early and awful

Nonprofit Front for GOP Influencers Uses a 25-Year-Old Stooge to Cover Its Tracks

Oh, the places launching an anti–Hillary Clinton Facebook page will take you! A Times investigation exposes the group Americans for Job Security as one of the most egregious examples of nonprofits set up to funnel campaign funding from influential donors without transparency. The D.C.-based group is responsible for making a $1.6 million effort against a gold and copper mine in Alaska, backed by a local financier, look like a populist uprising. It’s also responsible for an attack ad against Democrat Bill Halter that showed “Indians in colorful garb” thanking Halter, who was on the board of a company that opened an office overseas. The group, which spent $10 million on attack ads since the primaries, claims to be about a “pro-paycheck message.” Twenty-five-year-old Stephen DeMaura, who started the anti-Clinton Facebook page when he was still an undergrad, is the nonprofit’s president — and sole employee.

DeMaura just happens to sublet office space from a consulting group called Crossroads Media, whose clients include the GOP, the Republican Governors Association, and a Karl Rove–backed group that has raised millions to support Republican candidates. Crossroads is run by Michael Dubke and David Carney, who teamed up with several business groups to start Americans for Job Security in 1997. Carney used to be the political director for George Bush.

Despite all ties to all those political heavyweights, the chairwoman of the nonprofit’s board of directors is listed in their tax filings as Tabitha Connor, a twentysomething Columbia University grad student. But don’t worry that sharing offices with all those shrewd political operatives will have any sway on how Americans for Job Security raises or spends money. “I work with them closely on a day-to-day basis, but we don’t discuss our work or coordinate anything,” says DeMaura. “It’s firewalled off.”

Hidden Under Tax-Exempt Cloak, Political Dollars Flow [NYT]

Nonprofit Front for GOP Influencers Uses a 25-Year-Old Stooge to Cover Its Tracks