An investigation into the financial dealings of a pseudo pro-Republican political action committee sheds light on how right-wing conservatives are circumventing campaign contribution laws in an effort to fund the candidates they want in office.
According to Indy Week, the State Board of Elections has zeroed in on the North Carolina division of Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc. (SCV). The organization is at the center of an ongoing investigation which spawned from a 2019 email sent by Bill Starnes.
In an email to his Confederate colleagues, Starnes wrote, “We have men there. We can immediately provide them with funds to get the right folks in office.” He also encouraged members of the organization to become actively involved in the political movement that aligns with their beliefs.
For more than a decade, the SCV has had the benefit of being classified under the 501(c)(3) status with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Since the organization is classified as a charitable organization, they have been able to dodge federal, local, or property taxes that for-profit businesses are typically faced with.
However, there is just one catch: the IRS prohibits such organizations from “directly or indirectly participating in” political campaigns, which is why Starnes and the organization are being investigated.
The organization reportedly began making sizable donations to the NC Heritage PAC, a pro-Republican fundraising platform that Starnes and other N.C. SCV leaders had been spearheading for years. With the donation approach the PAC has taken, they’ve managed to funnel campaign funds to Republican candidates while making it seem as if the SCV has no ties to the money.
In a nutshell, financial contributions were made to Republican candidates “in the name of another,” which classifies as a Class II misdemeanor, according to John Wallace, former Assistant Attorney General in the N.C. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
“The Heritage PAC took a new funding approach that dodged any mention of the N.C. SCV in its future disclosures: gathering mass donations from within the statewide SCV chapter, getting hundreds of mostly-unwitting members to claim slices of the money, and pumping each slice into the Heritage PAC as an individual contribution, disconnected from the SCV.
The strategy is akin to one faucet pumping a single stream of water into, say, 150 different filters that all lead into the same cup. In this case, the faucet water is the N.C. SCV’s money, the filters are N.C. SCV members laundering the money, and the all-encompassing cup beneath them is the Heritage PAC.”
The group’s future remains uncertain due to the ongoing investigation.
Republican pollster: Trump’s attitude over the next six weeks may hurt GOP chances of keeping Senate
A coalition of U.S. government security agencies has taken the step to defend the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, calling it “the most secure in American history.” Even so, President Donald J. Trump, the man on the losing ticket, has continued denying the results. Now, experts warn that if Trump doesn't walk away from the fight and offer a peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, it could hurt GOP chances to retain the U.S. Senate.
Conservative columnist accuses Republicans of turning their voters into a mob of anti-democracy fascists
Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin attacked Republican officials who have spent the past decade turning their most ardent supporters into a kind of anti-democracy mob.
Writing her column on Monday, Rubin cited the CNN interviews with Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) and John Bolton as being one of a handful of Republicans willing to speak out against the tyranny that President Donald Trump is being allowed to continue.
“State election officials and judges throughout the country are serving as protectors of our democracy at a time when, frankly, Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., are failing miserably at the job, as are administration officials who have proven willing to degrade themselves, to serve the president’s brittle spirit instead of the Constitution and the American people," Rubin cited CNN's Jake Tapper from "State of the Union" this Sunday.
WATCH: Melania Trump goes maskless as she participates in White House Christmas tree delivery
First Lady Melania Trump declined to wear a face mask as she was receiving this year's White House Christmas tree.
In White House video released on Monday, the first lady can be seen without a mask while accepting delivery of the tree. However, masks were worn by everyone else seen in the video.
The White House has been criticized for allowing COVID-19 to spread at events where attendees are not required to wear masks. At least two "super spreader" events have already taken place at the White House.
The First Lady's Office has said that Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations are expected to take place with smaller crowds.