Update: Huckabee-affiliated anti-health care reform group fires scam artist
The chairman of Restore America’s Voice issued a statement to media outlets yesterday following reports by Think Progress and The Florida Independent that highlighted the fact that the PAC’s “Repeal it Now” anti-health care reform campaign was being managed by Derek Oberholtzer of 949 Media Group, a scam artist made infamous for his “Apply 2 Save” foreclosure relief program that defrauded distressed homeowners nationwide.
Ken Hoagland, a personal friend of Mike Huckabee who has appeared on the former Arkansas governor’s Fox News show, claims 949 Media was hired only for web consulting and never given a leadership role, despite filings with the Federal Election Commission that seem to show the campaign has been managed by the firm its inception in October.
Huckabee, a Florida resident, has appeared in a series of commercials asking supporters to call a 1-800 number to sign a repeal petition against President Obama’s health care reform package.
Hoaglands comments in full:
Restore America’s Voice Responds
A growing campaign to repeal the healthcare act today announced that it had terminated a contract with one of its web consultants after reports of the consultant’s involvement in problematic projects in the past.
Ken Hoagland, chairman of Restore America’s Voice said, “We have terminated the services of 949 Media after we saw a web report last night detailing prior complaints involving its participation in certain mortgage relief marketing activities.” Hoagland said that 949 Media was a subcontracting vendor “responsible for web consulting but was never tasked with any management or leadership role” within the growing national campaign, as originally reported.
“We were unaware of the seriousness of the past issues with this vendor and we have taken immediate action to terminate the relationship. No public official working with us to repeal the healthcare act had any knowledge of nor relationship with any vendor or subcontractor,” said Hoagland.
Hoagland said that the campaign was working with “many technology and web companies and would continue to build the largest single petition drive in the history of the nation in an effort to repeal the Health Care reform act through grassroots action.”
It remains to be seen how much Huckabee was paid as pitchman for the campaign. Media Matters has tracked a slew of efforts by the 2012 presidential GOP hopeful in recent years to raise funds for political groups that ultimately serve to benefit himself or his family.