Attack letters being sent to OFCC PAC donors
With all that's going on this week, we hate to waste your time with this, but you'll understand why we must, as you read. The following was originally published to an Ohio gun-related newsgroup, in response to an inquiry posted there by a concerned recipient of the attack letter. It has been updated to include the latest information available:
We are aware that two separate attack letters have been sent to OFCC PAC donors and others in recent weeks. The first was paid for by a "pro-gun" group known as the Ohio Gun PAC, signed by Van Slack, Treasurer. This second letter, to which you refer in your post, is unsigned, but it is interesting to note that the same language is used in both letters at several points.
Why these "pro-gun" folks would spend their donors' hard-earned money to attack other pro-gun groups and risk making our collective anti-CCW foes aware of issues that divide us, is beyond me. Mailings like these two can cost thousands of dollars. In our view, every penny they've spent attacking OFCC PAC is money they should be spending working to get CCW passed in Ohio.
Since we formed this PAC in August, Ohioans for Concealed Carry PAC (OFCC PAC) has been working tirelessly to mobilize grassroots forces to help candidates who have committed to, or who already have, helped us.
We simply don't have time for responding to baseless attacks like this if we hope to pass a shall-issue CCW bill similar to what so many other states have. I'm not going to waste your time or mine attempting to drown every false thing that has been said by this group in this post. However, I will address two of the biggies. Beyond that, we will be glad to answer anyone's specific questions about the charges made in these letters personally - email us at [email protected].
One quick comparison between our groups will likely answer most of your questions.
1) Where the Money Goes:
a) OFCC PAC is 100% volunteer staffed. Even our website is volunteer-based - supported totally by "in-kind", or non-cash, donations from the webmasters. ABSOLUTELY NO funding is funneled to us personally as "consulting fees", "salaries" or anything of the like. Of the nearly $6000 we reported as donations this election cycle, around $3000 of those were these"in-kind", or non-cash donations from volunteers working on the website, database maintanence, candidate research, etc. We took in nearly $3000 in cash donations, and every bit of that was spent went to candidate voter guide printing and mailing costs. Another $2000 was loaned to the effort by our Chairman, Jim Irvine from his personal funds.
The exact dollar amounts received and spent by the OFCC PAC (PAC ID #CP1134) can be obtained from the Secretary of State.
Clic here to view the 2002 OFCC PAC Campaign Finance Statements on our website.
Ohio Gun PAC (PAC ID # OH845 - Van Slack, Treasurer) has, according to the Ohio Secretary of State, paid close to half of all the donations it has received over the years as so-called "consulting fees". These consulting fees went to Doug Josephs Consulting or to Liberty Strategies. Both entities have the same address as Doug Josephs. This is money that is not being used in mailings to support/ inform people about candidates, legislation, or otherwise. It is also money not being donated to candidates.
We find it more than a little ironic that while the OFCC PAC Chairman Jim Irvine is loaning his personal money to OFCC PAC for the good of the cause, Doug Josephs is paying himself money out of Ohio Gun PAC donations. And while OFCC PAC is spending your donations on the printing of voter guide mailings, Ohio Gun PAC has spent roughly $1200 on a Sept. 10 letter to attack another pro-gun group.
You may also be interested in this Cleveland Scene story about the Ohio Gun PAC, entitled "Paper Tigers".
To be frank, this is one of the main reasons OFCC PAC was formed - we wanted a place for people to go that wanted 100% of their donations going to education efforts help elect pro-CCW candidates and to help pass CCW legislation. We knew it was tough to find such a place, because we had looked for one ourselves.
b) The first attack letter complained about which candidates we considered sending donations to, and the second attack letter points out that we do not send money to candidates. While this may not always be the case, is was determined that in the short time we had before elections, the best use of your funds would be to educate other Ohioans on who best deserves their pro-CCW vote.
It might surprise you to know that we consulted with pro-CCW legislative leadership in Columbus about this decision, and they agreed! They recommended that our best impact could be made if we spent every last penny donated on grassroots education and get-out-the-vote efforts. Thus, in this election season, nearly 100% of our money spent up to now (aside from a few initial startup expenses such as opening a P.O. Box) has gone to educating interested Ohioans about this issue, via candidate voter guide mailings, etc.
2) Why is This Happening?
It is obvious that good people will not always agree on how best to get the job done. But is is highly unfortunate that certain groups have chosen to view this, not as a team effort, but as an internal war of influence.
The OFCC PAC wants nothing to do with this fight. It was brought upon us, we suspect, in part because we are threatening people's income, and in part because we disagree with some pro-gun groups about exactly what type of legislation is good for Ohioans.
We believe HB274, a shall-issue bill which does not erase, but that is built upon, Ohio's existing affirmative defense structure, is an exceptable bill as passed by the House in early 2002.
For the reasons why we support HB274 as passed by the House, click on this
Fact vs. Fiction link.
Why any "pro-gun" group would spend their donors' hard-earned money to try and divide pro-gun forces in Ohio is beyond me. After the first Ohio Gun PAC letter, we received calls from reporters, interested in writing a story on how the pro-gun camp is divided. We did everything we could to put on a united face, and the stories were not printed (yet?).
The fact is, these baseless attacks probably are also discouraging some from volunteering, or donating. And that, in our opinion, hurts all of us. Those extra donations could have been used to get out thousands more candidate voter guide mailings this fall. Those extra volunteers could have supported more candidates in tough races against anti-CCW foes.
I urge you to check out our website, www.buckeyefirearms.org, and make your own judgements about our positions, our actions, and our intentions for Ohio's Concealed Carry Reform movement. We believe when you do, you'll recognize that we represent your best intentions for an acceptable CCW law in Ohio. Don't take anyone else's word for it.
And again, we will be glad to answer anyone's specific questions about the charges made in these letters personally - email us at [email protected].
Chad D. Baus