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Is New GOP Super PAC A Scam?

Some Republicans say CAPE PAC not being honest with donors


A new Super PAC claiming to support Republican candidates from Congress is drawing suspicion from those very candidates. The issue? Some Republicans think the web sites it has created soliciting donations to help candidates it supports are misleading donors.

The Coalition of Americans for Political Equality PAC, or CAPE PAC, was founded early in 2011. Its stated mission is “restoring conservative values in the politicians elected to represent all citizens of the United States of America.” It is chaired by Jeff Loyd, a marketing consultant and conservative activist from Arizona, and had mostly stayed under the radar until recently. To date, the Super PAC has raised just $90,000, mostly in small increments.

What got lawmakers’ attention was 39 web sites the Super PAC created to support candidates. These sites encourage people to support these specific candidates, but many Republicans say that it is unclear where the money is actually going. To many, the web sites look very similar to a candidate’s web site, giving the impression that money donated goes straight to the candidate’s campaign, and not to the Super PAC. GOP Congressmen are uneasy about possibly losing campaign donations to a Super PAC that may or may not follow through on supporting those candidates.

Loyd said that he never intended to deceive:

“Basically, CAPE PAC was formed to get people elected. That’s all we’re doing.If there are members of Congress who aren’t interested in us helping them get elected, we don’t want to cause dissension or anything like that…I just don’t know why people want us to pull support for them. Marketing is what it is.”

CAPE PAC is another good example of the absurdity that can ensue when Super PACs are involved. There is not much candidates with CAPE PAC web sites can do to pull down those web sites, since CAPE PAC identifies itself on each of the pages. And of course, they cannot work with CAPE PAC to make the web sites less confusing, since a Super PAC and the candidate it supports cannot coordinate. For now, the two sides will just have to stare at each across the room, like awkward middle-schoolers at a dance.

–Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics 

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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