A review of the finances of a political action group sold as an anti-Trump “resistance” operation alleges that its leaders used donor money to line their own pockets instead of using it to “resist” Trump.
The report released by the law blog “Law and Crime” alleges that former Obama operative Scott Dworkin, Democrat Party PR man Jarad Geldner, and liberal activist Nathan Lerner awarded themselves “consulting fees” amounting to tens of thousands of dollars donors gave to them to fight against President Donald Trump’s policies.
At the center of the accusations is a Super PAC labeled the Democratic Coalition Against Trump (DCAT). The operation is headed by Nathan Lerner and former Joe Biden operative Jon Cooper. Former Obama operative Scott Dworkin is listed as a “senior advisor” and is also one of the PAC’s founders. Jerad Geldner is also listed as another “senior advisor” for DCAT.
On its website, DCAT describes itself this way:
[DCAT] was formed in the Spring of 2016 with the main goal of making sure that Donald Trump never became President. DCAT now exists to hold the Trump White House accountable, and is directly countering Donald Trump, along with Republican elected officials and candidates who support him, through aggressive digital and traditional advertising, grassroots action, in-depth opposition research, and a nationwide rapid-response team.
That may be how Lerner, Cooper, Geldner, and Dworkin sell DCAT to Trump-hating donors, but according to Colin Kalmbacher, the reality seems to be a bit different.
“According to OpenSecrets and Federal Election Commission (FEC) data, DCAT has taken in $221,848 in individual contributions so far for the 2017-2018 election cycle,” Kalmbacher wrote. “Of that amount, $210,074 has been spent.”
So, where did all those hundreds of thousands of donor dollars go? For one, Dworkin, who worked on Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee and was the Deputy Director for the Democratic National Convention Committee in Charlotte in 2012, seems to have gotten quite a payday while working for DCAT.
Dworkin is apparently the biggest recipient of those donations. Even as he is one of DCAT’s “senior advisors,” Dworkin also runs Bulldog Finance Group, and that entity has taken a ton of DCAT’s cash, billing the group for “consulting” and “fundraising” fees.
“During the 2016 election cycle, The Bulldog Finance Group was paid $52,877 by DCAT–out of $119,300 total raised. During the 2017-2018 election cycle, Dworkin paid his own business $79,500,” Law and Crime reported.
Some critics have called Dworkin’s big fees a “personal payday” obtained by running a “grift” on the donors.
Dworkin is not the only “consultant” rolling in donor cash. DCAT “senior advisor” Jarad Geldner also raked in a big payday right out of the donor money pot. He was paid $18,500 for “consulting” fees.
“Senior advisor” Nathan Lerner also “consulted” DCAT to the tune of $30,528 in donor funds.
Law and Order isn’t the only site that has found the expenditures questionable. A left-wing blog called Progressive Army also outed these “consultants” for taking so much of their donor’s money.
Naturally, neither of the “consultants” accused of essentially defrauding donors made any public comments about the charges.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.