Steve Scalise, Majority Whip in the House of Representatives, is asking conservative activists for contributions to stop former President Barack Obama “from rigging our elections.”
“Barack Obama just made his move – revealing his scheme to interfere in the 2019 midterms,” warns the letter sent to subscribers to pundit Ben Shapiro’s newsletter. “And it’s bad news.”
“His political machine has just released a ‘hit list’ of 27 Republican held seats,” the letter continues. “That’s enough to flip the Majority … we have to stop him.”
Scalise is referring to an announcement made earlier this month by Organizing for Action, an advocacy group that was created out of Obama’s campaign infrastructure. The group announced that it would be actively mobilizing volunteers in 27 House races.
Getting people involved in campaigns is part of what advocacy groups do. But Scalise portrays it at something nefarious:
Up until now… Obama has been operating behind the scenes. We know he is meeting potential 2020 Democrat Presidential candidates… and that he’s behind a scheme to redraw district maps to erase Republicans.
But this is totally new – and it’s unprecedented for a former President to interfere this way. I’ve never heard of anything like this.
Contribute $25 to Stop Obama From Rigging Our Elections
If we want to stop Barack Obama from interfering in our elections, we have to act right now.
Clicking through to the donate page brings up a black-and-white photo of Obama and the urgent message, “Obama is targeting 27 GOP seats! We need your help!”
The letter doesn’t make clear how the donation will make a difference, because it’s not going to a Republican campaign fund but to Scalise’s personal campaign committee. Scalise’s very red, very safe seat is not on OFA’s list. But Scalise, who is pondering a run for Speaker of the House, may be hoping to stockpile a big campaign surplus that he can dole out to other candidates and earn some political chits. (A candidate’s campaign committee is allowed to give $1,000 per election to another candidate; leadership PACs can give up to $5,000 per election to a candidate.)
The letter and the donation page declare: “DOUBLE-MATCH STATUS: ACTIVE.” Donor matching is frequently used by nonprofit organizations and candidates as an incentive for supporters to make a contribution. But there’s no additional explanation in Scalise’s letter about who would be matching respondents’ contributions.