Besides grabbing a share of the media's fascination with train wrecks, there's another reason the right wing is grabbing at BENGHAZI! -- fundraising.
If you had any iota of doubt that the right's never-ending obsession with Benghazi is not driven by its antipathy toward (or fear of) Hillary Clinton and by a desire to raise money for conservative outfits, then please see the fundraising email below that was sent out this week by the Stop Hillary PAC. Dispatched to conservative mailing lists, the solicitation depicts the Benghazi inquiry as all about Clinton, accusing her and her comrades of mounting a cover-up and successfully (apparently) neutering all previous congressional investigations.
Yeah, and if they can taint Obama, that's even better. But it's not only about Clinton. It's about the money, honey!
But the Stop Hillary PAC warns that Americans who want the truth about Benghazi ought to be worried about Gowdy's fate. There is, however, a way for these Americans to help: they can sign the Stop Hillary PAC's "statement of support" for Gowdy and, of course, send money to the PAC. If you cannot part with $50, $100, $250, $500 or more, the group suggests a symbolic donation of $20.16. "If Congressman Gowdy can finally uncover the truth, then, perhaps we can stop Hillary once and for all...because, she MUST BE STOPPED," the group notes.
The letter, not surprisingly, does not say how the Stop Hillary PAC will use these contributions to help Gowdy—who with subpoena power shouldn't need that much assistance. But the group's filings with the Federal Elections Committee might cause a potential donor to be concerned. From the start of 2013 until the end of this past March, the group raised $462,749. In this time period, it spent $407,970. About $110,000 of that went straight to fundraising consultants. And most of the rest was paid out to direct mail, political consulting, and PR firms. According to Open Secrets, the PAC has devoted about 90 percent of its expenditures to fundraising overall. This stat gives the impression that the group exists largely to raise money for itself. (The honorary chairman of the Stop Hillary PAC is Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey, a Republican who once claimed that California wildfires were set by al Qaeda. They were not.)
The Stop Hillary PAC is another Dan Backer production. Backer is the lawyer who pushed the McCutcheon case to the Supreme Court. BreitbartUnmasked has a comprehensive rundown of Backer's properties, all of which exist only to raise money to spend on...Dan Backer and his associates.
Although his name is not on the decision, the McCutcheon v FEC case is the brainchild of super PAC lawyer Dan Backer. We have been watching Backer and this case since 2012, when he took part in one of the most frivolous lawsuits we have ever seen. Since then, we have found his tendrils reaching almost everywhere we look in the world of conservative and libertarian fundraising, usually to the detriment of dedicated grassroots activists. We now offer just a few of the highlights:
- When we call Backer “a super PAC lawyer,” we mean that he argued the Carey v FEC decision which created so-called “hybrid” super PACs in the first place
- He has been the treasurer of Ron Paul’s Revolution PAC and dozens of other right wing and libertarian PACs, including Stop Hillary PAC
- In 2010, Backer was involved in Todd Cefaratti’s JoinTheTeaParty.us, a website that purported to offer right wing activists a way to join the tea party, but which actually turned those activists into cash cows. After collecting $469,000, Cefaratti spent exactly none of it on candidates and developed sales leads off the information that people has provided while under the impression they were joining a movement
- In 2012, Backer gave $44,000 to a company called Vice & Victory. That money came from Shaun McCutcheon. Owned by Ali Akbar, V&V has since had their Texas business license revoked for nonpayment of franchise taxes and fees. Akbar is now a defendant in Brett Kimberlin’s state and federal defamation lawsuits
Remember that when you hear all the shrill crazy from Congress and certain 24/7 faux news channels...it's all about the money.