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In August 2008, as the right wing of the Republican Party grew increasingly disenchanted with the party’s direction, the men from Russo, Marsh and Associates sensed opportunity: They created a political action committee, Our Country Deserves Better, and in time launched the Tea Party Express.
Russo, Marsh—an established California outfit of Republican consultants—was just getting started. The firm formed a second political committee, this one with a pro-military agenda. And eventually, seizing on the President’s unpopularity in certain circles, they opened a third, the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama.
Throughout the 2012 election cycle, the committees were relentless. In email after email, they pleaded for small donations to run ads supporting candidates who would defeat President Obama’s “socialist” agenda. And it worked: They collected more than $14 million in donations—from all over the country, and from donors who gave as little as $10 to elect Ted Cruz as a Republican senator from Texas or to put Mitt Romney in the White House.