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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Alabama Secretary of State’s Office on Pro-Doug Jones PAC’s Voter Intimidation Effort

    Alabama Secretary of State’s Office on Pro-Doug Jones PAC’s Voter Intimidation Effort: ‘A Targeted Effort to Misinform and Confuse Voters’



    by JEFF POOR
    4 Dec 2017

    Monday, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office issued a statement on an ad produced by the super PAC Highway 31, which is promoting the candidacy of Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Doug Jones in next week’s special election.

    The ad claims that votes are “public record” and one’s “community” would know if they did what was necessary to defeat Jones’ opponent Republican Roy Moore.

    “If you don’t vote, and Roy Moore – a child predator – wins, could you live with that? Your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore,” she said.
    The statement calls the ad “a targeted effort to misinform and confuse voters,” but says it has not received follow-up information from the Highway 31 PAC.

    Statement as follows:

    MONTGOMERY – In the Alabama Secretary of State Office’s continued efforts to empower and encourage all Alabama residents to participate in the electoral process, one issue our office must work toward is the reconciliation of any instance whereby voter confusion is presented.

    Reports from several sources indicate a targeted effort to misinform and confuse voters regarding whether an individuals’ voting record would be available to the public. No individual voting record is made available to anyone at anytime, including the voter who cast the ballot.

    When voters cast a ballot the State of Alabama’s voter registration system is updated to document the election that a voter participated in but no record is ever made documenting the candidate for whom the ballot was cast.

    In the Alabama Primary and Primary Run-off Elections a record is made which would indicate whether a voter had voted in either the Democrat or Republican party race but the name of the candidate for whom the voter cast their ballot is never recorded.

    Additionally, in Alabama, voters do not provide political party affiliation when they register to vote because the state does not track that information.

    A link to a recorded copy of the ad as reported to the Secretary of State’s Office is available below.


    https://tinyurl.com/y7obeyzs

    We have communicated with the individual(s) that created the video and have expressed to them the misinterpretations presented in this political commercial. At the time of this release follow-up communication had not yet been received.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...onfuse-voters/

    https://tinyurl.com/y7obeyzs
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Pro-Doug Jones Super PAC Using Voter Intimidation Tactics — Ad Claims ‘Your Vote Is Public Record’
    by JEFF POOR
    4 Dec 2017

    Highway 31, a Birmingham-based pro-Doug Jones super PAC is using what could be perceived as voter intimidation tactics against Roy Moore by suggesting the votes cast in a December 12 special election are “public record.”

    Beginning last week, some Alabamians were posting on social media about encountering online pre-roll video advertising making such a claim.


    Joemantler@Joemantler
    "Your vote is Public Record. And your community will know if you helpd stop Roy Moore" Anyone else think this looks like voter intimidation? #VoterIntimidation
    2:20 PM - Dec 3, 2017



    Joan Alexander@joanalex28
    In watching some youtube videos on Cash Cab there is an ad running for Doug Jones as follows: "Your vote is public record & your community will know if you voted to stop Roy Moore" @MooreSenate I will just leave this here. #VoteRoyMoore
    7:37 PM - Dec 2, 2017


    James Owens@JamesOw52157488

    @fmtalk1065 have you seen the YouTube ad for Doug Jones where they state that "your vote is public record and your community will know if you fought to stop Roy Moore "? Is that not voter intimidation?
    7:42 PM - Dec 2, 2017


    Dale Jackson@TheDaleJackson


    I keep hearing there are Doug Jones' ads declaring your vote will be public, which is silly and untrue.
    Anyone have proof of this? #alpolitics #alsen
    12:09 PM - Dec 2, 2017


    Breitbart News has obtained two of those ads, both which taken by a resident in the Montgomery, AL designated market area.

    Watch at the Link

    One declares Moore to be a “child predator,” a claim apparently based on a report that lays out decades-old allegations that he acted inappropriately and that he engaged in sexual misconduct with underage women while employed as a prosecutor in Etowah County, AL in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

    After leveling the “child predator” charge, the narrator tells viewers their vote is public record, and their community will know if they “helped stop Roy Moore.”

    “If you don’t vote, and Roy Moore – a child predator – wins, could you live with that? Your vote is public record and your community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore,” she said.
    Another shorter advertisement, clocked at five seconds, also declares your vote public record and says “you community will know whether or not you helped stop Roy Moore.”

    At the end of each of those videos, the group Highway 31 claims responsibility for the ad and directs viewers to its website.

    Little is known about the Highway 31 super PAC given that it has been intentionally set up in a manner that prevents the public from discovering who is funding it.

    According to a report from the Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay, voters won’t know the source of nearly $2 million worth of ads until after the election.

    “Super PACs are required to disclose their donors, but the group Highway 31 has structured its spending in a way that campaign-finance experts say is almost unprecedented,” Markay wrote. “While legal, it will have the effect of obscuring the group’s benefactors, who will have financed a series of ads over the last two months of the campaign propping up Jones and hammering his Republican opponent, former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.”

    An earlier report from Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy showed three Washington, D.C. consulting firms with ties to former Obama campaign staffers “have provided millions of dollars in advertising services” for Highway 31.

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-governm...public-record/

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    NOVEL AND SHADY


    The Super PAC Attacking Roy Moore Won’t Disclose Its Donors Before the Vote

    Highway 31 has spent millions to defeat the GOP candidate. And it won’t reveal who finances it till after the election. The kicker: It’s all legal.

    LACHLAN MARKAY

    12.01.17 8:52 AM ET


    The biggest independent spender in the contentious Alabama Senate race is a super PAC backing Democrat Doug Jones. But voters will have no idea who is funding its seven-figure ad blitz until the election is over.

    Super PACs are required to disclose their donors, but the group Highway 31 has structured its spending in a way that campaign-finance experts say is almost unprecedented. While legal, it will have the effect of obscuring the group’s benefactors, who will have financed a series of ads over the last two months of the campaign propping up Jones and hammering his Republican opponent, former State Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore.

    Highway 31 has reported nearly $2 million worth of ads in the race, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission, making it the single largest independent spender of the general-election contest. The group filed what was expected to be its first itemized disclosure of donors and expenditures Thursday. But in the filing, Highway 31 said it had received and spent no money whatsoever.

    Instead, the filing revealed, a handful of Democratic campaign vendors have produced and placed a number digital ads for the group entirely on credit. Though it disclosed no income or expenditures, Highway 31 listed debts owed to those vendors, and the amounts owed match up precisely with the values of the ads it reported to the FEC.

    In other words, the group is financing its ad campaign on debt. A donor could step in after the race and contribute enough money to Highway 31 to pay off those debts. Or, alternatively, the vendors could choose to forgive the debts, in which case the services provided to the super PAC would be counted as in-kind contributions to the group, and require an amended FEC filing classifying them as such.

    In either case, voters will have no way of knowing who effectively paid for the ads until the Alabama race is over and Highway 31 files its post-election report with the FEC. That filing won’t be public until January.

    Campaign-finance experts say this method of effectively obscuring the funds behind a high-dollar super PAC is extremely rare, and potentially troubling. Super PACs can accept and spend unlimited sums. But disclosure of its donors is supposed to provide a degree of accountability for the organizations. The structure of Highway 31’s spending negates that accountability almost completely, at least in the near term.

    “This is wild,” said Brendan Fischer, the director of FEC and federal reform programs at the Campaign Legal Center, an ethics watchdog group, when alerted to Highway 31’s FEC filing. “This looks like a blatant effort to dodge disclosure requirements. And it could have the effect of keeping voters in the dark about who is funding these ads until after Election Day.”

    “I suspect that the vendors who created these ads will wait to invoice the campaign for a few weeks. And then, after Election Day has passed, some megadonor will drop a few million into the Highway 31 super PAC and pay off its debts,” Fischer said.

    The debts are owed primarily to two Democratic campaign consultancies, both based in Washington: Bully Pulpit Interactive and Waterfront Strategies. Fischer acknowledged that the vendors could simply forgive the debts, and that the super PAC could then report the ads as in-kind contributions. But, Fischer said, he doubts that’s what will happen. “If the vendors intended to produce the ads for free, they could have disclosed these as in-kind contributions at the front end.”

    Highway 31’s executive director, Alabama media consultant Adam Muhlendorf, defended its structure in an email to The Daily Beast. The group “continues to follow every appropriate rule and regulation,” Muhlendorf said. “The end of the reporting period was in the middle of the PACs startup. The PAC will file contributors per the FEC reporting schedule.”

    But that reporting schedule doesn’t call for another FEC filing until mid-January, meaning Alabama voters won’t know who financed the group until more than a month after they’ve elected their next senator. “At least we'll eventually find out who funded this super PAC,” Fischer noted. “If Jones wins, that information will let the press and public know whether the beneficiary of this spending later takes action to benefit these donors.”

    Highway 31’s odd reporting practices are not entirely without precedent. A Republican super PAC opposing Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens’ 2016 campaign set up its finances in a similar way, reporting debts to three advertisers and consultants before it had any income. It later received contributions from a company headquartered at the same address as the super PAC—contributions totalling almost precisely the sum it owed to those vendors.

    But that super PAC, Patriots for America, disclosed those contributions months before the election (though the company behind them remained somewhat mysterious). By contrast, Alabama voters will have no idea who is financing Highway 31’s ads when they go to the polls a week from Tuesday.

    Assuming, as Fischer predicted, that the vendors do not end up having provided their services pro-bono, he said, “this looks like a shady scheme to deprive voters of information about who is trying to influence them.”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-su...efore-the-vote
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    From open Secrets,

    Bully Pulpit Interactive

    Vendor/Recipient: Bully Pulpit Interactive

    2016 2014 2012 2010 2008 Total reported payments, 2016 cycle: $83,103,813

    NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2015-2016 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Monday, August 14, 2017.


    Waterfront Strategies
    Vendor/Recipient: Waterfront Strategies

    2016 2014 2012 2010 2008 Total reported payments, 2016 cycle: $187,404,558

    NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2015-2016 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data available electronically on Monday, August 14, 2017.

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