THE BUCK STOPS THERE - The Story Of Who Really Wins When The Right Wing Raises Money

This piece originally appeared on The Patriot Project

Imagine that you're a Republican. You've just received another urgent letter from one or another organization associated with The Party, and you're scared. You're terrified, actually. And you are pissed off. You've been a proud, loyal American for almost 80 years and now you read that the Democrats have nominated an actual Communist agent to run for President!  And, on top of that, they’re planning to BAN THE BIBLE!  There is a special urgency about this letter -- if you don’t help RIGHT NOW it might even mean the end of this great country. So you do your duty as a loyal, vigilant citizen and ACT NOW and send $250.  It is so important, and the money goes to such a good cause – doesn't it? 

This post takes a look at the question: if you give money to an organization like Swiftboat Veterans for Truth (SBVFT), where does your money GO? 

So-called "independent" "527" organizations like SBVFT are required to report contributions and expenditures, so this information is available. One of the websites where you can find the reported details for SBVFT, (later called Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth) is at CampaignMoney.com. About ¾ of the way down page you find the following interesting expenditure:

LD Enterprise Partners LLC (also "L&D" in some records) of Pacific Palisades, California. LD received payments of $35,000 of 10/28/2004 and $13,202 on 11/17/2004 for "consulting/fundraising."  It turns out that "L&D Enterprise Partners," with the same address, was also paid $72,000 by Progress for America (PFA), (See CampaignMoney.com), which was an "independent" "527" front-group for the Bush/Cheney campaign.

So who is this LD (or L&D) Enterprise Partners, receiving $48,202 of the Swift Boat donors’ and $72,000 of the PFA donors’ money? LD Enterprise Partners does not appear to be registered as a California Corporation. (See here.) The address of LD Enterprise Partners is also the address of an accounting firm. The only other information located about L&D Enterprise Partners is as the owner of a horse named L&D’s Braddock in the "Hunter Results" listings of a number of horse shows. Examples are here, here and here

Searching further, L&D's Braddock usually appears with a rider with the last name of "LEGASSICK." Then, searching for this rider, it shows that this person appears at lots of horse shows, usually with L&D Enterprise partners listed as the horse owner.  Continued searching yields a person named LeGassick associated with a business named California Capital Campaigns. An organization named "Capital Campaigns" appears in the expenditure records or various Republican-affiliated organizations, and a search for that name eventually locates an obscure reference here, which reads:

    "UCLA has named Anne LeGassick Dunsmore, an accomplished fund-raiser and political consultant… As president of Los Angeles-based California Capital Campaigns, Dunsmore … a fund-raiser and political consultant for nearly two decades, has assisted numerous businesses, charities, campaign initiatives and candidates, including … Texas Governor George W. Bush. [. . .] She resides in Tarzana with her husband, Michael..."

Checking on where Capital Campaigns is receiving money from we find this, from Bush/Cheney-front-group 527 Progress for America records: 

Capital Campaigns, of Los Angeles received $70,000 on 06/17/2004, $7,000 on 06/25/2004, $114,000 on 08/06/2004, $90,000 on 08/11/2004, $309,193 on 09/13/2004, $225,000 on 10/07/2004, $9,433 on 10/22/2004, $462,263 on 11/12/2004, $25,000 on 12/21/2004, $90,000 on 04/29/2005 for Consulting and fundraising services.  While much of this is probably to cover the costs for putting on high-end fundraisers (renting ballrooms, catering, etc.) really, what can one say but "Yee-ha!"

Double checking that Anne Dunsmore's "California Capital Campaigns" and "Capital Campaigns" are the same locates this FEC reporting document for the GOOD GOVERNMENT FOR AMERICA COMMITTEE. The document refers to an Anne Dunsmore with the same address as that listed for Capital Campaigns being paid a $2,000 consulting expense on 03/05/2005. So it certainly appears that the companies are the same.

Summarizing, L&D Enterprise Partners receives money from the Swift Boaters and Bush/Cheney Campaign front-group Progress for America. L&D Enterprise Partners is the owner of a horse named L&D’s Braddock, and other information about the company cannot be located. The horse's rider is named LeGassick. Legassick brings us to Anne Dunsmore of "California Capital Campaigns,” related to someone with the same name as the horse’s rider.  And the Anne Dunsmore of California Capital Campaigns has the same address as the above-mentioned Capital Campaigns. And, finally, Anne Dunsmore is "a veteran Republican fundraiser who has been finance director for Bush-Cheney in California."

This all brings up an important question: why does L&D Enterprises, the horse owner, receive payments as well as Dunsmore’s Capital Campaigns? 

(Incidentally, from December 01, 2005, [Katherine] Harris Adds Anne Dunsmore as National Fundraiser, and March 16, 2006, Harris Loses Top Fundraiser.)

Another interesting tidbit turned up in the Swift Boat records, John ONeill of Houston, Texas received an expense amount of $50,000 on 08/31/2004. The purpose, "Reimburse Media Training." Is there a receipt for that, please? Fifty thousand dollars for media training? Yikes! 

In the July 17 Patriot Project exclusive report, The Swiftboaters Are Back in the Water, there is a question about a $100,000 payment:

    (And by the way, in that IRS information linked above, was that the same Admiral Roy Hoffman as this one?

      "Finance reports filed with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service show Swift Boat contributed $100,000 on February 8, 2006 to an outfit called the Admiral Roy F. Hoffman Foundation in Fairfax, Virginia. In 2005, the group donated $10,000 to Hoffmans foundation, $100,000 to the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation and spent $132,087 on meeting expenses at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.") 

    (See the original IRS form on this here)

    There is a second $100,000 payment mentioned there.  This IRS report shows that the SBVFT did give $100,000 to Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, on 09/27/2005. This payment was immediately followed by this action, Vietnam Vets File Lawsuit Against John Kerry, posted Oct 12, 2005. Media Matters has more information. 

    It looks as though the SBVFT may have funded this lawsuit against Kerry. Did the donors to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth understand that their money would be used by an entirely different organization to sue John Kerry a year after the election over what appears to be a contract dispute with Sinclair Broadcasting? 

    If you donate money to conservative causes, how much of the money really ends up being used to support the urgent, patriotic, save-the-country activity you thought you were supporting, and how much is used for other purposes? For example, how much is used to provide salaries to conservative-movement operatives?  How much do these organizations support a different agenda than the one you were expecting? 

    The Patriot Project exclusive pieces The Swiftboating of John Murtha, and The Swiftboaters Are Back in the Water discussed an in-place apparatus that spreads smears and poison about American Patriots. How much of the money donated to an organization like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, or Progress for America is really used to instead support an ongoing, in-place infrastructure of smear artists and conservative-movement operatives? For example, the Swift Boat Vets pass money to the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation, which uses the money to spread poison after the election.  The PR professionals, campaign consultants and consulting firms show up in other campaigns and organizations, spreading the same kind of smears and poison against patriot Americans. 

    We need to learn about them – who are the smear operators? how do they use money? what are their tactics? – so we can recognize it, expose it, fight it, and protect the McCains and Kerrys and Murthas and Webbs and Wilsons and Sestaks and Clelands – American patriots smeared in spite of and in many cases because of their service to our country. We need to fight back! 

    Watch for more information on other organizations that serve as front-groups for similar activities.