GOP rep will tell conservative PAC to cease and desist

Rep. Matt SalmonMatthew (Matt) James SalmonArizona voters like Kyl but few think he'll stick around Former Sen. Jon Kyl to replace McCain in Senate Arizona governor faces pressure over McCain replacement 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 Sidney McCainPelosi receives John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Romney: Trump 'has distanced himself from some of the best qualities of the human character' MSNBC host: Barr 'the most dangerous person' who works for Trump 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But Conservative America Now has no ties to Salmon, and the congressman has not yet made any decision about a possible Senate bid. Conservative America Now is linked to DB Capitol Strategies, an Alexandria, Va.-based firm that provides counsel to a network of more than 30 PACs and other political organizations.

“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.