Thursday, July 21, 2016

The "Just Want Privacy" autopsy - Was it a SCAM?

Joseph Backholm
A prominent Washington attorney, Jack Connelly, and former Yankee, John Olerud, were major funders. Kaeley Triller Haver is presumably unemployed again. An obscure California signature gatherer pocketed close to $150,000. Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage both did email blasts. Brown's ActRight collected nearly $4,000 in credit card processing fees.

Lots of moving parts but, at the end of the day, this anti-trans enterprise headed by Joseph Backholm (president of Family Policy Institute of Washington) failed to get enough signatures to put their initiative on the ballot. Had they succeeded, voters in Washington would have decided in November whether to repeal Washington's transgender access laws.

Obviously, I am happy that they failed. I also have to follow my managerial instincts and question the legitimacy of the operation. I have sent a second email to Backholm (the first went unanswered). I am not entirely certain what the next step is or if there even is a next step. I also waited for about two weeks to write this, allowing for additional filings. The total raised was $335,257.74. Total spent: $220,580.63. Even if there is a filing delay it should have been clear to Backholm and Kaeley Triller Haver that they were falling short. Why do they have so much money left over — and what do they intend to do with it?

First the larger donors:
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Jack Connelly is a prominent Tacoma attorney. His wife Angela is one of the organizers of this endeavor. Her profile is included as part of the “leadership team” on the operation's website. Mr. and Mrs. Connelly appear to be uber-Catholics. Jack is apparently a Knight of Malta and the couple are raising nine children.

As I previously wrote, the largest recipient of funds from the organization is Ekott Omah, out of Fullerton, CA:
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This appears to be his LinkedIn profile based on a name and location match:

He is showing 12 years at what is apparently Fullerton College. His Facebook page provides nothing in the way of assurance that if he is paid nearly $150,000, he will get signatures for a ballot initiative based 1,130 miles away from Fullerton, CA.

None of this makes any sense. I am calling it a scam perpetrated by Joseph Backholm but there could be good explanations.  Stay tuned.

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