When Donald Trump took office in 2017 many people feared the worst. During his campaign, he promised to build a wall to keep out immigrants, discussed creating religious registries, and was recorded making claims of sexual assault on women. A large group of the American population worried that their rights would diminish during a Trump Presidency.
As a reaction to the fears stirred up by Trump in the White House, the Democratic Party responded with the Resistance. In essence, the Resistance is a combination of activists, groups, Democrat Party leaders, and Democrat-leaning celebrities or media personalities. The purpose of the Resistance has been to organize people against the harshest parts of Donald Trump’s platform. Whether through organized marches and protests, or donning pink hats as a way to promote feminism, there have been many forms of resisting Donald Trump.
While the Resistance might boost morale or inspire some people, it has also become an opportunity for others in the media to make thousands of dollars. Enter Scott Dworkin, an MSNBC contributor, who claims to lead the Resistance in his twitter bio. He has regularly appeared on Joy-Ann Reid’s show, AmJoy. During his appearances, Dworkin has pushed theories of a connection between Donald Trump and the Russian government. He hypes this connection as something that will lead to the impeachment of the President. But that is not where Dworkin’s efforts end; in fact, it’s just the beginning.
Dworkin co-founded a Super PAC, The Democratic Coalition, to resist Trump. On their website, they claim they were
...formed in the Spring of 2016 with the main goal of making sure that Donald Trump never became President. The organization now exists to hold the Trump White House accountable, and is directly countering Donald Trump, along with Republican elected officials and candidates who support him, through aggressive digital and traditional advertising, grassroots action, in-depth opposition research, and a nationwide rapid-response team.
The Democratic Coalition’s website is littered with links for donating, as are many of Dworkin’s social media posts. When the visitor clicks on one of those links they are brought to ActBlue, where they have have a wide range of donation options from large to small. This begs the question, where does all this money go? On the ActBlue site it states,
Our research team, led by Co-Founder Scott Dworkin, is working day and night to find hard evidence to counter Fake News and prove a clear link between the Trump administration and Russia. The evidence we’ve found has been featured on MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and dozens of other news outlets. Please support our work with a donation!
During the 2017-2018 election cycle, The Democratic Coalition took in a reported $221,847.62 from individual contributors and spent $209,073.96. A closer look at their expenditures revealed something of interest. The Super PAC made multiple payments of $5,000-10,000 dollars to a firm BULLDOG FINANCE GROUP, for “Consultant-Fundraising.” A quick search of Bulldog Finance Group revealed that its founder was none other than Scott Dworkin himself. In total, Dworkin, who sits on the board of The Democratic Coalition, agreed to pay his consultant firm $79,500.
Furthermore, other expenditures made by the Democratic Coalition had ties to someone sitting on their board, Jarad Geldner, who is listed as the Super PAC’s senior adviser. Geldner also founded FWD Communications, a public relations firm. The Democratic Coalition made multiple payments to Geldner’s firm totaling $18,500.
The Democratic Coalition also made multiple payments to their executive director, Nathan Lerner, their national fundraising director, Demitri Dawson, and to Facebook for ads.
While we can prove that the Democratic Coalition financially benefited both Bulldog Finance Group and FWD Communications and their founders, there is little proof that any “work” the Super PAC has done helped resist Donald Trump. By using the fear created by Trump’s Presidency and the possible connection between him and Russia, Scott Dworkin’s Super PAC has generated over $200,000. A majority of that money then goes to Scott and other consultants, not to grassroots resistance groups or towards ways for people to actively resist Trump.
Rather, Dworkin’s Super PAC promotes fear through a repeating cycle of Russian-based propaganda, which garners donations, which pay consultants that generate those stories over and over again, garnering yet more donations. As to what purpose his Super PAC actually serves, it appears to be little more than a Möbius strip of self-serving opportunism. The money sent to this Super PAC would be better spent in other ways to help fight back against a Trump administration. Donors could be sending money to candidates or grassroots organizations, rather than to the whims of Scott Dworkin.