Here’s a bit of news that we are not hearing much on because we have new mass shootings, new massive hurricanes, new massive climate change and the U.S. Open to worry about. It’s a little complicated, but I’ll do my best to dumb it down for all of us:
1. Brad Parscale is Trump’s campaign manager.
2. Brad owns a company called Red State Data. Red State makes political ads.
3. Red State Data was paid $910,000 from America First Action.
4. America First is a Trump-Pence super PAC
4. It is illegal for a Super PAC to coordinate it’s activities with a campaign.
5. Trump’s campaign illegally coordinated with Trump’s super PAC
Huh. I guess it isn’t that complicated after all.
How did Brad get caught? By Fake News CNN. See, Brad didn’t want to admit he owned the company. Then CNN broke a story about Brad’s wife owning Red State (Her name is on all the paperwork). That made Brad nervous. Unhappy wife, unhappy life and all. So Brad had to admit he owned the company. He also admitted that he didn’t want to admit because there are no records that actually list him as the owner of Red State.
Hmm. No as simple as I thought, but still not complicated: Trump’s campaign manger was paid almost one million dollars by Trump’s super PAC, which is super illegal. So Brad did his best to hide his illegal activity by having the money paid to a company he owned but didn’t own on paper. This way fake news organizations like CNN would have a hard time figuring out what Brad was up to.
Because, again, IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A CANDIDATES CAMPAIGN TO COORDINATE WITH A SUPER PAC.
See what I did there? I subtly repeated the main point of this blog to reinforce in the reader’s mind the seriousness of the crime we are discussing. Is it working? Leave a comment below and let me know.
Trivia time: What company was formed a few days after Trump announced that Brad would become his campaign manager? If you answered Red State, you win!
Lightning Round Bonus Question: If Brad formed the company a few days after being named campaign chairman, why didn’t he put his name on any of the paperwork?
If you guessed: because the Trump campaign was engaging in a criminal act, you win again! So much winning! Are you getting tired of winning yet?
No? You want to win some more? Okay. If you can remember what hijinks Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort did, then you win an extra ration of Xanax to be taken with tomorrow’s tweet storm.
Wait one second though. Maybe this isn’t really a situation where Trump’s campaign manager purposely set up a company to take $900,000 from Trump’s super PAC. Let’s see how Brad explains it in his series of tweets to CNN:
1. “So, legally we both own it.”
2. ”she is on the paperwork yes.”
3. “She is my wife and I allow her to file and be on my companies because I trust her. It depends on how you look at it. But no. It is all my company.”
Okay. That clears up a lot, Brad. But can you give us just a bit more clarification?
4. “I own the company solely,. “[My wife] listed it incorrectly” when she called herself a “member.” ““She just checked the box of what she was. I’m the owner.”
See? All cleared up. Legally, Brad and his wife both own Red State. But legally she is the owner on paper. But because she’s Brad’s wife and he trusts her, he allows her file and be named as his company’s owner. But it is all Brad’s company. In fact, he is the only owner of the company and his wife just made a mistake when filing the paperwork.
But wait, there’s more. Brad wanted things crystal clear so:
5. “I own all my companies. My wife is member on some of them to do filings and bookkeeping. This is a disgusting trick to make a very simple thing look nefarious. Her last name is Parscale, what would that hide?”
Oh boy. When you have to fall back on the “How stupid would I have to be” defense, it’s time to run. Run, Brad, run.
So poor Brad made a few dollars by bending the rules. That’s not really terrible, is it? I mean, which one of us hasn’t at least thought about running a campaign, forming a shell company in our spouse’s name and taking $900,000 in money from a Super PAC? Is that really so bad?
Well, yes. Yes it is.
You see, a super PAC can spend unlimited money for its candidate. But it can’t coordinate how it spends that money with the campaign. Brad says there is zero chance that there can be coordination between his company, which he formed a few days after being named Trump’s campaign manager, and Trump’s super PAC.
ZERO CHANCE! CASE CLOSED.
Why did Brad think he could get away with this? Is it because Brad is an idiot? Maybe. But it is more likely because the FEC, which is a watchdog agency, has been lazy in enforcing coordination rules. And a lazy watchdog is , well, just a dog.
In order to enforce the law, the FEC has to have at least four sitting commissioners to take action. Guess how many commissioners sit on the FEC now? If you guessed “Three” yoou’re a genius.
The entire swampy crime is a bit more compicated then I let on. For example, Brad had another company that was receiving lots of money from the super PAC before he formed Red State. But he started getting mean stares from his GOP friends when his skimming became obsessive. Taking $13,000 for speeches given to old republican men, for instance. So he formed Red State to help him keep getting rich and keep from getting caught.
Disclosure: This blog post was written with a bias in favor of calling Brad a crook. It is unclear if he is actually a crook or just another slimy graft grabber. with a 3 person FEC, we may not ever get a clear answer.
One thing seems clear. Trump may not, in fact, be surrounding himself with the best people. He certainly hasn’t surrounded himself with the best campaign managers.
In a normal world…
Agree? Disagree? Comment below and let me know.