.

Tea Party support dwindles to lowest level yet (Jeva Lange, 10/26/15, The Week)

Only 17 percent of Americans now consider themselves supporters of the Tea Party, while a record 54 percent say they are neither supporters nor opponents.

Posted by at October 26, 2015 12:32 PM
  

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