To those who hoped that the end of the campaign would somehow lead to a respite from hearing about candidate related nonprofits with interlocking big money ties, Trump’s proposed nonprofit is a big disappointment.
One interest of Mercer’s is to assure that the new Trump nonprofit maintains its business relationship with Cambridge Analytica, a data and analytics provider partly owned by the Mercers and a vendor to the Trump campaign. The campaign has been praised for its digital strategy, but Trump digital director Parscale downplays Mercer’s company’s role in that success.
The new organization is said to be modeled on the nonprofit group established to support Barack Obama’s election as president and, subsequently, to provide communications and logistics for issues and initiatives. OFA started as Obama for America, then became Organizing for America, and is currently the 501(c)(4) social welfare nonprofit Organizing for Action. Similar nonprofit organizations, Correct the Record and Priorities USA Action, were established to promote the candidacy of Hillary Clinton under the leadership of David Brock, the founder of MediaMatters. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has encountered ethical difficulties in operating a similar nonprofit early in his mayoral tenure (since disbanded) that persist to this day.
To those who hoped that the end of the campaign would somehow lead to a respite from hearing about candidate related nonprofits with interlocking big money ties, Trump’s proposed nonprofit is a disappointment. It seems that these organizations are becoming the norm for candidates and elected officials to maintain a personal communications and advocacy structure between elections that can support their policy goals. The problem is that they also provide a fertile environment for influence peddling and sweetheart deals outside the ethics restrictions of government service.