Robocalls are the worst, aren’t they? I get them too often, and I even installed one of those spam blockers on my phone. That goes for political calls as well, as most of you from purple states or districts will likely agree. But there’s been a particularly bad robocalling scheme going on lately, asking people to donate money to President Trump’s 2020 reelection or to help fund the building of the border wall. But wait… you might actually want to help with those things so it’s not so bad, right?
Not in this case. According to CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski, these calls are coming from a shady operation that’s claiming to be affiliated with the President, but in reality, have nothing to do with Trump 2020. And the guy in charge of it appears to be pocketing most of the money.
Calls like this one, said to number more than 200,000, have helped raise more than $100,000 in January alone, but that money isn’t going to the Trump campaign, whose spokesperson told CNN they were not affiliated with the calls. Instead, the calls are coming from a political action committee that isn’t affiliated with Trump’s re-election effort and hasn’t spent any money so far in this or last election cycle, according to records from the Federal Election Commission.
A CNN KFile investigation into the group behind the calls, Support American Leaders PAC, reveals it is run by 32-year-old Matthew Tunstall, who has a history of managing shadowy groups that target people with politically charged calls in order to raise money while doing very little — if anything at all — to put that money toward a political purpose. Tunstall made more than $300,000 through these groups in the 2016 presidential cycle, FEC records show.
You have to read through all the details to see just how bold this operation has been. If the reports are accurate, these calls seem to be in direct violation of campaign finance laws in many instances. The name of the actual PAC behind the calls is never given to the victim, nor the name of the guy running this operation, Matthew Tunstall. But his “Trump supporting” activities aren’t all he’s done. He’s been running these schemes under different organizational names purporting to support both liberal and conservative causes. It doesn’t seem to matter as long as you make a donation.
And where do those donations go? The FEC can’t seem to find a single case where Tunstall has donated one dime to any candidate, party or other political entity. All the money goes to running television advertisements to generate more donations. Well… not all the money. Tunstall has to pay his own salary, of course, which runs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Good work if you can get it, eh? But now that he’s been exposed, the FEC is looking into the matter. There may be an expensive lesson coming in the near future. In the meantime, if you get any calls asking you to help out the President and they’re coming from any of the names listed in that article, it’s probably best to hang up and/or report the call to the police. Of course, that’s pretty good advice in most cases. Don’t bust out your credit card and donate to anyone until you’ve researched them and know precisely where the money is actually going.