Michael Avenatti is taking advantage of what is hopefully the 14th minute of his 15 minutes of fame to launch a new fundraising venture, allegedly to help Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, the Democrat challenging Sen. Ted Cruz for the Texas Senate seat — but there’s a twist. Proving there’s an element of truth in that joke about lawyers, catfish, and scum-sucking bottom dwellers, Avenatti set up his fundraiser to divert half the funds to his own PAC.

Avenatti posted the fundraiser on ActBlue, an online fundraising platform for Democratic causes, and shared the link on Twitter earlier today.

Screenshot of Tweet by @MichaelAvenatti.

“Lyin’ Ted Cruz is attacking me because I am supporting Beto,” wrote Avenatti. “Help us send the liar back home to Canada (sorry Canada) – chip in for Beto now.”

Besides the utter weirdness of Stormy Daniels’ lawyer using Trump’s 2016 campaign trail nickname for Cruz, Avenatti is getting slammed for the way he’s structured this fundraiser contrary to O’Rourke’s rejection of PAC money — and for lining his own pocket.

Clicking on the link in the tweet goes to an ActBlue page, that asks for a donation: “Cruz Attacked Michael! We’re fighting back!” The fine print reveals that the default setting is to divide any donation made between O’Rourke’s campaign and “The Fight PAC,” Avenatti’s PAC.

Screenshot from The Fight PAC fundraiser website, October 11, 2018.

FEC filings show that The Fight PAC’s Statement of Organization was filed on August 23, 2018, and the PAC’s website declares their mission is “defeating Donald Trump’s Republican cronies and enablers across the nation, up and down the ballot.”

O’Rourke supporters quickly slammed Avenatti’s scheme, noting that besides the fact O’Rourke being adamant throughout the campaign that he did not want PAC money and had not asked anyone to do this, Avenatti had also set up the donation to default to a monthly recurring donation. (I clicked through to double check and verified that the fundraiser was indeed set up as a recurring monthly donation.)

Let’s emphasize how this is set up: a recurring monthly donation, that is split 50/50 between O’Rourke and Avenatti’s PAC.

A monthly donation…for an election that is less than one month away.

Regardless of whether O’Rourke pulls off the upset against Cruz on November 6th or not, donations in December and continuing through 2019 won’t do anything to help him.

The way Avenatti structured this fundraiser might violate ActBlue’s terms of service as well.

O’Rourke supporters on Twitter were incensed at Avenatti’s scheme, with many of them replying to his tweet to urge his followers to donate instead directly to O’Rourke.

Still, Avenatti has over 870,000 Twitter followers and his tweet was retweeted (at the time of publication) nearly 7,000 times. The Fight PAC is too new to have filed any financial statements yet, so we will not know for awhile how successful his scheme has been.

RedState is obviously not going to encourage anyone to donate to O’Rourke, but I’m perfectly happy to call out Avenatti for this slimy attempt to take advantage of O’Rourke’s campaign to line his own pockets.

Read my RedState article archive here.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker