Saturday, July 2, 2016

More weird - and illegal? - stuff from the Trump campaign

Josh Marshall at TPM points out that that it's not just the Trump campaign that's soliciting money from foreign politicians (which is illegal, of course), but a pro-Trump Super PAC, too. And it's illegal for a political campaign to work with a Super PAC.

So what's going on?
The more we've looked into it, it seems increasingly implausible that he got this list from a list vendor. Not impossible just not likely at all. It now seems more probable that the Trump Organization simply had these emails in some business related database and decided to dump them into the email hopper for the fundraising blitz or just found some site that had a zip file of foreign government officials and used that. As I've said, all of these possibilities are outlandish and ridiculous. But we know for a fact that he has and continues to spam members of Parliament in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland and Iceland and possibly others. So one of these completely preposterous set of facts has to be true.

And here's where we get to coordination, which is a big no no.

Given what I've said above, the existence of this list almost has to originate in Trump Derpland. A virtual certainty. So how did the same list end up in the hands of a Trump SuperPac? I looked up Crippled America PAC and as of their last filing just a couple weeks ago, they're total budget was $40. No m or b after that $ sign, forty bucks, the price of a fancy dinner. So obviously CAP was just stood up and actually started operating just now. And now they're showing up in Tim's inbox. [Tim Watts, MP in the Australian Parliament]

Again, normally you'd just say, they're both buying the list from the same vendor. I'm also pretty sure that a good campaign finance lawyer could find a way to get lists from a campaign to its supportive SuperPacs without running afoul of the rules against campaigns coordinating with SuperPacs. But let's be honest, does any of this look like its done by anyone who has the slightest clue about fundraising or campaign finance law? Of course, not.

... But the point is this: it seems extremely likely that this email list was put together by the Trump campaign. Now it seems to be in the hands of at least one Trump supporting SuperPac. Campaigns and SuperPACs are not allowed to coordinate. And there's nothing about this operation that gives any reason to believe they did this in a way to even try to make it pass legal muster.

It's unlikely that this will have a political impact. After all, it's Trump. No one who plans to vote for  him gives a crap about far worse things than this. And any crime wouldn't be charged, let alone prosecuted, until after the election, anyway.

But this is the kind of amateurish ignorance and complete incompetence all too many Americans want running our country, the most powerful country on Earth. That just blows my mind! What is wrong with those people?

This isn't a 'reality' TV show. This is reality. In the past, I would have found this too implausible even for a television sitcom. But it's actually happening. I guess truth really is stranger than fiction.

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