Daily Bread for 5.21.23: The Wisconsin Political Deceivers from a National Story

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:25 AM and sunset 8:17 PM for 14h 51m 33s of daytime. The moon is a waxing crescent with 3.7% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1917, the Great Atlanta fire of 1917 causes $5.5 million in damages, destroying some 300 acres including 2,000 homes, businesses, and churches, displacing about 10,000 people but leading to only one fatality (due to heart attack).

Erik Gunn reports New York Times report finds political network with Wisconsin ties deceived donors:

Three Wisconsin men are identified in a New York Times report published Sunday as organizers of a network of political nonprofit fundraising groups that raised $89 million, ostensibly for political ends, but spending very little of that on anything except to pay the fundraisers themselves or other consultants.

The Times report [link is open] described a series of robocall campaigns by five different but closely connected groups that raised money in small amounts from donors “who were pitched on building political support for police officers, veterans and firefighters,” the Times reported. “But just 1 percent of the money they raised was used to help candidates via donations, ads or targeted get-out-the-vote messages, according to an analysis by The Times of the groups’ public filings.”

The newspaper report, published online, stated that about 90% of the money raised was paid back to fundraising contractors in what a lawyer who advises Republican campaigns described as “an elaborate self-licking ice cream cone” in which money that is raised goes to pay the cost of raising more money.

Four of the five nonprofits remain active, according to the Times. 

The Times identified the organizers of the groups as John W. Connors, Simon Lewis and Kyle Maichle. The three “were all active in college conservative politics in Wisconsin about 15 years ago, when Mr. Connors was the leader of campus Republicans at Marquette University,” the newspaper reported.

All three operate consulting firms that have contracted with one or more of the nonprofit fundraising groups. The nonprofits have paid altogether $2.8 million to the three, according to the Times, while paying most of the remainder to other consultants that did not appear to be connected with the organizers.

“In their calls, the groups identified themselves to potential donors as political organizations,” the Times reported. “Beyond that, they were often vague about whom they supported and how.”

(Emphasis added.)

Sneaky Bear Attempts to Creep Into Colorado Home:

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