David Hogg Group Hit With Allegations Over Spending Practices And Policies

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Apr 09, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

Gun control activist David Hogg has been hit with allegations over the spending practices of his group Leaders We Deserve PAC. Conservative outlets are reporting that the group spent comparably little on actual candidates as opposed to travel and expenses. His prior counsel is a familiar name in such controversies in Washington: former Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias.

(Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Hogg created a group in the aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections to elect Generation Z politicians to offices throughout the country. The group was given favorable national coverage in major media outlets. He explained that contributions would be used to elect young Democrat candidates:

“[We’re] trying to pick them and say, you know, we would like to help you run for office, we’ll supply you with all of the resources that you need and help basically coach you and hold your hand to get there, which is kind of the gap that’s in the space right now, for at least young people at the state legislative level.”

Federal filings reportedly show that year-end 2023, Leaders We Deserve raised over $3 million. That is impressive for its first year in operation.

The conservative sites allege that the group spent “only about $263,000 on its stated mission of electing candidates from Generation Z to office combined with donations to other Democrat Party committees and groups—and instead spent more than $1.4 million on disbursements to themselves for payroll and to political consulting firms and legal fees, in addition to travel and entertainment expenses like hotels, flights, and meals.”

However, it spent reportedly spent more than $1,314,000 on travel and related expenses while giving $80,000 to the Elias Law Group.

Previously, when allegations of self-dealing and accounting improprieties were raised with regard to Black Lives Matter, the group’s attorney, Elias, immediately stood out for many. Elias resigned from his “key role” with BLM as the scandal exploded.

(MSNBC/via YouTube)

Elias’s name has now again popped up in the controversy involving Hogg, who is accused of raising millions to support liberal candidates but allegedly spending only $263,000 on such candidates while paying $83,000 to the Elias law firm. (These figures are reportedly from federal filings but neither Elias nor Hogg have specifically addressed the media reports).

Elias has long been a controversial figure, including being sanctioned in court. He was named as the key figure in hiding the funding of the Steele dossier by the Clinton campaign, which led later to a FEC fine. Reporters accused the campaign of lying to them about the funding. Elias was also reportedly with campaign chair John Podesta when he allegedly denied such funding to congressional investigators.

Despite accusing the GOP of election denial and manipulation, Elias was also involved in alleged gerrymandering efforts and challenging the outcome of elections based on alleged problems with voting machine tallies.

Back to the most recent controversy, Hogg could argue that, as a well known activist figure, his travel to these campaigns is the boost that the group promised donors. He is the assistance. Likewise, the group could argue that it is still getting ramped up for greater spending efforts in the fall. As for the legal fees, the group could argue that start up legal fees and reporting fees tend to be higher at the outset.

The controversy does raise some novel questions about the purpose of contributions. Hogg coming to a local campaign is likely to generate media attention for a candidate. He can also claim that he and his staff bring needed expertise and advice to novice or young candidates. That could be their interpretation of the promise to “basically coach you and hold your hand to get there.” Critics are focused on the pitch to “supply you with all of the resources that you need.”

The group is only the latest political or business effort launched by Hogg, who previously tried to start a “progressive pillow company” before stepping away from the enterprise.