FEC records for Paul Nehlen’s newly formed Citizens Revolt PAC show that he was moving on to his next scam before he even finished his campaign in Wisconsin.
Paul Nehlen, who was smashed 84%-16% by Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District GOP primary, had already filed the paperwork for a PAC even as he was telling Alex Jones that there was no doubt he would be victorious in the election.
Nehlen’s new PAC was formed just as there is increased focus on so-called “ScamPAC’s.”
A recent article in Politico explained how these PAC’s work.
According to a former employee at a firm that ran multiple scam PAC’s, “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.”
The one thread tying many scam PAC’s together has been the presence of Washington, DC based lawyer Dan Backer. He is listed as the treasurer of over 20 PACs, and many times it is his firms that directly benefit from the funds that are raised.
Nehlen’s transition from scam campaign to scam PAC was a natural one. He had a racist message tailor-made for a scam PAC, a network of supporters who had already been scammed into supporting his failing campaign and the fact that Dan Backer was already his campaign committee treasurer.
“A POLITICO analysis of reports filed with the Federal Election Commission covering the 2014 cycle found that 33 PACs that court small donors with tea party-oriented email and direct-mail appeals raised $43 million — 74 percent of which came from small donors. The PACs spent only $3 million on ads and contributions to boost the long-shot candidates often touted in the appeals, compared to $39.5 million on operating expenses, including $6 million to firms owned or managed by the operatives who run the PACs.”
Media Trackers has previously reported that Nehlen’s campaign spent more money on airline tickets (claiming to have visited the US-Mexico border at least 5 times) than on media buys, staff, and radio advertising.
Although evidence that the innocuously named “Stand With Liberty” Facebook page for the Citizen Revolt PAC was ever used for anything other than a platform for Nehlen’s PAC has been largely scrubbed from the page, a look at cached pages from 2013 show that the page was started by activist Eric Odom as a support group seeking to get Duck Dynasty icon Phil Robertson returned to A&E after his suspension for comments on homosexuality in 2013. Odom admitted shortly after Robertson was returned to A&E that the page was never started with the simple intention of supporting Phil Robertson and said there was “something much, MUCH bigger in the works behind the scenes.” Evidently this bigger purpose has morphed into being a ready-made platform for trying to scam money from people.
Nehlen’s PAC supposedly exists to elect a Republican president and to hold accountable those who do not wholeheartedly endorse and support Donald Trump.