Politico reported on Monday that the George Soros-funded Priorities USA Action and Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) Senate Majority PAC are the dark money behind the Alabama shell group that has spent more than $4.1 million to defeat conservative Republican Roy Moore in Tuesday’s Alabama U.S. Senate special election in which he faces liberal Democrat Doug Jones:
Highway 31, which has dropped more than $4.1 million in support of Jones and against Roy Moore ahead of Tuesday’s Senate special election, is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action — along with a group of Alabama Democrats, multiple senior officials familiar with the arrangement told POLITICO.
Highway 31 filed its statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on November 6, and in its 36 days of existence has delivered almost all of its $4.1 million of political messaging on credit provided by its largest vendors, three secretive Washington D.C. based consulting firms founded and run by former Obama campaign staffers.
The firms are Waterfront Strategies, a wholly owned subsidiary of GMMB Consulting, founded and run by former Obama campaign staffer Jim Margolis; Bully Pulpit Interactive, founded and run by former Obama campaign staffer Andrew Bleeker; and Putnam Partners, founded and run by former Obama campaign staffer Mark Putnam.
Federal Election Commission records show that Priorities Action USA raised and spent $192 million in the 2016 election cycle. The vast majority of the funds raised–$130 million out of $192 million–was donated by 37 individuals, each of whom donated more than $500,000. Among the top donors were New York City financier James Simons, who donated $11 million; Fred Eyechaner of Chicago, Illinois, who donated $11 million; George Soros, who donated $9.5 million; his son Alex Soros, who donated $1 million; and Hollywood mavens Steven Spielberg and Jeff Katzenberg, who donated $1 million each.
Not a single one of these 37 individuals are residents of Alabama–14 are from California, nine are from New York, five are from Florida, three are from Illinois, two are from Connecticut, and one each are from Washington, D.C., Michigan, Texas, and Nevada.
The Senate Majority PAC spent almost all the $92 million it raised in the 2016 election cycle. Two-thirds of the money it raised came from donors who gave more than $200. George Soros was among those larger donors, contributing $1.5 million, as was his son, Alex Soros, who contributed $3.5 million.
Neither PAC has filed a report with the FEC since the period ending on June 30, 2017. Their next required filings, covering the period between July 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, are not required to be filed with the FEC, by law, until January of 2018.
Nor is the Alabama-based shell independent organization it spawned, Highway 31, required to file another financial status report with the FEC until January 21, 2018, more than a month after Tuesday’s election.
Circumstantial evidence to support Monday’s report in Politico that Highway 31 “is a joint project” between Priorities USA Action PAC and the Senate Majority PAC can be found in the 2016 election cycle reports filed with the FEC by the Senate Majority PAC. The majority of the $91 million it spent in the 2016 election cycle–a little more than $65 million–was paid to a single vendor: Waterfront Strategies, the same consulting firm that provided more than $1 million of advertising services to Highway 31 between November 6 and November 22, entirely on credit.
November 22 was the ending period of the first and only financial status report that Highway 31 filed with the FEC. It showed that as of that date, the shell group had no assets and no cash, but owed Waterfront Strategies, Bully Pulpit Interactive, and Putnam Partners a little more than $1.7 million for services provided between November 6 and November 22.
Since November 22, Highway 31 incurred an additional $2.4 million in advertising expenditures, bringing its total to $4.1 million.
It is not known if Highway 31’s vendors have provided these additional services on credit to date.
It hardly matters, because it seems quite likely that at some point subsequent to the election on Tuesday, any one of the wealthy liberal donors who have funded Priorities USA Action PAC and the Senate Majority Fund–George Soros, James Simon, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg–can stroke a check for the full amount of any debts incurred by Highway 31, and the money will be passed through the Priorities USA Action PAC or the Senate Majority Fund to Highway 31 and immediately moved on to the vendors.
Though “multiple senior officials familiar with the arrangement”– presumably at Priorities USA Action PAC and the Senate Majority Fund –appeared eager to share their dark money secret, on background of course, with Politico the day before the Alabama U.S. Senate special election, a spokesperson for Highway 31 chose to play it coy when contacted by Breitbart News.
“Highway 31 continues to follow every appropriate rule and regulation. Highway 31 will file contributors per the FEC reporting schedule,” Highway 31 executive director Adam Muhlendorf told Breitbart News when asked to confirm or deny the Politico report that the PAC “is a joint project of two of the largest national Democratic super PACs — Senate Majority PAC and Priorities USA Action.”