1. A constellation of obscure websites — populated with content stolen from outlets like @Politico, @Axios, & @BuzzFeedNews — has played a significant role in the fundraising success of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Josh Hawley, and other Republicans

@politico @axios @BuzzFeedNews 2. Popular.info identified more than 2 dozen websites controlled by @ASGroupInc.

The company is run by @bgrudnick, a GOP operative.

According to internal marketing materials, Rudnick has used the sites to amass 10 million email address

3. Rudnick rents these emails to political campaigns charging tens of thousands of dollars for each email.

Internal materials obtained by popular.info, show that Rudnick charged 20K to send one email to 1M subscribers to Christian News

4. @politico, @axios, & @BuzzFeedNews told to Popular Information they had no syndication agreement

Less than 24-hours after popular.info contacted Rudnick, he took at least 16 websites offline -- some had been operating for more than 10 years

5. Majorie Taylor Greene (@mtgreenee) paid Rudnick $528,858 in the first 90 days of 2021.

Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) paid Rudnick $398,361 over the same period of time

Other Rudnick clients this year include @SenRickScott, @laurenboebert & @andybiggs4az

6. If you are into investigative reporting and accountability journalism like this, please check out my newsletter.

It's like my Twitter account only with complete sentences and punctuation.

7. Popular.info obtained internal documents describing the ASG's operations after the materials were publicly posted to a directory on ASG's corporate website

8. Rudnick claims to have the ability to "target households and individuals who fall within a certain income range, geographic location, or psychographic profile"

Of particular interest are "Doomsday preppers."

9. As @propublica reported in April, Rudnick charges up to 80% commission on the money raised through his lists.

Supporters think they are backing a candidate but most of their money is going to a consulting firm.

10. Rudnick has a checkered history, including being fired from the Pennsylvania GOP for sending an email that likened "a vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to events that led up to the Holocaust."

11. That hasn't stopped Rudnick from amassing high-profile clients, including many outside of electoral politics.

Other Rudnick clients, according to internal documents, include @realDailyWire, @Citizens_United, and @newsmax.


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More from @JuddLegum

8 Jun
1. Manchin's rationale for opposing the For The People Act, which would thwart state efforts to undermine voting rights, underscores the central role of the @USChamber.

Manchin is essentially quoting the Chamber's talking points

@USChamber 2. April talking points from the @USChamber: "Changes enacted on a partisan basis are the most likely to...undermine public confidence"

Manchin this week: "[P]artisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it"

3. The @USChamber is engaged in an aggressive lobbying campaign against federal action to protect voting rights that is financed by the same corporations who say they support voting rights.

Read 5 tweets
6 Jun
Manchin's justification for opposing to the For The People Act tracks closely to the talking points of the @USChamber

The Chamber, funded by millions from major corporations that claim they support voting rights, is engaged in an aggressive lobbying campaign against the bill
@USChamber MANCHIN, TODAY: "Voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen"

THE CHAMBER, 4/13: "Changes enacted on a partisan basis are the most likely to erode access and security and undermine public confidence"
I wrote more about the Chamber's role here: popular.info/p/the-myth-of-…
Read 4 tweets
6 Jun
If you are alive in 2021 and believe structural racism doesn't exist you need to get out more*
*please get vaccinated first
If you really believe structural racism is a myth I recommend you go down to your local district court and watch criminal cases for a day.
Read 4 tweets
5 Jun
"In Donald J. Trump’s final weeks in office, Mark Meadows, his chief of staff, repeatedly pushed the Justice Department to investigate unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election"

"In 5 emails sent during the last week of December and early January, Meadows asked Rosen, then the acting attorney general, to examine debunked claims of election fraud in New Mexico and an array of baseless conspiracies that held that Mr. Trump had been the actual victor"
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun
1. I have some thoughts on this decision.

Fundamentally, I think the whole back and forth between Facebook and the Oversight Board on this is a DISTRACTION from the core issues.

Follow along if interested.
2. Trump is not Facebook's problem. He's a symptom of Facebook's problems.

He's been off the site for months but Trump's signature type of content -- bigoted, divisive, and false -- continues to proliferate

The issue is not Trump. It's the algorithm.
3. Personally, I don't think Trump should be banned from Facebook right now. Nor do I think it does any good to ban him.

Facebook's algorithm gives massive distribution to hatred and lies.

The company knows exactly how to make changes to fix this but has refused to do so.
Read 6 tweets
3 Jun
1. People are using the untimely death of Trump's blogs as an opportunity to dunk on Trump.

And I get it.

But there is also an important lesson about how algorithmic amplification on social media distorts reality.

Follow along if interested.

2. A tweet and Facebook post from Trump was typically shared and amplified by hundreds of thousands -- even millions of people.

So Trump figured he could post his rants on his blog and his adoring fans would flock to him.

That didn't happen.

3. Trump's popularity was artificially boosted by Facebook & Twitter's algorithms, which reward hatred, misinformation, and other divisive content

Outside of this artificial reality created by social networks, Trump's diatribes have little organic appeal

Read 7 tweets

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