Skip to comments.Tea Partiers Question Ariz.-Based Website Valley Company Collects Nearly $500K, Spends On Marketing
Posted on 03/01/2011 4:26:36 PM PST by mnehring
PHOENIX -- A tea party organization based in Mesa, Ariz., which has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, spent nearly half of its budget on marketing its own name, according to Federal Elections Commission documents.
Those records, obtained during a CBS 5 News investigation, also show the organization spent no money to directly support tea party candidates.
The website, JoinTheTeaParty.us is registered to a nonprofit corporation in Mesa. When CBS 5 News reporters contacted the director of that company, they were referred to a Washington, D.C., attorney, who said the personnel in Phoenix were too busy to sit down for an interview.
CBS 5 News began its investigation into the company after receiving a phone call from an East Coast tea party activist who said nobody within the tea party movement he had spoken to had heard of the Mesa organization.
The caller also told CBS 5 News it did not appear the organization was spending any of its donations to support tea party priorities.
Among the findings of the CBS 5 News investigation, the organization spent $181,000 on Google, Facebook and other websites for advertising. As a result, when CBS 5 producers typed the phrase, "tea party," into the Google search engine, the first paid advertisement that popped up was for JoinTheTeaParty.us.
Additional digging into the organization's background revealed the director of the nonprofit also has ties to companies that collect and sell people's personal information. Todd Cefaratti is listed as the director the the nonprofit, as well as a company known as reverseleadclub.com.
At a recent tea party rally at the state Capitol, no tea party supporters approached by CBS 5 News had heard of the wesbite.
An e-mail written to CBS 5 News from Washington attorney Dan Backer stated that the site develops and distributes daily information on local and national tea party events. Backer also wrote that the website does not share the names or personal information of its donors with any other commercial interests.
Several donors to the site contacted by CBS 5 News said they were under the impression they were joining the official tea party when they donated to the website. The populist tea party movement is not an official national political party.
Click here to see the Federal Elections Commission report which documents the finances of JoinTheTeaParty.US.
Care to explain this Todd?
They tried creating a fake tea party here in Michigan and took a real beat down at the hands of the woman who later became out secretary of state. I believe some pretty serious charges are pending against a couple of them.
What a bunch of creeps!!
President and CEO for the largest reverse mortgage lead providers in the nation. Our clients are some of the largest lenders in the nation.
Former financial manager and marketing specialist Todd Cefaratti offers his insights to mortgage companies as well as the Tea Party political organization. A graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California Irvine, Todd Cefaratti holds degrees in economics and marketing as well as a lifetime membership with chapters of Sigma Chi International at the University of Arizona and UCLA. The Executive Director of TheTeaParty.net, Todd Cefaratti assists the political movement in enhancing its web presence. One of the Tea Partys most important online outlets, TheTeaParty.net contains information about the Tea Partys mission and philosophy, nearby Tea Party chapters, and how to start a Tea Party chapter. Todd Cefaratti also includes a Voter ShoutBox on the website so that any of the pages visitors can post their thoughts and comments about the Tea Party and the countrys current political situation. A nonprofit organization, TheTeaParty.net also provides information for people who wish to donate to the cause or join in any of the Tea Party events Todd Cefaratti organizes. Responsible for the Tea Party gaining an additional 10,000 members a week, Todd Cefaratti regularly conducts political rallies and bus tours. Through Todd Cefarattis efforts, TheTeaParty.net has become one of the largest sponsors at the Conservative Political Action Conference in the nations capital. Professionally, Todd Cefaratti uses his years of experience in the financial market at Glengary Inc., where he acts as CEO and President. A marketing consultancy, Glengary Inc. primarily handles reverse mortgage leads. Under Todd Cefarattis leadership, the company connects the countrys largest mortgage lenders with individuals interested in obtaining a reverse mortgage. Engaging his charitable side, Todd Cefaratti also offers his talents as a Marketing Director and member of the School Board to the private institution Christs Greenfield Lutheran Church & School in Gilbert, Arizona. An avid reader, some of Todd Cefarattis favorite works include Mario Puzos The Godfather, Mark Levins Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto, and Reagan: A Life in Letters. Todd Cefaratti currently lives in Mesa, Arizona, with his wife and two daughters.
Todd Cefaratti’s Schools
UCLA , Class of 1985
Yes, I know it is hard to read. Posted with original formatting.
Todd, looks like a CBS affiliate figured out your scam.
That’s pretty lame.
After all, we (Buckhead) sent Rather packing.
Alway some crook trying to screw people out of their money. If you sent this a hole money show up with a s&w and get your money back.
Arizonans just keep getting hoodwinked.
You think any of that is true?????
It's on the internet, it must be! ;)
Doesn’t even make political donations in his own name.
...His other business specializes in mining contact information and reselling the leads to clients in the reverse mortgage industry. "Thousands" of donors have given their personal contact information and credit card numbers to the tea party site, according to CBS.
No, none of it is true. The guy is a scam artist.
Very interesting, thanks for the ping.
Pretty smart marketer, getting the website TheTeaParty.Net
Seems to have sucked a lot of people in.
Yep; the tea party is filled with scammers, and anyone actually wanting to make a difference ought to only give to groups and people they actually know/are involved with.
Honestly I’m concerned about the people who were taken in. The fake tea party in Michigan was far more elaborate and even had a roster of candidates (at least one of whom wasn’t aware he was running) but it doesn’t appear that anyone was fooled for a minute.
A class action suit for fraud would not be inappropriate.
Don't rely on the MSM "filtered for Idiots" version. Read it yourself.
Did you click the wrong thread? :->
Clearly a liberal criminal enterprise created to smear the right while making a little cash.
Todd Cefaratti from Gilbert AZ who owns the business Glengary Inc. You may be on to something. His name is coming up associated with several data collection companies like reverseleadclub.com. Glengary Inc is an internet marketing company.
Aside from his work as a marketing consultant, Todd Cefaratti performs as Executive Director for the nonprofit organization TheTeaParty.net. Operating one of the most popular websites devoted to the Tea Party cause, Todd Cefaratti strives to involve more people in the political organization and clear up misconceptions about the Partys philosophies, goals, and overall mission to promote limited federal government, more states rights, and an increased sense of personal responsibility and civic duty. Through the site, Todd Cefaratti signs up tens of thousands of people every week and coordinates national events and tours, some featuring important conservative pundits such as radio host Rusty Humphries. Before entering the business world, Todd Cefaratti attended the University of California Los Angeles on an academic scholarship and studied economics. Subsequently, Todd Cefaratti attended the University of California Irvine for a postgraduate degree in marketing.
Not all of the nearly 3,000 groups and counting - that are part of the TEA Party movement are political action committees that are legally allowed to donate to candidates. In fact, MUCH more money went into education and outreach in the last election than went to actual candidates. And for good reason the $5,000 maximum a PAC can give is nowhere near as important as bringing more volunteers and voters to the movement! TheTeaParty.net is a 501c4 organization; it cant legally give any money to candidates. Our goal is to use the contributions we do receive from less than 10% of those who use our many free online resources to get involved in the movement - to constantly bring more people into the movement. That means broadly marketing our name and message to as wide an audience as possible. The proof is in the pudding as of this month, we have brought 80,960 people into the movement and connected them to state & local TEA Party groups nationwide. We give individuals the tools to get involved, and get others involved, in the movement. If each of those people had donated just $10 of their money to a candidate or group of their choice as a result of our introduction, we would have helped bring in a lot more money than weve spent bringing them in. Thats a success. -Teresa
Todd Cefaratti has also posted replies on same topic on another thread. Here is the link to read those responses:
And I posted this on that other thread as well - perhaps you can provide this information:
I’ve been a conservative activist for over a decade. Was out in the streets protesting long before the Tea Party came to pass. I’m glad to see all of the new blood, but I also know that with new movements comes new opportunities to fleece people.
Also, I’m not asking anyone for donations. You are. So you have a much higher standard to meet here to explain where those donations are going than I do to explain my conservative bona fides.
And I’ve worked for a non-profit in the past. It actually raked in some good money and paid good salaries. Non-profit means nothing to what those within it can make from it.
So there have been some serious allegations levelled here. And I really haven’t seen anything that you’ve posted that significantly addresses those allegations. How much of your budget goes towards salaries? Towards marketing? Towards advertising for donations? Towards fundraising?
Versus how much goes towards the sponsorships and activism you speak of?
Doesn’t have to be a complicated accounting - just simple line items will do. Salaries. Marketing. Fundraising costs. Activism. As percentages of your budget.
Also, if you have it, a link to any filings you may have made publicly to support those percentages.
Prove the critics wrong. I am more than willing to evenhandedly review the evidence. Present some that is more than talk. Give us the kind of numbers that are routinely used to evaluate the efficiency of charities and non-profits in how donations are sued.
OK, an additional question - do any of the companies contracted for these marketing costs have any fiduciary or other direct relationship to the principals in TheTeaParty.net?
BTW, 50 percent is a HIGHLY suspicious number. You can bury a lot in marketing costs.
“.....................but it doesnt appear that anyone was fooled for a minute.”
Michiganders are obviously smarter than Zonies.
Be careful of ANYone who has his hand out...
Beware the prophet who profits.