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Lincoln Project FEC filing shows millions of donor dollars funneled to personal companies

Lincoln Project FEC filing shows millions of donor dollars funneled to personal companies

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Over the past year, the “NeverTrump” Republicans at the Lincoln Project have raised millions of dollars and become the latest darling of extremely online #resistance members, who are happy to overlook the vile racism and the warmongering pasts of men like Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, and John Weaver if it helps defeat Donald Trump.

But almost inevitably, new FEC reports raises serious questions about just how the members of the “Lincoln Project” Super PAC are spending their money.

After raising nearly $40 million dollars in the third quarter of 2020, the PAC funneled almost half of that money into their own personal firms and spent a sky-high $13 million in donor money on questionable “operating expenditures.”

The latest FEC filing for Q32020 shows that the Lincoln Project paid cofounder Reed Galen’s firm $18.8 million, Ron Steslow’s $8.7 million, and senior advisor Kurt Bardella’s $153,000. Reed Galen’s firm had previously had just one payment of $12,000 for a race in 2018, for an ad in which accused pro-Trump Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of being disloyal to Trump.

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These firms then subcontract out the actual ad creation and ad buying expenditures to other companies in the exact same way that Trump uses his campaign to launder donor money.

In comparison, the group Tech4Campaigns raised $8 million in Q3 but spent just $17,000 on operating expenses.

While the “Republican Voters against Trump” group spent 570k out of $5,700,000 raised.

Of course, this is not the first time that the Lincoln Project has come under fire for suspicious financial behavior. In their Q1 FEC filing, the Lincoln Project reported that they raised 1.4 million dollars and spent nearly 90% of it on “overhead costs.” Open Secrets reports that in Q1, “almost all of that money went to the group’s board members and firms run by them. The super PAC spent nearly $1 million with Summit Strategic Communications, a firm run by Lincoln Project treasurer Reed Galen. Another $215,000 went to Tusk Digital, a company run by Lincoln Project adviser Ron Steslow.”

It would be one thing if all the donations were from the super-wealthy, but a large proportion of the Lincoln Project’s donations are from small donors who are truly trying to do everything they possibly can to help drive Trump from office.

It’s hard to understand how their ads could cost tens of millions of dollars, especially when some of their content is shamelessly plagiarized from other accounts on social media that never get compensated:

The “Lincoln Project” ostensibly exists to appeal to the largely mythical “good Republicans” and moderates who need to see other conservatives supporting Biden before they will — but in reality, it exists to sell themselves to Democrats.

Now that blood-and-soil fascism and QAnon conspiracy theorists have entirely taken over the GOP, George Conway and his gutless pals are politically obsolete and have no home in the GOP. Correctly labeled as “losers” by Donald Trump for working on the failed McCain and Romney presidential campaigns, these men have decided they will be the vanguard of the “ex” Republican invasion of the Democratic Party, buying our approval with snarky high-quality ads and outrageous anti-Russian Cold War jingoism designed to stimulate the fear receptors of Russiagate-paranoid liberals.

This is not because they actually want to defeat Trump so much as they and the rest of their fellow blood-drenched Iraq War promoters like Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin and Max Boot can remain politically relevant — and of course, to make sure they can siphon off a slice of the outrageous amount of money pouring into the 2020 race.

The American people deserve to know if these Dick Cheney office alumni are exploiting the public’s revulsion at President Donald Trump and making a personal profit off of civic-minded citizens who are expending some of their meager resources to in hopes of fighting for a better future for this nation — a nation which is in this position now because of the men who run the Lincoln Project and the Republican Party they’ve spent their entire careers working for. 

Rick Wilson helped get Trump ally Rudy Giuliani elected Mayor of New York with a wildly racist, fearmongering campaign — just like the one Trump is running now. Do you think he really has changed his beliefs? The whole slew of them worked for George W. Bush, who left this country in the throes of the worst recession in a century while New Orleans lay in ruins, the deficit reaching the stratosphere and hundreds of thousands of innocents dead in Iraq.

Just because they have turned their backs on Trump does not make them our friends — and they have a lot of questions to answer about their latest scam.

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