A new political group that supports Georgia Senator David Perdue’s re-election bid has come out in a centrist outfit keen on maintaining a divided government. But behind the scenes, the group is working with a former top attorney and adviser to Trump Whiite House for the super-PAC of a right-wing congressman, which Perdue is now supporting with warnings against “socialism”.
The Purple America Coalition PAC has spent $ 361,500 on digital ads, direct mail and newspaper ads since last week to support Perdue’s campaign against Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff. The group has tried to undercut Ossoff’s allegations that Perdue traded shares based on nonpublic information obtained through his official duties. And it plays up claims that Georgians’ tax rates could skyrocket if Ossoff is elected.
The PAC, according to its website, is “a unique alliance of Democrats, Republicans, libertarians, and independents dedicated to centrist politics and supporting candidates who share this bias”. “Truth, unity, and America’s greatest potential are in the middle, not on the fringes,” he adds. The group’s advertisements ask the Georgians to support Perdue “to keep the balance in Washington!”
However, public records suggest that those behind the PAC are less centrist than that language indicates. These records reveal only three names associated with the group: Trump’s former White House assistant attorney Stefan Passantino and two Georgian political advisors, whose clients include a variety of Republican political campaigns across the state – and who also work with a PAC, The ads run QAnon-supporting Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) warns of an impending socialist takeover if Democrats prevail in Georgia.
The Purple America Coalition PAC’s Facebook ads target those audiences who may respond more to centrist political appeals than to direct approval from Republican candidates. The ads on the platform were run in Georgia only and are targeted at users identified as “Moderate” and “Interested”, such as: B. CNN, NPR, CBS News and Barack Obama Project of the NYU Online Political Transparency Project.
The story goes on
The Purple America Coalition PAC and a sister group 501c4 “Dark Money” were founded in mid-December. So far, they seem to have done little, but Perdue’s endorsement as well as two studies, one downplayed Congress insider trading allegations against Perdue and another claiming democratic tax plans would raise Georgians’ tax rates to about 61 percent of their interest income.
Passantino, who has also worked for the Trump Organization since leaving the White House in 2018, is listed as the PAC’s nominee on Federal Election Commission filings. He is also listed as the founder of Purple America Coalition Inc., the iteration of the group for dark money. He did not respond to inquiries about his involvement.
Also involved are Rick Thompson and David Boles, heads of the RTA Strategy lobbying and public affairs shop in Roswell, GA, and a campaign funding compliance firm called Frontrunner LLC. Of the over eighty clients of these two companies listed in the financial databases for federal and state campaigns since 2012, only two were Democratic political candidates.
Neither Boles nor Thompson, a member of the Georgia Ethics Commission, responded to requests for information about the Purple America Coalition and their participation in the Georgia Senate runoff elections.
Republicans turn to QAnon Central to rescue them in Georgia
While they help lead the Purple America Coalition’s supposedly centrist advocacy in the running for the Georgia Senate, another political group affiliated with Thompson and Boles is far tougher in these competitions. Stop Socialism Now PAC, a group that lists both men as contacts on FEC filing, has bought its own ads to empower Perdue and his Republican candidate, Senator Kelly Loeffler. Boles, the PAC’s treasurer, has signed FEC records for all of the group’s recent independent editions in the race.
While the Purple America Coalition’s news takes on a bipartisan tone, Stop Socialism Now is relying on right-wing red meat to get Republicans to vote on Tuesday. In his ads on Facebook and Instagram, Greene can be seen, the newly elected Georgia Congressman and supporter of the quirky QAnon conspiracy theory.
If Republicans don’t turn out, Greene warns in a Stop Socialism Now ad that Democrats will “steal our two Senate seats and America will plunge into a world of socialism”.
Greene, who blunted for Loeffler and Perdue at a Trump rally in Georgia on Tuesday, was also a customer of Boles’ and Thompson’s Frontrunner LLC in the 2020 cycle, FEC records show. Her campaign made regular payments to the company for using the campaign funding reporting software. Their campaign also directed payments to an electoral compliance company co-founded by Passantino, and he was listed as a registered agent for the campaign by Greene.
Greene and Boles appear to be in agreement on a few key election topics for 2020. Before Boles made his Twitter account private last week, that account recently featured a retweet of Greene’s efforts to advance unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about a stolen election in Georgia. “Request an examination of every single vote,” Greene tweeted in November.
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