When people donate to a PAC, they don’t typically expect most of their money will go towards administrative costs. But, some PACS are used as a cash cow at the expense of unsuspecting donors.
Women for Trump came across my radar this week when one of their events was being promoted near me in suburban Cleveland. The event was being fashioned in a manner that raised a lot of questions. After fielding several calls from people who thought President Trump was involved, I decided to take a closer look at this group.
Amy Kremer, who was the Chairman of Tea Party Express, is also a co-founder of Women For Trump. Last year, Kremer ran in the GA-6 Republican primary to face off against carpetbagger Joel Ossoff in the general election. That didn’t work out well for Kremer when one of her aides called police on her and she finished the race by earning only .2 percent of the vote. Now, Kremer is back on the circuit with this new PAC.
Being tied into the Tea Party network can be a profitable business. As John Hawkins pointed out in a 2015 well-researched article, the Tea Party Express only used five cents of every dollar. It appears that Women For Trump appears to be following that business model.
In the 2016 election cycle, Women Vote Smart, which is the larger name of this organization, only spent 3 cents on the dollar on campaign mailers and materials. Seven cents of every dollar went to internet ads. Meanwhile, a whopping sixty-eight percent of the money raised went to administrative costs and twenty percent went to fundraising costs. In fact, this PAC didn’t donate any funds to candidates during the 2016 cycle.
Women For Trump has a name that implies that it somehow has ties to the President. It does not.
When the organization came to endorse Christina Hagan in her floundering campaign in the OH-16 primary, there was confusion. The Facebook event was incredibly vague and Hagan’s name was not included.
People were being asked to come to the event and support the President when he had no involvement at all. This PAC appears to have only hitched itself to his name to promote candidates and fundraise.
I went to the event Facebook page to inquire what it was about since I have received phone calls about it. I was met with hostility and identity politics. Kathryn Serkes, who is Kremer’s Women for Trump Co-Founder, responded that I don’t support President Trump if I don’t support Hagan or their organization.
Serkes also wrote, “this random hostility towards women who support the President usually comes from Democrats or die-hard Never-Trumpers who still can’t deal with the election results from 2016.”
There is the hook. Because Trump’s name is in their PAC, they want you to feel that you aren’t supportive of the President if you don’t support their PAC. This is how they get grandmas to throw them money from their fixed income for their obscene administrative costs. But, the bottom line is that President Trump has nothing to do with this.
Hagan appears to be a useful tool for Women for Trump. They immediately tweeted out a fundraising request using her for fundraising purposes.
Ohio GOP establishment has already complained abt our endorsement of @repHagan Wonder why? ????
With GOP friends like that in her state, she's gonna need our help. All donations today earmarked to support her campaign!#ChristinaHagan#2018Midterms https://t.co/KC6EtCe66g
— Women for Trump (@WomenforTrump) April 18, 2018
Hagan does not have the support of the local Republican parties or the President. A strong number of her own colleagues in the Ohio House, where she was appointed while she was in college, have endorsed her opponent, Anthony Gonzalez. She has also waged a rather nasty campaign against her that at times has come off as being racist.
Her latest finance report shows she is almost out of money in the final month of the primary. This makes her a useful target for an organization like Women for Trump that spends pennies on the dollar for campaign purposes.
Conservatives might be inclined to financially support a young woman running for office, but if they don’t look closely at both Hagan and Women For Trump, they might be deceived.