A mysterious group of business people will spend up to $5 million campaigning against the federal government’s “Operation Choke Point” crackdown on financial fraud.
The United States Consumer Coalition says the U.S. Department of Justiceoperation unfairly targets legal businesses by choking off their access to banks and third-party payment processors. Those businesses include payday lenders, guns and ammo stores and a host of online businesses and charities. A few porn stars have been targeted, too.
Brian Wise, a partner in the Washington strategic communications shop Wise Public Affairs, began forming USCC at the beginning of the year. A Facebook site was launched in March, and the group has stepped up its media campaign with a new feature called “Whistleblower Wednesdays,” which highlights business that allegedly have been hurt by Choke Point.
But who are the “grassroots” behind the campaign?
“If the donors are identified they will automatically have a target on their back,” Wise told me in a telephone interview. “The donors will never be disclosed.”