It’s only been a couple months, but conservatives are already plotting how to replace the new batch of Democrats in the House.
Ashley Balcerzak, a reporter with the Center for Public Integrity, posted a screenshot on Thursday of a new political action committee whose goal for the 2020 elections is crystal clear. The paperwork for the Defeat I.O. PAC was filed on March 12 and signed the following day. The PAC is the latest in a string of new organizing bodies aimed at taking down Omar and fellow freshman Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
According to their FEC filing, the committee is based in Minnesota and is solely focused on opposing a future Omar re-election campaign. It’s also a super PAC, meaning it can accept unlimited donations.
The filing lists Amir Einafshar as the treasurer and Daniel Wholihan as the custodian of records. While Einafshar’s address lists him as a Minnesota resident, Wholihan is a Michigan-based attorney that specializes in estate planning and campaign law. He’s also a political consultant who, per his personal website, used to run a blog called the “Republican Michigander” and served for at least four years as the Livingston County GOP chair. Wholihan also previously worked as treasurer for the Steve Stockman for Senate PAC. Stockman, a Republican House representative from Texas, was convicted in April 2018 on 23 felony fraud charges. When reached for comment via email, Wholihan provided the following statement to Splinter:
I am strictly an advisor in regard to campaign finance compliance matters and do not speak for the committee. “Defeat I.O. PAC” is a nonpartisan PAC and our Chair is Kevin Einafshar.
Reached for comment by Splinter, Einafshar cited Omar’s recent “racially insensitive rhetoric”:
The origins of this PAC started from Ms. Omar’s racially insensitive rhetoric, which has been over and over repeated. It has become a mainstream aspect of our media in the past few months.
Conservatives aren’t the only ones eyeing a replacement for Omar, though. News of this super PAC was preceded by a report published by The Hill early Thursday morning detailing the Democratic opposition Omar’s already facing just two months into her term. According to the piece, Democrats, both in D.C. and in Minnesota, are already looking for primary candidates to run against Omar after her recent remarks about the powerful Israel lobby—though, to be clear, the people that The Hill interviewed, such as state Sen. Ron Latz, either opposed Omar’s candidacy in 2018 or ran against her in the spring primary. (It’s also worth remembering that Omar damn near broke the state record when she took home 78 percent of the Fifth District’s vote after local organizing efforts secured her the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s backing.)
While the opposition to Omar is its own twisted mess, the anti-Omar super PAC isn’t exactly unique. Ocasio-Cortez was the first of the freshman Democrats to face preemptive PAC opposition, as the Stop the AOC PAC, backed by shady conservative grifter Dan Backer, was reported by Media Matters last week.
2020 is going to be a shitshow.