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Millions raised by Lincoln Project went to companies run by group’s founders

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Millions raised by Lincoln Project went to companies run by group’s founders

Out of roughly $90 million the anti-Trump Lincoln Project has raised, more than half has gone to firms run by the group’s founders, according to open records data reviewed by Fox Business.

The records show that about a third of the money – roughly $27 million – raised by the super PAC, directly paid for advertisements that aired on broadcast and cable, or appeared online, during the 2020 campaign.

The vast majority of the cash was split among consulting firms controlled by its founders, including about $27 million paid to a small firm controlled by Galen and another $21 million paid to a boutique firm run by former Lincoln Project member Ron Steslow, campaign finance disclosures show.

That leaves tens of millions of dollars that went toward expenses like production costs, overhead — and exorbitant consulting fees collected by members of the group.

“It raises questions about where the rest of the money ultimately went,” said Brendan Fischer, an attorney with the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington. “Generally speaking, you’d expect to see a major super PAC spend a majority or more of their money on advertisements and that’s not what happened here.”

The revelation comes as the group faces allegations of sexual harassment against one of its co-founders, John Weaver. Members of the organization’s leadership were reportedly informed in June 2020 in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The organization announced Thursday evening, after the new details were reported by The Associated Press, that its board had decided to “retain a best-in-class outside professional” to review Weaver’s tenure “to establish both accountability and best practices going forward for The Lincoln Project.”

The Lincoln Project launched in November 2019 as a super PAC that allowed its leaders to raise and spend unlimited sums of money.

Its founders represent a who’s who of prominent Republican strategists on cable television, including Schmidt and Reed Galen, both former advisers to John McCain; conservative attorney George Conway; former New Hampshire GOP chair Jennifer Horn; Florida-based veteran political ad maker Rick Wilson; and Weaver, who has long advised former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Still, it’s difficult to tell how much its members were paid. While several firms did collect payments, Weaver and Wilson are not listed in publicly available records. Schmidt collected a $1.5 million payment in December but quickly returned it, records show.

“We fully comply with the law,” Schmidt said. “The Lincoln Project will be delighted to open its books for audit immediately after the Trump campaign and all affiliated super PACs do so, explaining the cash flow of the nearly $700 million that flowed through their organizations controlled by Brad Parscale and Jared Kushner.”

Fox Business has reached out the Lincoln Project with a request for comment.

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Florida woman allegedly crashed children’s party, raped teen

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Florida woman allegedly crashed children's party, raped teen

A Florida woman crashed a children’s birthday party and allegedly raped a 17-year-old boy — in front of another child, authorities said.

Jessica Rae Good, 43, was arrested Wednesday after the teen told a staffer at his high school that he was sexually assaulted over the weekend at a home in Port Charlotte after a birthday bash, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.

Good had been out drinking with a friend before crashing the celebration for another teen on May 9 when her buddy went to bed, authorities said.

“After returning home intoxicated, Good continued to ‘hang out’ with the juveniles while allegedly making extremely inappropriate sexual comments and providing the 17-year-old victim with alcohol,” sheriff officials said in a statement.

A 12-year-old girl at the party told deputies she was asleep on a bean bag in the home when she was awoken by sounds of two people having sex.

The girl, who was just a foot away from Good and the 17-year-old, said the teen whispered to her to help him, according to an arrest report obtained by the Port Charlotte Sun.

The boy later told deputies that Good forced herself on him after he fell asleep, claiming he was unable to push the woman off him due to her size, the arrest report states. Good is listed at 250 pounds in jail records.

At one point, the boy got up to use the bathroom, where he vomited, the 12-year-old girl told deputies. The pair continued having sex and Good then got her belongings and left the home, according to the report.

Good told investigators she had “blacked out” and claimed to not remember most of the illicit sexual contact, the arrest report states.

It’s illegal in Florida for an adult to have sex with a minor, even if the activity is consensual — although some exceptions exist, sheriff officials said.

Good, of Punta Gorda, was charged with two counts of child abuse and two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. She was released from the Charlotte County Jail Monday after posting $150,000 bond, jail records show. It’s unclear if she’s hired an attorney who could speak on her behalf.

Court records show Good has no criminal history in Charlotte County, the Port Charlotte Sun reported. She’s due to be arraigned on June 21.

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Surfer killed in shark attack at Australian beach

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Surfer killed in shark attack at Australian beach

A surfer in Australia was killed in a shark attack on Tuesday morning, authorities said.

The man, in his 50s, was attacked while surfing at Tuncurry Beach in New South Wales, a police statement said.

He suffered injuries to his upper right thigh, police said.

Other beachgoers pulled the surfer from the water.

“Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene the man could not be resuscitated,” NSW Ambulance tweeted.

Beaches in the area closed following the fatal attack.

A drone search over the waters spotted two sharks in the area, according to Lower North Coast Surf Life Saving branch president Brian Wilcox.

“It’s pretty unprecedented. I can’t recall ever having a shark attack in this area,” Wilcox told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Before Tuesday, the last fatal shark attack in Australia was in November when a 55-year-old surfer was killed in Broome.

With Post wires

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Mom charged with murdering kids claims no memory of tragedy

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Mom charged with murdering kids claims no memory of tragedy

An Arizona mom charged with murdering her two kids claimed at a court appearance Monday that she has no memory of the tragedy.

Authorities had said that 40-year-old Yui Inoue told Tempe cops that she woke up Saturday with blood on her hands and her kids dead nearby – but no memory of their gruesome ends, AZCentral reported.

In Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday, a Japanese interpreter for Inoue translated her saying she hadn’t killed the 7-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.

“I didn’t kill anybody,” she said, according to the translator.

Before the court appearance, a statement from Tempe police said the bodies of the children had signs of trauma that included “some amputations,” according to AZCentral.

When police arrested Inoue on a first-degree murder charge over the weekend, they said she had driven to the police station and told an officer she was “hearing voices telling her to kill her kids,” Tempe police spokesman Sgt. Steven Carbajal said at the time.

“There was an officer that was heading out of the station just to take care of his normal patrol duties for the day and she seemed pretty frantic and flagged him down,” Carbajal said Saturday at a press conference.

Police had been to Inoue’s apartment on a domestic dispute earlier in the night but didn’t make an arrest.

Both children were in bed when police left, AZCentral said.

In a police statement obtained by the publication, police said Inoue’s husband left the apartment after an argument in which she allegedly threatened to stab him.

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