WorldNetDaily has long been cozy with Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, working closely with him to make sure his cold case posse's "investigation" of President Obama's birth certificate stuck to WND's birther conspiracies and ignored inconvenient facts. Now, it appears the ties have grown closer than ever.
On March 20, WND sent out an email (screenshot below) to its "a subscriber to the Offers from WNDsuperstore.com e-mail list or past customer" soliciting donations to a fund to defend Arpaio against a recall effort. The email's text echoes a Feb. 21 WND article by Bob Unruh announcing the creation of a "citizen coalition," Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results, to defend Arpaio against the recall.
In fact, the "concerned citizens" behind the group are the birthers from the Surprise Tea Party who petitioned Arpaio to do his birther investigation following a presentation by WND's Jerome Corsi. And as we've previously noted, the group is represented by none other than failed lawyer Larry Klayman, who is forwarding the false legal argument that Arpaio can't be recalled until six months after starting his new term, a requirement that applies only for an elected official's first term. Like Unruh's article, the flawed legal reasoning is repeated in the email and the group's birther ties are not mentioned.
The email, which lists Klayman as its author, concludes by stating: "I urge you to make a donation to support Sheriff Joe Arpaio right now – no matter the amount. If everyone who reads this appeal gave the minimum amount of $5, it would raise the considerable necessary resources to protect Sheriff Arpaio."
That text links to a page at the WND online store where one can donate to Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results.
This raises all sorts of red flags. First, the email is not listed as paid for by Arpaio, CPFER, or Klayman, which means that WND is, for all intents and purposes, donating to a political campaign.
Second, as the Arizona's Politics blog details, CPFER is registered with Arizona state corporation officials as a limited liability corporation, or LLC. In other words, it's a for-profit corporation. As far as we know, it's highly unusual for a political action group to be an LLC.
While we're unclear on how the law works, we suspect this means that not only are donations to CPHER not tax-deductible, there is no requirement for the group to disclose its donors. As Arizona's Politics, the LLC filing largely protects group members from individual liability should, for instance, it be required to pay legal fees in the event of an unsuccessful legal action. But it will likely not stand as an LLC because of its political activities -- it should eventually be turned into a political committee that is required to disclose donors and finances.
In other words, it's a very shady thing all around, and WND's direct involvement in the group is very much a red flag for possible election law violations. And remember that Klayman is also WND's attorney, which raises conflict-of-interest issues.
So it seems WND isn't completely ready to give up on the birther stuff just yet.