A super-PAC called TruthPAC, founded last week by a former Microsoft executive, has unleashed a series of provocative ads in Florida and Utah targeting Jewish and Mormon voters. The ads’ message: If Donald Trump would ban Muslims from entering the United States, what religious group would be next?
In a 15-second ad running in South Florida, the super-PAC features a cut of Trump’s speech announcing a proposed ban on Muslim immigration, but replaces “Muslims” with “the Jews.”
A nearly identical ad, apparently designed for the Utah market, subs in “Mormons.” A third version of the ad features a rolling list of religious and ethnic groups.
Mother Jones couldn’t find invoices filed with local television stations reporting the ad time being purchased for these spots. (This information would show up in the available database only if the ads are airing on network news stations, not on cable channels.) But TruthPAC reported on Saturday that it had spent $92,500 on ad production and buys. There is virtually no public information about the group, which was created on November 2. Information about its funding or total war chest won’t be available until after the election. Super-PACs can be quickly created and are allowed to spend unlimited sums instantly.
The treasurer of the group is a man named Dick Brass. He’s a former journalist who became a tech executive. He is perhaps best known for his work at Microsoft. In 2010, Brass published a New York Times op-ed blasting Microsoft for failing to innovate, citing work he did in the 1990s on an early version of tablet computers. His Wikipedia entry states that Brass helped pioneer spell-checking software.
Brass did not return a request for comment. It remains unclear how much the group will spend on these last-minute ads and who is putting up the money for this campaign.