If you’ve been watching cable news lately – especially Fox News – you’ve seen ads from the “Conservative Solutions Project” attacking President Obama on a possible nuclear deal with Iran. Here is their ad:
The Conservative Solutions Project is effectively a front for Marco Rubio’s troubled presidential campaign. It exists as both a Super PAC and a 501(c)4 nonprofit, designed to promote Rubio and his campaign. Of course, it cannot legally coordinate with the campaign but there’s no FEC or serious IRS enforcement to be had with this sort of thing, so they get to do what they want. While the Super PAC has to disclose its downers, the 501(c)4 can keep its donors anonymous. Such structures are usually put in place so the operation can be bankrolled by just a few extremely wealthy donors. Billionaire Florida auto dealer Norman Braman has repeatedly backed Rubio with millions of dollars, but it is unclear if his money is in the Project.
The Project conducted voter research in early primary states, in an effort to come up with strategies to flip voters over to Rubio supporters.
The nonprofit for Conservative Solutions Project was created by Warren Tompkins, who also created the Super PAC. Tompkins is a long time Republican operative from South Carolina. He worked for Strom Thurmond, who ran for the presidency on a pro-segregation platform, and Tompkins also worked for George W. Bush when that campaign was accused of pushing out racist fliers in South Carolina attacking Sen. John McCain (at the behest of Karl Rove) for adopting a girl from Bangladesh, his daughter Bridget. Tompkins worked for Mitt Romney in South Carolina in 2008, where Romney lost to McCain by 25%.
GOP operatives Joel McElhannon and Pat Shortridge (a former Enron lobbyist) are also part of Conservative Solutions Project. The group’s spokesperson is Jeff Sadosky
In June of 2014, Conservative Solutions Project received a transfer of $10,000 from Super PAC for America. Super PAC for America was the extremely shady operation run by Dick Morris and Michael Reagan which funneled a lot of money to Morris’ own pockets.