Michael Avenatti, one of the slickest grifters to arise from the anti-Trump Resistance, is trying to piggyback on the success of Beto O’Rourke to line the pockets of his newly-formed political action committee.
Ted Cruz, O’Rourke’s opponent in the Texas Senate race, took a shot at Avenatti on Monday morning, noting that after the lawyer had recently endorsed Beto, hoping to capitalize on the lawyer’s divisive role in the Kavanaugh Supreme Court Hearings.
Avenatti flipped that, firing back at Cruz and tweeting out a link to an ActBlue donations page.
“Chip in for Beto now,” Avenatti wrote. Except that ActBlue page isn’t a direct donation form to O’Rourke’s campaign, as writer Chris Hooks quickly pointed out.
When you click on the ActBlue link, it takes you to a donation page with both Beto’s logo and the Fight PAC brand. In the fine print above the donation button, it says that the money will be split evenly between O’Rourke’s campaign and the Fight PAC.
There’s an option if you click through to redistribute the money. I tried it briefly, and it does let you give your full donation to Beto, which you can also do by just, like, going to his actual site or direct ActBlue page.
Avenatti formed Fight PAC in August, ostensibly to support Democratic candidates. So there’s a decent chance at least that money going to Fight PAC will make its way back to O’Rourke’s campaign, but absolutely no guarantee of that. And since PACs can only give $5,000 to any one candidate (per election), if Avenatti makes more than five grand off of this particular link, it’s definitely not going to Beto. And since Avenatti himself has mulled a run for office in 2020, it could just be going back to him.
He noted none of this information in the tweet, of course. It currently has 4,500 retweets and over 15,000 likes. Fall may be here, but the Summer of Scam never dies.