Unity08 Gropes for Big Money Behind Courtroom Doors
Unity08 has recently revised its web page entitled “Our Beliefs, Our Goals & Why We’ll Succeed,” adding references to its new Advisory Council, every member of which gave (or had their spouse give) the maximum permissible donation to Unity08 before being named to the Council. Before the announcement of the formation of the Advisory Council, Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris told me directly, “Please understand that our $5,000 contributors get nothing in return. There is no ambassadorship. There are no special privileges.” Golly gee, but it looks like things turned out differently.
Despite its revisions, Unity08 continues to this day to maintain the following public claim about itself:
Unity08 intends to fix this broken system by electing a bipartisan “Unity Ticket” to the White House in â€˜08 funded solely by small-dollar donations from everyday Americans.
We already know that Unity08 has been hauling in supermajorities of its contributions from large-dollar $5,000 checks written by members of the venture capital and hedge fund industries, violating the very Clean Money Pledge it sought to impose on other presidential candidates. And in its lawsuit filed against the Federal Election Commission, seeking to avoid limits in the size of campaign contributions it can receive, Unity08 claims it never actually desired to fund its effort through “small-dollar donations” in the first place:
It is fact that Unity08 would take loans greater than $5,000 if not for the legal limit and threat of prosecution. Unity08 imposed the $5,000 limit because of the threat of prosecution by the FEC for potential violation of the campaign finance laws. (Unity08 court filing of May 3, 2007)
These statements just don’t match.