According to reports by both The Daily Beast and Roll Call, John Mathis, a relatively obscure political operative from Baton Rouge, is the key figure in both financing and operating a political action committee supporting the U.S. Senate campaign in Alabama of Republican Roy Moore, the former judge and alleged child molester.
In 2015, Mathis launched a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization named Solution Fund, Inc to support the candidacy of Jeff Landry for Louisiana Attorney General, leading some to question the appropriateness of forming a nonprofit with the expressed intention of helping or hurting a specific political candidate. Unlike political action committees, 501(c)(4)s are not required to disclose their donors, and Mathis had already raised a substantial sum of money, nearly $200,000 and all from unknown contributors. But he vowed he would soon launch a PAC to ensure compliance with the rules governing electioneering by non-profits, and he did. Sort of.
The PAC, also named Solution Fund, was initially formed by Mathis on August 26, 2015, and the organization still remains closely connected to Landry. Indeed, the second donation the PAC received was from a man named Benjamin Landry, who, coincidentally shares the same surname as the candidate and also served as the chairperson of Landry’s campaign. But the PAC struggled to raise money. Its single largest donation was a $25,000 loan provided at no interest by their non-profit organization. In other words, Mathis loaned $25,000 in funds from sources he did not disclose from his nonprofit organization in order to bankroll a PAC that otherwise is required to disclose its donors.
This may not be against the letter of the law, but it’s certainly against the spirit.
Mathis may not be known nationally, but during the last few years, he has worked with or on behalf of a litany of Louisiana Republicans. In 2014, he helped Garret Graves win a seat in Congress.
Two years later, 2016, Mathis created another political action committee, Warrior PAC, in order to support the failed Senate campaign of Rob Maness, a retired colonel who recently lost a race for state representative. Mathis loaned the PAC $50,000 and was also able to court financial support from a California trailer park developer named Robert San Luis, who donated $70,000 and was listed as the PAC’s treasurer. Warrior PAC’s largest financial donor, however, was the billionaire Robert Mercer, who has also contributed prolifically to Donald Trump.
Although Mathis vowed in 2015 that Solutions Fund, both the non-profit and the PAC, would focus almost entirely on elections in the Baton Rouge area, he has since expanded his scope nationally, and he has been aggressively involved in supporting the campaign of Roy Moore in Alabama, already spending more than $300,000 through his PAC and likely much more through his associated nonprofit.
This year, his Louisiana PAC became a federal PAC, now registered to his friend Robert San Luis.
On August 8th, Mathis issued the following press release, touting his organization’s involvement and its Christian bona fides. He also directly connected the work he was doing in Alabama to Jeff Landry of Louisiana:
Solution Fund is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that supported Pro Life Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in his victory over the incumbent in 2015. The organization has committed six figures toward getting out the Evangelical Christian vote in the election to replace Jeff Sessions in the US Senate in Alabama.
Over 2,000 volunteers that participated in the presidential campaigns of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz in Alabama are distributing cards featuring a photo of Franklin Graham and former Chief Justice Roy Moore. Automated calls are also going to Evangelical Christian voters beginning 8/9.
This was, of course, prior to the primary election and before any of the women who alleged Moore of sexually assaulting and harassing them when they were young teenagers had been published. At that point, of course, most people, particularly those who claim to believe in “God’s moral laws,” would have abandoned ship.
It appears, however, that Mathis and his organization are doubling down, and according to Roll Call, there is strong circumstantial evidence that he is also operating another “mysterious” political action committee, Club for Conservatives, which appears to have used Solution Fund’s mailing list to send out e-mails excoriating the women accusing Moore of sexual assault and molestation. Quoting:
On Oct. 17, (Brooke) Pendley filed a statement of organization for Club for Conservatives PAC with the Federal Election Commission, listing herself as the treasurer. Over the course of less than three weeks, Pendley has sent out at least 10 fundraising emails.
BREAKING! Roy Moore’s Accuser is a Complete FRAUD (Nov. 13)
Senator’s sexual assault caught on film (Nov. 16)
ANOTHER sexual assault victim? (Nov. 20)
Al Franken PERV caught on film groping victim (Nov. 21)
Why is Al Franken smiling in this picture? (Nov. 22)
BREAKING: New victim fingers Al Franken-stein (Nov. 22)
Rev. Franklin Graham: “Shame on those hypocrites.” (Nov. 26)