[UPDATE] Win Back PAC — Who Is It Giving Back To? FEC Filings Sow Deeps Concerns
Earlier today, we published the story below about the Win Back PAC. We want to be perfectly clear about something. We reached out to Andy Behrman. He was asked the following:
“I am asking questions about Denise Lewis and your relationship to the Win Back PAC. Please clarify. A number of questions have been raised and @hillreporter has been provided information from multiple sources about your involvement. There are new allegations about how that PAC has been managed… by who, how, and more. The FEC statements are available and under investigation by journalists and so is your relationship to Lewis. If there is no answer within a reasonable amount of time, we will publish everything that we have been given that has been fact-checked, but we want to give you a chance to answer all the questions.”
This was Behrman’s only response: “I have done and do political consulting/fundraising for campaigns, including [Representative Carolyn Bordeaux (D-GA)] as you know, and now I’m working for Win Back PAC. Thanks, Andy”
Below is the original article, and we still feel there are multiple questions to answer. You can reach out to us anytime, Andy!
Win Back PAC was among many political action committees that proposed to help Democratic candidates take back America in 2020’s elections. However, what they’ve passed on to candidates, according to public records, has been relatively minimal, with most of their payouts going to a small number of connected business entities.
Here’s what Open Secrets, a project of the Center for Responsive Politics, has large donations made to the PAC, defined as those $200 or more.
There are 269 recorded donations of $200 or more. Of these, many are listed as repeat donations by the same giver, often on the same day. While these names are recorded for donations over $200, many of the donations listed are over $1,000 each, with a few as high as $5k in a single donation. The FEC shows Win Back taking in over $304k in 2020, and $52k already in 2021.
Despite this, the donations the PAC passes on to candidates and other entities seem few and small. Open Secrets shows three donations of $2,800 each, and one of $5000, to support 4 candidates. Ammar Campa-Najjar’s (D-CA) House campaign, and the Senate campaigns of Georgia Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock each recieved the $2,800 payments, and Alex Padilla’s (D-CA) Senate campaign was given $5k.
Victory funds for Ossoff and Warnock also received $5k each, Open Secrets shows.
So, where did the rest of the funds donated to Win Back PAC go? Since the PAC has no online presence, no social media accounts, nor website, there’s no turning to the source for answers. In fact, even pleas for donations are done by individuals, not an official PAC account, and use a hashtag rather than an account tag.
We are not going to take any more B.S. from @GOP traitors!#WinBackPAC is building a war chest to finance the Democratic challengers of every @GOP senator who voted to acquit and every House member, too!
Chip in $10, $25, $50 or more today!
— Andy Behrman (@electroboyusa) February 13, 2021
Clicking through to donate takes a user to an Act Blue page — also with no additional contact information or PAC information.
However, there are still new pushes to donate, despite small evidence of donations supporting candidates.
Save Democracy with $10!
Chip in to the #WinBackPAC war chest!
— Andy Behrman (@electroboyusa) March 25, 2021
What other expenses is Win Back PAC paying?
Well, according to Open Secrets records, they’ve paid out $49,500 to Foss Hill Entertainment, for ‘media consulting.’ (Despite an apparent complete lack of media presence.) It’s one of only 3 entities that Open Secrets shows making a payment to Foss Hill Entertainment, in fact, and the highest amount, with one of the other two being Ammar Campa-Najjar for Congress — which paid FHE $5,750 — more than twice the amount Win Back PAC donated to Campa-Najjar’s campaign.
A line item shown in FEC records, denoting $27k to Foss Hill Entertainment gives a California address for the company — which turns out to be a residence, not a corporate address. A reverse lookup of the address names it as the residence of Diane and Andrew Behrman.
In January, the FEC shows payments to Olin Entertainment, LLC, in the amounts of $52,533, and $45,000. Where this gets interesting is that, according to Bizapedia, Olin Entertainment is registered at the same home address as Foss Hill Entertainment, and the agent is one Diane Behrman. A 2003 wedding announcement in the New York Times identifies the relationship between Diane and Andrew Behrman as mother and son.
Then, there’s a payment of $5,025.15 to MMC Strategies, LLC. Bizapedia identifies one registered agent, a Donte T. Wyatt, and one officer, Irma Marcela Miranda-Caballero. Going back to FCC filings, Win Back lists a Marcela Miranda-Caballero as assistant treasurer.
If you’re keeping count, that’s over $100k to two businesses operated out of one household, and a $5k+ payment to a business that completely coincidentally is owned by an employee of the PAC, while a handful of actual candidates each got $5k or less.
When Hill Reporter reached out to Andrew Behrman for further information on the PAC and his role in it, he responded to say:
“I have done and do political consulting/fundraising for campaigns, including [Representative Carolyn Bordeaux (D-GA)] as you know, and now I’m working for Win Back PAC. Thanks, Andy”
In fact, basically the only social media presence Win Back PAC has is a hashtag connected to fundraising tweets — and almost every tweet using it comes from Behrman himself, or from a handful of other users quoting or responding to one of Behrman’s posts.
The major exception is from December, when a few Twitter users also noticed the oddities in the balance of the PAC’s expenditures and donations, and asked questions that were never answered.
— More Cowbell (@_MoreCowbell_) December 31, 2020
What does this all add up to? If Win Back PAC won’t answer our questions, the public may never know, but the word on the street is that the FEC may soon want to know.