Fake U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth is scamming voters, donors, and political consultants with her God-guns-and-fetuses medicine show. Her enormous debt to political exploitation firm Base Connect shows she's not serious about politics; she and her scheming husband Chad Haber are simply creating the illusion of financial support, hoping to create a bandwagon effect that will last just long enough to pad their legal defense fund.
Bosworth's campaign reminds a Dakota War College commenter of Duane Sand's perennially failing political efforts in North Dakota. Sand last splashed in North Dakota's 2012 GOP Senate primary against Rick Berg. Sand lost to Berg 2 to 1; Berg then lost to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp (history! parallels! please continue!).
Sand, like Bosworth, chained himself to Base Connect. As with Bosworth, Base Connect's direct-mail efforts drew a large percentage of small, non-itemizable contributions. As with Bosworth, Base Connect still didn't help Sand out-fundraise his front-running GOP opponent (Sand raised over a million, but Berg raised over $3 million). And like Bosworth, Sand incurred so much debt to Base Connect that he had little left for real campaigning.
Sand blew so much money on Base Connect that he is still raising money to pay them off. Two years later, Sand still owes Base Connect and its affiliates $75,000. He's not running for anything, but he's still raising money and fleecing inattentive donors.
Rob Port of the North Dakota blogosphere calls Sand and others who use Base Connect "willing dupes." But the real rub with Bosworth's Senate scam is that Base Connect's business model relies on shouting conservative platitudes at willing dupes around the country, far removed from the candidates and the local press attention that shows their inadequacy.
Jim Fuglie investigated Sand's list of Base Connect donors and found this troubling pattern of exploitation:
So who are these people who give Duane all this money? Well, let me tell you, I’ve talked to a few of them, and for the most part, they seem to be pretty nice folks—if a little gullible. After I talked to some of them, I compiled a profile. Well, actually, a short profile. A very short profile. They have two things in common: The first number in their age in almost always 8 or 9, and almost none of them are from North Dakota.
A typical donor was John Valerius, age 81, from Irving Texas (a suburb of Dallas), who sent Duane a check every time he got one of Duane’s letters, which was pretty often, because his total for the campaign was $2,850 [Jim Fuglie, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The Prairie Blog, 2013.04.17].
Fuglie found that Valerius wrote six checks to Sand after the primary. Fuglie asked Valerius if he knew Valerius had lost before he wrote those last six checks,
“I did not know he lost the primary,” John said. “I’m troubled now that I know it. I would have sent less if I had known it” [Fuglie, 2013.04.17].
Don't fall for the "care for you" rhetoric. Bosworth, like Sand, is gambling and plunging herself into debt using a company that preys on senior citizens.
Bosworth donors, this is what you're signing on for: a scam artist like Sand who will wrap herself in all the familiar conservative slogans, take your money, and give most of it to direct-mail profiteers. A small percentage of your money may pay for a shoddy ad or two (complete with copyrighted material pirated from unpaid campaign companies). It may pay off a few stiffed raffle ticketholders. It may help Bosworth and Haber pay lawyers to defend them from unpaid employees and possibly attentive prosecutors who could charge the couple with fraud and misuse of non-profit resources for political purposes.
Learn from Duane Sand, fellow citizens: the money you send Annette Bosworth will not serve your political goals. It will serve one selfish, unstable woman to advance her and her husband's destructive delusions of grandeur.