Team Walker to GOP, Trump PACs: Stop raising money on us and spending it on yourselves

Source: Hot Air

Welcome to The Grift, Mr. Walker. It exists everywhere and benefits no one but the grifters themselves, and yet people just can’t quite resist their siren songs. And with so much riding on the runoff in Georgia next month, their singing has hit 11 on the amplifier, so to speak.

Herschel Walker’s campaign saw the cash drain and hit the alarm late yesterday, NBC’s Marc Caputo reports. They actually need that cash to compete against a well-funded Raphael Warnock — a lot more than the grifters need it:

“We need everyone focused on winning the Georgia Senate race, and deceptive fundraising tactics by teams that just won their races are siphoning money away from Georgia,” Walker campaign manager Scott Paradise said Monday.

“This is the last fight of 2022, and every dollar will help,” Paradise said. “The companies and consultants raising money off this need to cut it out.”

The campaign said it first noticed the problem Saturday when former President Donald Trump’s Save America sent out an email that asked prospective donors to “contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to the Official Georgia Runoff Fundraising Goal and increase your impact by 1200%”

But if donors didn’t see a link that said “click here for details or to edit allocation,” they wouldn’t have noticed that 90% of their contributions automatically went to Trump, with the remaining 10% going to Walker.

After getting outed on Twitter, Save America changed it to 50/50, but they were hardly alone in attempting to exploit the runoff. The same 90/10 split was adopted by the North Carolina Republican Party, campaign committees of senators-elect J.D. Vance and Ted Budd, and likely others as yet unnamed. The NCGOP committee also belatedly changed it to 50/50 and explained that they had intended to use the money to send their own teams to Georgia to help out:

“Anything that we raise is going to be put into deployments down into Georgia. We’ll definitely be sending teams,” Whatley said.

Vance and Budd didn’t respond for comment, but Vance’s campaign shifted to a 50/50 split after getting exposed.

Save America explained that they needed the money to buy effective e-mail lists for fundraising, but that doesn’t pass the smell test. For one thing, Trump’s PACs have been in the field a long time, and have built up formidable lists already. Secondly, the PACs that buy these lists are clearly going to use them for their own purposes too, which means that they’re basically investing in their own organization and sharing what they see fit. Donald Trump didn’t invent this model nor does he have an exclusive use of it, but he has taken a lot of criticism for drawing in massive amounts of cash in fundraising this cycle and spending only a small portion of it on other Republican candidates, including the candidates he endorsed in primaries. And as Caputo points out, he’s clearly not alone; even establishment GOP orgs default to the 90/10 model.

No one should make the mistake of assuming this happens only on the Right and/or only in runoffs. Political PACs and super-PACs raise a lot of money, and in the end they spend it on themselves more than other candidates. This happens across the political spectrum, and it happens in every cycle — although it does seem to be getting worse rather than better.

Want to avoid funding the consultants and the operatives? Donate directly to candidates. They pay consultants and operatives too, but at least those decisions get made by the campaigns themselves and are more transparent. Stop funding the grift model and eventually the grifters will find something else to do. In this case, donors can put the money directly into Walker’s pockets at his campaign site, which also helpfully provides readers with the same hyperbolic messaging about this being “the most important election of our lifetime, and it comes down to YOU.” You won’t miss one iota of the desperation experience, trust me.

At the very least, it’s the most important election of the moment, given that no other runoffs will take place and the ability to constrain Joe Biden is still very much at stake here. It’s a shame that Republicans, populists, and those who would set themselves as leaders of both don’t take that seriously enough to sacrifice four weeks of revenue to help their last candidate across the finish line, but here we are.