This excellent report about how the right wing scams small donors via direct mail is long overdue, and Base Connect is only one of many offenders.
In a nutshell, Base Connect owns a lot of mailing lists for hardcore conservatives who are mostly on Social Security. A candidate hires them to fundraise on their behalf, and Base Connect keeps over 90 percent or so of whatever gets raised.
But it's not just Base Connect. Infocision is another "fundraiser" that keeps more of the proceeds than they deserve. Individual consultants like Dan Backer have taken hundreds of thousands in fees from so-called conservative "grassroots" organizations. It's an entire industry, built around the fantasy that those small donations will actually go to support the candidate they're giving to.
Here's a post about a candidate by the name of Duane Sand, who kept fundraising even after he had lost the primary. Look at the donors:
So who are these people who give Duane all this money. Well, let me tell you, I’ve talked to a few of them, and for the most part, they seem to be pretty nice folks—if a little gullible. After I talked to some of them, I compiled a profile. Well, actually, a short profile. A very short profile. They have two things in common: The first number in their age in almost always 8 or 9, and almost none of them are from North Dakota.
A typical donor was John Valerius, age 81, from Irving Texas (a suburb of Dallas), who sent Duane a check every time he got one of Duane’s letters, which was pretty often, because his total for the campaign was $2,850. Beginning back in 2011, John sent Duane $200 on November 17 and another $100 on December 15. Here’s a list of John’s 2012 contributions to Duane’s campaign: Jan. 10, $200; Jan. 26, $100; Feb. 24, $400; March 19, $400; May 1, $100; May 30, $100; June 21, $600; July 6, $100; July 20, $50; July 30, $100; Aug. 21, $200; Sept. 20, $200; Oct. 15, $100.
And yes, you read those last six dates right. They were all after Duane was no longer a candidate. Just because Duane lost the primary in June last year didn’t mean he stopped sending out letters. Nope. He kept on sending, and the checks kept on coming, even though he was out of the race.
Base Connect was also a primary fundraiser for Freedom's Defense Fund, the outfit that launched Jerome Corsi into Outer Wingnuttia.
In the segment immediately following this one on Hayes' show, New York Times writer Nicholas Confessore made the point that liberals get frustrated by the free flowing money train on the right. Damn right, we do. They scam to elevate their message. We scratch to elevate ours. All we need is a little infrastructure on our side of the aisle. We can do it without scamming, too.