Congratulations to Paul Nehlen on securing the endorsement of the “Tea Party Patriots.” Just don’t expect many zeros attached to the fundraising check.
Sorry to beat some cold hard reality into those cheering for the “conservative alternative” to Speaker Paul Ryan, but the financial assistance from Jenny Beth Martin and Co. probably isn’t going to show up. If past behavior is to be any indication of future performance you’d be better off flushing your money straight down the toilet than giving it to the group.
See, when it comes to ScamPACs on the right, few have the Tea Party Patriots’ reputation. Numbers from the Federal Elections Commission show that during the 2014 cycle the group raised over $10.6 million, yet only spent a pittance (10 percent) on candidates.
Total receipts were $10,659,371, with expenses of $9,263,753 and $1,027,354 benefiting candidates. That’s 90 percent on expenses and 10 percent to candidates. The Mississippi race was conspicuously the largest investment the Tea Party Patriots made, with almost $600,000 spent in opposition to Thad Cochran, and more than $200,000 in support of Chris McDaniel. When pushing out just 10 percent to candidates, the rationale for dropping more than three-fourths of that trifling amount on a single race calls into question their political savvy, as well as it highlights their poor fiscal management.
So, unless the Tea Party Patriots have changed the way they do business, or it gives the Ryan-Nehlen primary similar attention as they did for the 2014 Mississippi Senate race, don’t expect much money to come this way. Take away the $772,000 the group spent in Mississippi, and you find each candidate they did help received around $16,000 in “independent expenditures” (likely a direct mailing or two) as “aid” from the ScamPAC during the 2014 cycle.
Spending by national tea party groups has long been a concern among conservative activists who feel these organization only look out for themselves; not the conservative movement. That instead of helping elect people, their main concerns have always been about building their email lists and preying on the gullible for donations.
Until proven otherwise, that appears to be the case with their endorsement of Nehlen.