Today we check in on a super PAC helping Herschel Walker, meet the billionaires funding House races and say goodbye to a congressional campaign.
Pro-Life Super PAC Spent $165,000 Supporting Herschel Walker In Days After Abortion Story Broke
A pro-life super PAC dropped $165,000 to boost Herschel Walker’s Senate campaign in the four days immediately after allegations surfaced that the Georgia Republican had encouraged and paid for his girlfriend to get an abortion. Women Speak Out PAC now has spent at least $190,000 in support of Walker, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. The super PAC is affiliated with a nonprofit named Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, which aims to “end abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.”
Women Speak Out spent $125,000 on digital ads opposing Walker’s rival, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and $40,000 on canvassing between Oct. 5 and Oct. 7.
Spokespeople for the group and Walker’s campaign did not immediately respond to inquiries. Reached last Tuesday, Women Speak Out said it was standing by Walker. “Herschel Walker has denied these allegations in the strongest possible terms, and we stand firmly alongside him,” said Mallory Carroll, a vice president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-life America and spokeswoman for Women Speak Out. “To date, our Georgia field team has visited more than 310,000 homes across the state in support of pro-life candidates like Herschel and against the extremism of Sen. Warnock and Stacey Abrams, and we will continue through Election Day.”
On Friday, Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again Inc. super PAC reported that it spent $916,000 on ads opposing Warnock.
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In Case You Missed It
Meet The Billionaires Funding The Battle For Control Of The House Of Representatives
“Two rival super PACs focused on November’s midterm House elections have raised a total of nearly $100 million from at least 59 of the country’s richest people. But the billionaire donors to the Republican PAC gave nearly four times more than the Democrats,” reports Matt Durot.
At least 59 billionaires reported giving a total of nearly $100 million to a pair of super PACs dueling for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. These party-aligned groups have hoarded much of the cash so far, but if history is any indication, the floodgates are about to open.
Updates on Checks & Imbalances’ previous reporting
John Ratcliffe, the onetime Texas congressman who Donald Trump appointed to be his director of national intelligence, is terminating his campaign committee, according to a filing submitted to the Federal Election Commission Tuesday.
Over the past 20 months, Ratcliffe’s campaign paid his wife, Michele, $43,500 to manage its largely dormant books. Payments to Mrs. Ratcliffe, a partner focusing on estate planning and cyber crimes at the Rockwall, Texas law firm of Lamberth Ratcliffe Covington, made up 36% of the campaign’s pending during the 2022 cycle. Ratcliffe’s campaign also shelled out $11,000 for “website design” to the firm that built his personal site for him, a payment that could violate campaign-finance rules.
In Tuesday’s filing, Ratcliffe reported repaying himself $225,000 for a loan he made to his campaign. The reimbursement came two months after the Supreme Court ruled in FEC v. Ted Cruz that a limit on how much candidates could repay themselves for loans was unconstitutional.
In a separate FEC filing on Tuesday, the campaign advised that its reported cash on hand has been off by $4,600 since 2014.
Neither Ratcliffe responded to inquiries.
Secret Service police still were still on watch outside of former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s suburban D.C. home as of Monday afternoon. Iran is plotting to assassinate Bolton, reported the Washington Examiner in March. The Secret Service has been protecting Bolton since at least January.
DeSantis Sued By Florida Watchdog Group—Here’s All The Legal Fallout He Faces For Flying Migrants To Martha’s Vineyard
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his office were sued by the state’s Center for Government Accountability (FLCGA) on Monday, over allegations it illegally withheld public records related to the state flying approximately 50 Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts—the latest legal exposure DeSantis has faced since he took credit for the migrants’ flights,” reports Alison Durkee.
FLCGA’s lawsuit asks the state court to compel DeSantis’s office to turn over a range of documents related to the Martha’s Vineyard flights—including phone logs and any communications with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), as the migrants’ flights originated in that state—alleging it has not fulfilled the group’s records requests or responded to them in “good faith,” as state law requires.
Florida state Sen. Jason Pizzo (D), acting as a private citizen, sued DeSantis and other state officials in September, taking issue with the state’s program that uses taxpayer money to “facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law” through private companies.
That lawsuit argues the state flying migrants to Martha’s Vineyard violated that measure because they were not in the country unlawfully and their flight originated in Texas and not Florida—meaning they were not “from this state”—and asks the court to declare the statute unconstitutional altogether, or at least bar the state from transporting any more migrants who aren’t from Florida.
Forbes continues to update “Tracking Trump: A Rundown Of All The Lawsuits And Investigations Involving The Former President.”
Trump International Golf Club Dubai hosted representatives from the local government, according to an Instagram post.
- “How Trump’s legal expenses consumed GOP donor money” (The Washington Post)
- “Key shareholder vote on Truth Social delayed, while Trump Media exec gets suspended” (Miami Herald)
- “The Globetrotting Con Man and Suspected Spy Who Met With President Trump” (ProPublica)
- “Justice Dept. asks Supreme Court to deny Trump request in Mar-a-Lago case” (The Washington Post)
- “LIV Golf enlists NRA-tied firm as consultants” (Politico)
- “She Went Out on a Limb for Trump. Now She’s Under Justice Dept. Scrutiny.” (The New York Times)
- “Federal Officials Trade Stock in Companies Their Agencies Oversee” (The Wall Street Journal)
- “Election-denying secretary of state candidates have raised more than $12 million, Issue One analysis finds” (Issue One)
- “Conservative PACs Inject Millions Into Often-Ignored School Board Races” (HuffPost)
- “How Ron DeSantis Blew Up Black-Held Congressional Districts and May Have Broken Florida Law” (ProPublica)
- “President Joe Biden will hold a fund-raiser for John Fetterman in Philadelphia next week” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
- “We’ve surpassed $725M in gubernatorial general election spending around the country this year! Dem campaigns are outspending GOP campaigns 2:1 and Dem groups hold a $55M advantage over GOP groups” (Twitter/AdImpact Politics)
- “Yesterday, Campaign Legal Center sued the FEC on behalf of Common Cause Georgia over the FEC’s dismissal of a complaint detailing illegal coordination between the nonprofit ‘True the Vote’ and the Georgia Republican Party during the 2021 Senate runoffs in Georgia.” (Twitter/Brandon R. Quinn of Campaign Legal Center)
- “GOP megadonor kicks in $13.9 million more to defeat Pritzker, $1 million to oppose union rights amendment” (Chicago Sun-Times)
- “That Fake Newspaper in Your Mailbox Was Paid For by Peter Thiel” (The Daily Beast)
- “New: Greg Abbott raised ‘nearly’ $25 million from July 1-Sept. 29, his campaign announces. Beto O’Rourke announces earlier today he raised $25.18 million during the same period, so O’Rourke outraised Abbott again.” (Twitter/Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune)
- “’They Treat Me Like a Piece of S—’: Raphael Warnock’s Church Pays for His Home. It’s Also Trying To Evict the Poor From Theirs.” (The Washington Free Beacon)
- “Who is really financing Herschel Walker’s campaign?” (Popular Information)
- “Ex-Uber Works CEO registers as Ukrainian foreign agent” (LegiStorm)
- “Super PAC Liberty Champions raised $1M in Q3, half of which came from WY donor Timothy Mellon” (Twitter/Derek Willis of Merrill College)
- “Former Joel Greenberg associate gets prison time in bribery scheme” (Orlando Sentinel)
- “Federal court records users could see $100 million in refunds” (Politico)
- “5 Ways Secret Money Makes Its Way into our Elections” (Campaign Legal Center)
- “What does Madison Cawthorn do now?” (The Washington Post)
“You pop caught you smoking, and he said, no way
That hypocrite smokes two packs a day”
— Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)”