I received a text this morning:
I just received a slickly produced campaign piece soliciting my vote for (my committeeman opponent). It was paid for by Republican Direction PAC! Since when does GOP get involved in primaries?
I verified, and had to let my correspondent know it’s not a Republican PAC. And I’m sure the confusion is only starting. Outgoing Republican State Representative Chip Campbell has apparently formed a political action committee and has called it the deceptively named “Republican Direction PAC” which has jumped into the GOP’s State Committeeman and Committeewoman races:
Campbell’s group has jumped into over 50 delegate, precinct committeeman & committeewoman elections, and according to the campaign finance disclosure is sending out postcards, such as this one with Campbell endorsing a candidate:
(I might dispute the slickly produced comment. But it takes an even more bizarre turn from here.
Apparently, at least one of the people on the list being supported (last two pages of the pdf, btw) received the card endorsing them, and had never had any communication with the group. And whomever produced a misspelled mail piece & took the person’s photo off of their Facebook page without permission!
Noticing that at least one of the photos on the piece is a SD Tourism photo being used without the required SD Tourism photo credit, I’m not surprised.
But getting back to Campbell’s group that’s trying to appropriate the Republican name.. where did Campbell get the money to blast mail out to 50+ precinct races? According to the PAC filing, he’s raked in $10,000 for his purposes from a Washington DC group, similar to how Rick Weiland’s organization pulls in money for ballot measures:
The American Liberty Network seems to be a recently formed organization that claims non-profit status for itself. In case you’d like to visit the American Liberty Network office building at 611 Pennsylvania Ave SE…
Yep. The Washington DC non-profit that sent Chip $10,000 to take over South Dakota precinct people positions? The donor operates out of a mailbox at the UPS Store in DC.
In fact, if you try to do a search for this group which claims non-profit status at the Guidestar website.. you come up with a big goose egg. I suspect it’s simply new enough that they haven’t filed with the IRS. But, it still leaves us with more questions than answers in terms of campaign finance disclosure.
What don’t we know? Who is actually behind the curtain of the “American Liberty Network” and feels so strongly in Washington DC that they’ve kicked in $10,000 to providing the funding behind the bizarre election effort for South Dakota precinct committee people that some of them probably didn’t ask for in the first place.
Stay tuned for more.