Donald Trump is promising to Make America Great Again (™). And for a few enterprising online souls, he already is—for all the wrong reasons.
Since the dictator-harboring, televangelist-coddling, wife-not-raping reality television star announced in June that he aspires to lead the free world, a bevy of super PACs have materialized seeking to help him zoom into the White House by spiriting cash out of gullible Trump supporters’ pockets.
This happens even though the mogul has stated, repeatedly, that he will be funding his own campaign and does not want outside support. (It’s almost like his supporters don’t really pay attention to what he says!)
In a way, this is nothing new. Tea Party-branded groups have long cajoled #TCOTers into giving them cash and—shockingly—not used that cash the way they promised. In some cases, groups have pledged their starry-eyed donors that contributions of just $3 will make Sarah Palin run for Senate, or deposit Trey Gowdy directly into the Speaker’s chair.
This is all legal, of course—we live in America, and you have a constitutional right to give your money to Spiderman for Comptroller or whatever other nonsense campaign you’d like. Let the donor beware. And, as some in the Tea Party learned, many donors don’t.
Anyway, it now appears that business model has shifted from generic anti-Barack Obummer appeals to very direct efforts to help a billionaire scrape up enough loose change to run radio ads in Manchester. Or something. By The Daily Beast’s count, there are at least nine such groups trawling the Internet for donations of just $3 (or $1,000 if you have it! Please give generously!!!) to kindly let voters show their undying support for our future Negotiator-in-Chief.
The Bring Back American Opportunity PAC, for example, is tied to a person named Christopher Johnson of Lexington, South Carolina. Johnson filed its statement of organization with the FEC on September 21. Nobody replied to a request for comment sent through their site, and we are as yet unsure exactly how their PAC plans to find that American opportunity and get it back to us. Their site gives a few clues, however: It features a picture of Trump waving and of a stock photo of a hand touching an iPad. The site promises only to back candidates who support their values.
“We strive to take their campaign and make it better and more effective by our own independent support for their goals,” it reads. “We take the right actions at the right times to capture more votes for them.”
Other PACs were less detailed about their visions. The Make America Great 2016 Committee, for instance, did not respond to an email querying whether its organizers feel America has been great in the past or, rather, if they believe Trump will be making America great for the first time.
We also, sadly, did not hear back from the Make America Great Again PAC. We did peruse their website, however, and were pleased to see that it features a picture of a grinning Trump with several rotating captions, one of which read, “‘Oh, I wish I had big nuts like him—he’s not afraid of anybody’ DONALD TRUMP”.
Trump seems unbothered by the growing number of entrepreneurs. Politico reported in August that he “tacitly gave approval” to the Make America Great Again PAC when he attended a Manhattan fundraiser it hosted.
Make America Great Again PAC’s ball-centric site, however, pales in comparison to your correspondent’s favorite Trump Super PAC page: www.trump2016campaign.com, a site connected to the Businessmen for a Businessman President PAC. After we emailed the site’s manager asking why several of the pages—including one about a Zagreb Summit on Cross-Continental Cooperation in Southeastern Europe—were mostly in Latin, the site went down. We didn’t make any screenshots. We are filled with regret.
However, John duPont, the PAC’s treasurer, replied to our email querying as to the Latin portions of his page with an interesting missive about how robots will take our jobs. He also said that the Latin was just filler text, and noted that journalism is important.
“I wish we would realize that education is more important than just learning to write code,” duPont wrote. “We do need to get back to the humanities. We seem to forget how important literacy is. Behind every movie, every TV program, and yes, every author of books and yes, even newspaper articles stands a writer.”
This writer concurs. Give him all your money.
We reached out to a few other PACs, with uninteresting results. A spokesman from Citizens for Restoring USA, however, actually gave us a phone call. They also had the prescience to file their FEC paperwork on April 8, a full two months before Trump announced his White House dreams. Craig Santy is that group’s media director, and his IMDb page says that he is primarily “known for Stop the Pain 804 (2009), Stigmata: Divine Blood (2001) and Little Lost Souls: Children Possessed? (2003).” He also says he’s a reality television producer who has taken time off to help produce a new president.
“I specialize in branding,” he said. “So that’s why I guess I’m really—I feel very at home working on this campaign because this is a lot about branding.”
Santy said he met Robert Kiger, who heads the PAC, through a mutual friend. Kiger, according to The Washington Post, is a “owner of Elegante Polo, retailer of designer polo ensembles.”
“I did a reality show a few years ago with a supermodel and then that supermodel ended up being his girlfriend,” Santy noted.
He also said the PAC has not yet spent any money or had any events.
“We’re still organizing so we haven’t actually held any events yet, but we’re looking at doing some viewer parties for the upcoming debates,” he said. “We’re really, like, certain areas, our support is real strong.”
Just like Trump’s support. Certain areas. Real strong.