Clinton Cash finds a new use: Paying bounties for dirt on Trump

Clinton Cash finds a new use: Paying bounties for dirt on Trump
Coordinators. (Images: Screen grabs of YouTube videos)

A Hillary Clinton super PAC, Correct the Record, which was founded by David Brock and funded by other Hillary PACs, will now be paying people to find dirt on Donald Trump.

For those keeping score, Correct the Record, as a super PAC, is in theory prohibited by federal law from coordinating with Hillary’s campaign.  Correct the Record isn’t officially affiliated with her campaign, and isn’t subject to the donation caps and donor transparency required for campaign financing.  Its backing comes from so-called “dark money,” the kind Hillary is always railing against.

But when have technicalities like that ever stopped Hillary?  This is the woman who, as Howard Portnoy reported earlier today, takes her poorest donors’ credit cards and makes unauthorized “donation” charges against them.  She might as well be “skimming” the debit cards of the unwary at a convenience store gas pump.

In any case, a contributor with good enough “dirt” could probably earn a lot of Clinton Cash.  NBC News explains (emphasis added):

While the effort is focused on uncovering previously unreleased audio and video recordings, Brock is interested in just about anything on Trump — as long as it’s new, unflattering and procured legally.

“We’re chasing everything,” Brock told NBC News. That could be internal documents about Trump’s business empire, his tax returns or perhaps something more personal.

Correct the Record, which is allowed to directly coordinate with the Clinton campaign, has set no financial cap on what they’re willing to pay.

“Allowed to directly coordinate with the Clinton campaign.”  Well that’s the Clinton story — and they’re sticking to it.  The media have been acknowledging for months, however, that what the Clinton campaign says they’re “allowed” to do is a campaign-defined gray area.

Back in May, the Los Angeles Times, reporting on how Correct the Record was paying an army of trolls to attack Hillary’s online critics, addressed the coordination question more carefully:

Super PACs are typically prohibited from working in tandem with candidates, but Correct the Record is doing just that by exploiting a loophole in campaign finance law that it says permits such coordination with digital campaigns.

“Clinton, herself, is saying we need campaign finance reform,” said Paul Ryan, deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group. “Yet her lawyers are pushing the boundaries to get around campaign finance laws.”

Brock referred questions to Elizabeth Shappell, a spokesperson for the super PAC, who emailed a brief statement saying that Barrier Breakers, as the effort is labeled, “is only engaged in positive content, even when responding to offensive content, and is always identified” as Correct the Record, she wrote. The email also emphasized that Correct the Record is spending the million dollars in a way that it argues is legal under rules governing super PACs.

The Center for Public Integrity (link above) offered this now surreal-seeming summary in April 2016:

More than any other Clinton group, Correct the Record is most directly tied to Clinton’s campaign committee. Although federal law prohibits super PACs and candidates from coordinating paid messaging, Correct the Record nevertheless argues that it can work with the Clinton campaign to produce and publish material posted online for free — and it does.

So, Correct the Record can take money from Hillary’s dark-money PACs — which are largely funded by Clinton Foundation donors — and offer to pay people unlimited amounts for dirt on the other candidate, and post that dirt online in any forum it wants, as close to election day as it wants, and in whatever way is most advantageous to Hillary’s campaign…as long as the online posting is technically done “for free.”

If we’re going to go to the trouble of having McCain-Feingold, this “loophole” does seem to make a mockery of it.

NBC News goes on to note the following:

Posting a bounty for dirt on a political opponent is highly unusual in modern politics and seems to cross a new line in the rules of war. “We’re going to extraordinary lengths because this is an extraordinary situation,” Brock said.

But Brock is no stranger to high-profile stunts. Just this summer, he lined up an anonymous donor who promised to give $5 million to a Veterans charity if Trump released his tax returns. And it’s not entirely unprecedented. For instance, Penthouse publisher Larry Flint once offered $1 million to anyone who could prove they had an affair with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Media outlets generally refuse to pay sources for information due to ethical concerns, and Brock suspects that’s kept potential sources from going public with sensitive information. “I understand the prohibition on press paying for stories, but we’re not the press,” he said.

This is how the progressive left ruins free speech for the rest of us.  Bookmark this post; you’ll want to make reference to it the next time Democrats and the MSM are caterwauling about the Koch brothers and “dark money in politics.”  Hillary makes the Koch brothers look like an Awana awards ceremony.

Washington Free Beacon notes that Mr. Brock’s new line of effort will be called “TrumpLeaks.”  Get it?

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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