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Response to Velvet Revolution (Original post)

Sat Sep 1, 2012, 09:29 PM

26. Oh yeah, those guys

I've kept running into mutterings about them online, but what's more interesting to me is something called the One Nation PAC that this Ali Akbar was formerly associated with.

In April 2010, when Ali was working for a Tea Party candidate named Ray McKinney, questions came up about McKinney's finances. (http://m.savannahnow.com/share/blog-post/larry-peterson/2010-04-27/mckinney-shows-us-money-sort)

A couple of months later, McKinney's opponent in the GOP primary accused him of violating federal election law by coordinating with a California PAC and presented documents showing that Ali was both McKinney's campaign manager and a board member of the One Nation PAC. Ali responded that he was just a volunteer in both cases and in any case had resigned from the PAC in April. (http://savannahnow.com/news/2010-07-26/12th-district-runoff-smith-accuses-mckinney-coordination-pac#.T-zZepGPOjI)

However, the following winter, Ali was listed as a chairperson for a party that the One Nation PAC put on at the Conservative Political Action Conference. (http://www.scribd.com/doc/47891615/Scotch-Cigars-Reception-for-One-Nation-PAC)

But it's the PAC that really interests me, not Ali. Its FEC filings suggest that it's a classic direct-mail fundraising scam, the kind that solicits lots of contributions but doesn't spend much on its supposed cause and mainly pays bloated fees to its directors. If you google around, you find that even the tea partiers supposedly helped by the PAC have been accusing it of being a scam.

And there's more. The executive director of One Nation PAC is Kelly Eustis, a 23 year old former College Republican whose own consulting firm has been a major beneficiary of the PAC's expenditures. Its treasurer is Dan Backer, the founder of DB Capitol Strategies. And that's where it gets really interesting, because according to SourceWatch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Dan_Backer):

In January 2011, Dan Backer, Esq. of DB Capitol Strategies PLLC filed suit against the Federal Election Commission on behalf of National Defense PAC, Rear Admiral James J. Carey , and Kelly S. Eustis 'to protect the free speech rights of individuals - ensuring that Americans remain free to contribute to political groups who speak out about issues and candidates without government imposed limits.'

The basis for the case was Kelly Eustis wanting to give $10,000 to National Defense PAC (NDPAC) to run attack ads against Democratic Representative Anthony Wiener. Since NDPAC was a traditional PAC, not a Super PAC, Eustis could only give $5,000, the maximum acceptable contribution. Plaintiffs argued that NDPAC should not have to create a separate entity to exercise its constitutional rights.


This suit was successful and led to the creation of something called Carey PACs, which are particularly insidious because they can collect both hard and soft money donations -- as long as they keep them in separate bank accounts -- and therefore undermine campaign finance regulations.

Backer is currently involved with a suit by another associate of his, Shaun McCutcheon, that aims to completely overturn the limits on how much individuals can donate to federal candidates, on the grounds that any kind of restrictions violate freedom of speech. In other words, Citizens United on steroids.

All very strange and disturbing stuff -- and it goes well beyond the question of whether one bunch of right-wingers has been ripping off another bunch of right-wingers.

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Velvet Revolution Sep 2012 OP
SoapBox Sep 2012 #1
Frustratedlady Sep 2012 #2
WhoIsNumberNone Sep 2012 #3
russspeakeasy Sep 2012 #25
WhoIsNumberNone Sep 2012 #28
wordpix Sep 2012 #34
freshwest Sep 2012 #4
Diclotican Sep 2012 #9
freshwest Sep 2012 #16
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beezling Sep 2012 #5
Turbineguy Sep 2012 #6
beezling Sep 2012 #7
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beezling Sep 2012 #15
demobabe Sep 2012 #41
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russspeakeasy Sep 2012 #27
Balmer Liberal Sep 2012 #8
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Sunlei Sep 2012 #11
wordpix Sep 2012 #35
dixiegrrrrl Sep 2012 #12
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central scrutinizer Sep 2012 #13
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cosmicone Sep 2012 #19
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starroute Sep 2012 #37
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Spitfire of ATJ Sep 2012 #23
LineReply Oh yeah, those guys
starroute Sep 2012 #26
OccupyUnmasked Sep 2012 #32
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DeSwiss Sep 2012 #31
WhoIsNumberNone Sep 2012 #33
beezling Sep 2012 #46
oldsarge54 Sep 2012 #36
lunasun Sep 2012 #39
blkmusclmachine Sep 2012 #42
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