In the week leading up to Tuesday’s Senate runoff in Georgia, Montana Congressman-elect Ryan Zinke (R) sent at least nine messages asking his supporters to donate to the Georgia Senate candidate , Herschel Walker.
“GEORGIA UPDATE: Herschel Walker is on the ropes, and he needs ALL Republicans to send in their support NOW, or the Senate will be lost,” read a text released Monday. (Even if Walker wins, Democrats will retain control of the Senate.)
Walker, the former soccer star who has been plagued by scandals throughout the race, takes on Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Tuesday’s runoff. Warnock, the incumbent, has outmoded Walker by more than 2 to 1, and a limited poll shows Warnock with a slight edge in the second round on Tuesday.
Zinke’s post included a link to a webpage hosted by GOP fundraising platform WinRed, where people are encouraged to “pick up” contributions ranging from $10 to $2,900 to help Walker “stop the majority.” democrat”.
There is a catch. Unless a donor clicks on the fine print that allows them to adjust the amount of the allocation, only half of their money goes to Walker’s campaign. The other half goes to Zinke vaults.
Zinke, the scandal-ridden former Trump administration official, won last month’s race for Montana’s new House seat and, according to Politico, is already considering a 2024 Senate bid. He has not publicly expressed support for Walker’s campaign, according to HuffPost’s review. social media and interviews.
And he’s just one of many Republicans who clung to Walker’s offer in the aftermath, using the contested runoff to grow their own war chest.
The senses. Lindsay Graham (RS.C.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), and the Indiana Republican Party all have WinRed donation pages similar by default to a 50/50 split with Walker’s campaign. Graham and Scott are among the Republicans who have joined Walker several times in television appearancessometimes dominating the interviews.
The most egregious solicitations surrounding the race in Georgia have come from Republican committees and party leaders. The Republican National Senate Committee (NRSC), which Scott chairs, and the Republican National Committee took up to 99% of individual donations that, on the face of it, would appear to benefit Walker, leaving the contestant a meager $1 for every $100 received.
A fundraising email President Trump last month warned that “our Senate majority is on the line” and urged potential donors to “IMMEDIATELY contribute ANY AMOUNT to Georgia’s official second-round fundraising goal.” The fine print, however, automatically diverted 90% of individual contributions to the former president’s political action committee, the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, leaving only 10% to Walker.
Fundraising emails from JD Vance (Ohio) and Ted Budd (NC) elected by GOP Sens. were originally split 90/10 by default, according to NBC News.
The Walker campaign and Republican operatives condemned the tactic.
“We need everyone to focus on winning the Georgia Senate race, and the deceptive fundraising tactics of teams that just won their races are diverting money away from Georgia,” the manager said. Walker’s campaign, Scott Paradise. says NBC last month.
“This is the last fight of 2022, and every dollar will help,” Paradise added. “Companies and consultants raising money on this requirement should remove it.”
In an interview with Mediaite Isaac Schorr this weeka source close to Walker’s campaign called Walker’s campaign fundraisers “a bunch of vultures and hyenas.”
Steven Law, the head of the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a PAC controlled by allies of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, accused the NRSC of working to “rob their candidates.” NRSC officials were quick to dismiss the allegations.
“@HerschelWalker campaign and @NRSC working hand in hand,” NRSC political director Stu Sandler wrote in a Nov. 15 statement. Publish to Twitter. “The NRSC invests $16 million in Georgia and continues. We are a team. NRSC spends in Georgia, don’t worry.
Several candidates and committees subsequently adjusted once lopsided allocations in favor of a 50/50 split, NBC reported. But with so much money thrown all over Georgia, Republicans are still trying to grab a slice of the pie — until the 11th hour.
“Patriotic Herschel Walker needs my help, but I have nothing left to give,” read a Zinke campaign text on Tuesday afternoon, hours before the polls closed in Georgia. “Would you save $8 if it meant winning the Senate?”
It absolutely does not mean that. Democrats have already won 50 seats and will control the chamber via the deciding vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. If Warnock wins, the Democrats will have a 51-49 outright majority.