May 14, 2022

‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander made a big win at Curious Time

A week after congressional investigators subpoenaed Jan. 6 organizer Ali Alexander, a dormant super PAC sent thousands of dollars to his former consulting firm.

The payment, intended for admirably vague “PAC management services,” came on Oct. 16 from “Stop The Steal PAC.” At $6,000, the payment was more than half the money the group had raised before the riot, and Alexander’s company, Vice and Victory, was one of only two sellers.

Interestingly, the campaign’s only other vendor was “A Political Firm, LLC,” the company owned by the super PAC’s treasurer, a full-time compliance consultant named Patrick Krason. Krason denounced the Jan. 6 riot and stressed to The Daily Beast that his role with the PAC, like with his other clients, did not go beyond filing documents.

However, this task seems to have been difficult. And the confusion may impact the Jan. 6 investigation, because if the subpoena specifically asked for information about Alexander’s “Stop the Steal” band, it might not have asked for the right information, or at least not all the right information.

The confusion was not because the PAC had too many donors. “Stop the Steal” only received one contribution, for $11,000, on the last day of 2020. The money, however, came from a donor whose name, address, occupation and employer are all listing as “unknown”.

It was a problem. Federal election law requires committees to disclose such donor information, or at least do their best to do so. In this case, however, it appears that Alexander — a small, longtime GOP operative, conspiracy theorist, and key architect of January 6 — made it impossible.

In a note attached to file, the PAC treasurer explained that payment processors cut off access after Jan. 6, when Alexander’s “Stop the Steal” rally turned directly into an attack on the U.S. Capitol. By then, news reports had drawn attention to the former fringe politician, spreading his name and image as one of the most influential figures behind the rallies. Not that he needed much help; by then, Alexander, whose biggest claim to fame so far had been a retweet from Don Jr., had clarified his role himself.

As a result of this attention, however, he became the target of investigators and went on the loose. And that’s when the payment platforms blocked the PAC, leaving Krason in the lurch.

Its memo told the Federal Election Commission that the platforms had chosen “to unilaterally and without notice cancel the processing agreement and to cut off all access to their platforms following the events of January 6…in Washington DC and to refuse to work with PAC to meet its compliance obligations.”

“The PAC team” was working to obtain donor information from payment processors, he wrote, adding that the group would file an amended report as soon as the information was received.

And while it’s possible that this information was all released in the committee’s January 6 subpoena, it may not be. That’s because PAC might not even be on their radar.

It may be somewhat surprising to see that the “Stop the Steal PAC” has received almost no money, despite the popularity of the movement, the fervor of its adherents, and the success of other fundraising efforts for the same cause. . The tens of millions of dollars that Donald Trump’s campaign apparatus sucked up at once provides the most notable contrast, as the groups were trading the same lies with the same general audience.

But when the PAC was launched, the organization “Stop the Steal” was describe as “a collection of disgraced right-wing internet personalities”. And while Alexander’s name now appears in mainstream press and network news, on the eve of the riot, he largely operated on the fringes.

Moreover, Alexander’s name has never been linked to the PAC in official documents. His friend Daniel Bostic, a budding model and actor whom Alexandre has helped promote along with a number of bogus Bostic “celebrity” fan websites and Twitter accounts – was listed in the original organizational documents, however. And website data shows that the “Stop the Steal PAC” site is owned by Alexander’s company, Vice and Victory.

But Alexander took action after the riot to cover those digital leads, interference domains for many websites he owned.

Bostic’s name disappeared from PAC registration documents shortly after it appeared in reports. And Alexander also changed the terms of service on the “Stop the Steal” website – a site he described as “the hotbed of rebellion against an illegitimate government”.

The measures appear to have created conflicts with federal campaign finance law, raising questions about the “Stop the Steal” type of entity. This would determine which federal agency has regulatory authority over the group, as well as what information is covered by the congressional subpoena.

The Committee’s January 6 subpoena reflects this confusion.

In one letter to Alexander, the panel asserted that “Stop the Steal” is an LLC, pointing to Alexander’s own words in the website Terms of use. The panel then asked Alexander to provide documents relating to this LLC. The letter, however, never mentions the PAC.

According to today’s Terms of Service page, the last change was on December 30, 2020, a week before the riot. However, an earlier version of the Terms of Service, archived a few weeks after the riot, does not include this language LLC. This means that the terms were in fact changed after December 30, 2020 and the site’s current claim is otherwise inaccurate. (The archived page also indicates that it was last modified on December 30, 2020.)

Instead, the terms of service state that “Stop the Steal” had acted as a PAC until the riot, then attempted to switch to a limited liability company later. For example, the website made a major change to its donation portal after the riot, adding links to two of Alexander’s personal cryptocurrency wallets, which weren’t on previous versions of this page. This money would go directly to Alexander, not to the PAC account as it would have done before.

Finally, all available versions of the site’s terms, both current and archived, deny that donations to the group are political in nature and subject to federal election law. But Krason may find this pertinent passage infuriating.

“Federal law requires us to do our best to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and employer name of individuals whose contributions total more than $200 per election cycle,” the page reads. .