Ex-Nevada AG spotlights liberal groups’ multimillion-dollar coronavirus campaigns against Trump

Liberal nonprofits are spending millions of dollars on ads attacking President Trump’s and Senate Republicans’ response to the coronavirus crisis. And the new watchdog group Americans for Public Trust, led by former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt, is working to expose the coronavirus campaigning.

Pacronym, which previously said it would spend $75 million fighting Mr. Trump this election cycle, told The Washington Post it would dedicate $5 million on digital ads weaponizing the coronavirus crisis against Mr. Trump.

The progressive American Bridge has spent thousands of dollars on Facebook ads in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin attacking Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, according to Facebook’s Ad Library. The group reportedly plans to cut new ads targeting Mr. Trump’s response to the crisis.

Elsewhere, Protect Our Care, a group dedicated to defending Obamacare, spent $250,000 to attack Sen. Steve Daines because of the Montana Republican’s response to coronavirus.

Mr. Laxalt, counsel to Americans for Public Trust, said he believes the groups are “recklessly using this pandemic to go after the president.” He said he’s digging into where the groups are finding resources and connects it back to the liberal group Arabella Advisors, which has disclosed connections to groups such as Protect Our Care in the past.

“The Arabella network is far bigger than anybody realizes,” Mr. Laxalt said. “It’s Pacronym today, but you know these groups basically just shift around and they swap ‘em out and it’s been going on for many years.

“It is a very coordinated Democrat attack machine,” he said. “That’s what the network does. If there’s a hole in the Democratic apparatus to win campaigns they fill it with some sort of nonprofit or outside group.”

Mr. Laxalt’s group, Americans for Public Trust, is a few months old and looks to expose ethical issues through complaints and other means to put a spotlight on issues that others are ignoring. Americans for Public Trust declined to discuss the resources it has, citing the “privacy and security of our donors,” and would not put a figure on the number of lawyers and researchers working on its staff.

Mr. Laxalt emphasized that he is not opposed to outside groups’ spending, but wanted to shine a spotlight on the process to make it more transparent.

“This is in some respects the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters