Rep. Matt SalmonMatt SalmonWestern Republicans seek new federal appeals court Arts groups gear up for fight over NEA What gun groups want from Trump MORE is preparing to send a cease-and-desist letter to an unaffiliated conservative PAC that has been raising money using the Arizona Republican’s name, the congressman's aides said Thursday.
The action comes after The Hill reported that Conservative America Now, a New York-based political action committee, had sent 300,000 emails asking GOP donors to contribute money to help Salmon defeat longtime Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Finance: Senate Dems call for investigation of acting SEC chairman | Wyden: Russia probe should focus on Trump financial ties | Dems seek more money for IRS Overnight Defense: Pentagon considers more troops for Afghanistan | McCain, Graham won't back short-term funding | GOP defends Trump rules of engagement McCain and Graham: We won't back short-term government funding bill MORE in Arizona’s GOP primary in 2016.
The PAC has also launched a similar online campaign, in which it asks donors to contribute between $25 and $2,500 to “help Matt Salmon unseat John McCain.”
“Mr. Salmon does not condone any organization or group, conservative or not, that appears to intentionally mislead potential donors into contributing towards his campaign or re-election efforts. The wording in the Conservative America Now email appeal that mentions Mr. Salmon appears to do just this,” Salmon spokesman Tristan Daedalus said in a statement.
“It is a deceitful and deceptive tactic,” Daedalus continued. “We are in the process of advising Conservative America Now to either discontinue this ill-advised fundraising appeal, or rewording it so it clearly informs the donor they are not contributing towards Mr. Salmon's campaign efforts."
Tyler Whitney, the PAC’s treasurer, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But he previously said any money raised would be spent on advertising and voter outreach during the primary. If Salmon doesn’t run, the funds will be used to support a candidate with similar conservative views.
“Matt Salmon is a true conservative that is in line with our mission of less spending and smaller government. We want to do everything possible to support him,” Whitney said. “It is intellectually dishonest to call John McCain a conservative.”
Salmon told The Hill last month he's happy with his job in the House, though sources close to the congressman say he's taking a close look at a Senate bid. Another Arizona Republican, Rep. David Schweikert, is also mulling a possible primary challenge against McCain but is seen as less likely to run.