Politico reports today that The Senate Conservatives Fund has spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" buying one of conservative radio host Mark Levin's books. According to FEC filings, the Fund has spent $427,000 since September 10th on copies of Levin's 2009 book Liberty and Tyranny.
The Senate Conservatives Fund describes itself as "a grassroots organization dedicated to electing strong conservative leaders to the United States Senate."
In response to the Politico report, Levin wrote on his Facebook page that "these sleazy intimidation tactics will not work," adding, "The Senate Conservative Fund (SCF) has been using the paperback version of the book in recent months to encourage donations in support of conservative candidates." (According to Politico, "the books were given to donors who provided $25 or more to the group.")
Other conservative media figures have been involved in similar arrangements with activist groups. Former Freedomworks chairman Dick Armey told Media Matters that the organization paid Glenn Beck $1 million to fundraise for them, an arrangement he characterized as providing "too little value" for that level of expense.
Armey also said that Freedomworks had a similar agreement in place with Rush Limbaugh.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has been involved in an ongoing dispute with the Fund since they oppose the re-election of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). NRSC communications director Brad Dayspring characterized the relationship between Levin and the Fund as "fishy."
Levin has regularly used incendiary rhetoric to attack progressives and Democrats on his radio show.
- He compared Obamacare supporters to Nazi "brown shirts"
- Claimed that "middle class" was a "Marxist term"
- Described Obamacare as "a cancer" and a "soviet-style program"
- Said that under the Obama administration, "it's an abortion in every household"
- Accused President Obama of committing "impeachable offenses"