Welcome to Pay Dirt—exclusive reporting and research from The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay on corruption, campaign finance, and influence-peddling in the nation’s capital. For Beast Inside members only.
We’ve finally solved the mystery of one of the biggest and most elusive sponsors of this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, and it all comes back to a reclusive Republican donor who’s used his companies to funnel millions of dollars to conservative groups in the past under circumstances that some federal regulators described as blatant end-runs around campaign-finance laws.
Last week’s PAY DIRT noted the scant public information about Dragging Canoe, described to us by a CPAC spokesperson as a conservative-friendly resort in rural Tennessee. But the resort didn’t appear to have a website. As CPAC kicked off this morning, a Dragging Canoe ad greeted conference goers with a website that is currently just a GoDaddy placeholder landing page and boasted social media accounts that do not seem to be set up.