News Organization Sells Services To Congressional Campaigns

The web site Newsmax claims to be, as the name implies, a news organization. In addition to the news articles delivered on the Newsmax web site, Newsmax produces news videos and the Newsmax news magazine.

Federal Election Commission records reveal, however, that Newsmax is in the business of much more than news. Newsmax collects information about people who interact with its web site. From the Newsmax privacy policy:

“In addition to information collected during registration, enrollment, subscription or purchase, Newsmax may collect Personal Data knowingly provided by you in e-mails to the Site, online forms, order and registration forms, surveys, and contest entries.”

Newsmax then makes money by selling users’ personal information to people and businesses. From the Newsmax privacy policy:

“Newsmax may also share your Personal Data with a sponsor or other third party that is interested in serving you (“Third-Party Providers”).”

Just who are these other people and businesses to whom Newsmax sells the personal information about its users? Among them is Senator Jim DeMint.

In addition to being a United States Senator, Jim DeMint runs the Senate Conservatives Fund, a political action committee. Jim DeMint gathers money from corporations such as Koch Industries, Federal Express, AT&T, the American Bankers Association and RJ Reynolds Tobacco to fund that PAC.

DeMint doesn’t just hang onto that money. He spends it, in order to gain political influence. Recently, Senator DeMint has directed his Senate Conservatives Fund to a lot of money through independent expenditures.

Among those independent expenditures are payments from Jim DeMint’s PAC to Newsmax. Newsmax has been providing campaign services to Senator DeMint’s PAC, giving the senator’s organization personal contact information about Newsmax readers. Newsmax has also been paid by DeMint’s PAC to communicate with its readers on behalf of the following U.S. Senate candidates: Kenneth Buck, Sharron Angle, Dino Rossi and Joseph Miller.

It just so happens that, even as it conducts campaign operations for Jim DeMint’s PAC, Newsmax is mailing out a copy of its news magazine with a photograph of Senator DeMint on the cover, proclaiming him to be a “powerhouse”. Was this article part of the package that Jim DeMint paid Newsmax for, or was it a freebie thrown in as a reward to a loyal customer?


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3 Comments on “News Organization Sells Services To Congressional Campaigns
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