A recent campaign flier supporting Republican Congressional candidate Mia Love appeals to conservatives to contribute up to $5,000 to make sure the tea party favorite, who came within about 700 votes of defeating Democrat Jim Matheson in 2012, will be victorious the second time around.
At the top of the flier is a picture of Love taken from her own campaign literature, complete with the Elect Mia Love for Congress logo.
Then in the middle of the flier, between the campaign prose, is another picture of Love with the caption, "Mia Love — Conservative."
There is only one problem: The second picture isn’t Mia Love.
"It’s a scam," said Dave Hansen, a paid consultant to Love’s 2014 campaign for the 4th Congressional District. "This organization soliciting money purportedly on Mia’s behalf has nothing to do with the campaign. We believe it’s somebody using her name to raise money for their own purposes."
Hansen said the Love campaign has appealed to the National Republican Congressional Committee for help, but officials there are not sure they can do anything about it.
This is a result of the Citizens United case, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an interest group can form and raise unlimited money without the disclosure requirements of a campaign as long as it acts independently of the candidate it supports, and there is no contact between the interest group and the campaign.
"Under the law, we are not supposed to have contract with this group," Hansen said. "But they are raising this money without our blessing, and we have no idea what this group plans to do with it."
Meanwhile, the picture in the middle of the flier that purports to be Love is a mystery woman.
"I have no idea who that might be," said Hansen. "She looks like a model."
"There’s plenty we could complain about with our federal government," the flier says. "There’s out of control deficits, higher taxes, erosion of our personal liberty and more. The list is endless."
It then makes the plea that instead of complaining, send money on behalf of a "great patriot like Mia Love." Under the photo of the woman who is not Love, the text continues: "Mia Love’s family came here with just a few bucks in their pocket, and instead of telling Mia to rely on government handouts, they raised her with a work ethic that called for self-reliance and personal achievement."
The flier is distributed by the Conservative Campaign Committee of Sacramento, Calif., and includes a post office box number for donations.
Hansen speculates the Conservative Campaign Committee may be sending out solicitations on behalf of other Republican candidates without their knowledge as well.
If they are, let’s hope they can at least get the right person in the picture.
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