Cede no ground – and donate if you please

March 20, 2013 · Posted in National politics, Politics, State of Conservatism 

If you were wondering what Dan Bongino had time for since he’s not running for political office, wonder no more.

As was brought up in my January interview with Dan (and don’t fret – Ten Question Tuesday will be back soon) he’s started his new PAC, named after one of his taglines – “cede no ground.” They’re dedicating themselves to the principle of “supporting individual rights and promoting activities dedicated to the preservation of our liberties and freedoms,” with Bongino serving as “founder and national spokesperson.”

Of course, having a federal PAC could be a sign that Dan remains focused on national aspirations and may signal a lack of willingness to run for a state or local office. With the governor’s race already getting busy and no Maryland U.S. Senate seat on the ballot next year, it may be the perfect time for Dan to work on his PAC and consulting business. Obviously he doesn’t have the same amount of experience in office, but I almost see Dan on the same track as Sarah Palin, someone who is popular among political conservatives and the TEA Party crowd but makes few overtures toward a specific office. Both are well-spoken, personable, and polished before the cameras and microphones, although Dan has a little more substance and Sarah more sizzle.

On the other hand, though, that lack of a political pedigree may mean Dan has to pursue different opportunities. Already he’s being noticed more as a former Secret Service agent that as a political candidate, such as this example where the headline is “Former Secret Service Agent Says White House, ‘Selling Access While Selling Out the Secret Service’ is a National Disgrace”:

Selling access to the President of the United States through Organizing for Action (OFA), while selling out the Secret Service and disingenuously blaming them for shutting the doors to tours for the American people, is a national disgrace.

Bongino went on to blast the pay-for-play mentality:

Further compounding this blatant hypocrisy is the President’s reelection platform where he railed endlessly against the ‘one-percent’, yet now, through OFA, pleads for extraordinary sums of money from the wealthy in exchange for White House access. The wealthiest ‘one-percent’ can now dine merrily with the President, while the American people, ruthlessly shut out, are left outside paying the bill for their extravagance.

To play devil’s advocate though: is not Bongino selling his access to the highest bidder in some way, too? It will be interesting to know how he or his advisers determine the recipients of his PAC money. His PAC will have a couple advantages, though: in all likelihood it will get some seed money from Dan’s leftover campaign funds, and it presents an opportunity to keep good campaign staff on a payroll.

Obviously Bongino is a motivational speaker and – just as importantly – someone trying to make a living. So if you equate money with free speech, as many conservatives do in the wake of the Citizens United decision – it may be a good time to speak out in support of Dan’s cause.

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