About Alex Brant-Zawadzki

Righteously indignant. Nothing sounds obvious if you're deaf.

Hazing McCain

Robert Stacey McCain doesn’t particular care for my reporting. McCain, who runs the blog “The Other McCain”, is one of the increasingly decreasing number of outspoken supporters of Ali A. Akbar, president of a group called the National Bloggers Club. I’ve written a handful of articles on the topic, and he took issue with one in particular – Romney Staffer Committing Charitable Fraud. First of all, he credits other people for my work. Then he apparently feels it’s relevant to include 750 words on Brett Kimberlin, the boogiest of boogie-men to the conservative blogosphere – not to mention someone I’ve never knowingly worked with, talked to, seen or even known much about. When he finally gets back to me, he … Continue reading

Get High With Mitt For $2,000

Mitt Romney wants to meet you, but only if he’s really, really high. The Romney campaign just sent an email via the Washington Times  advertising an Obama-esque competition to enjoy some private time with the Republican candidate at 32,000 feet. Just you, him… and a planeful of people paid to be between you and him. Team Romney is hoping to capitalize off of the same spirit of the Obama campaign’s repeated contests to have dinner with the Obama and/or a celebritous individual or two, or maybe hang out backstage with the First Lady, that kind of thing. The reason those competitions are so successful is because people actually want to spend time with the President. Regardless, this latest doesn’t-at-all-seem-desperately-derivative stunt from … Continue reading

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Jerks Are Just Jerks

Republicans may not like Democrats and Democrats may not like Republicans… but nobody likes an asshole. Recently I reported on the National Bloggers Club and two of its founders, Ali Akbar and Bill Murphy. The story has been simmering beneath the surface since June, when Akbar’s felonious past was revealed. In the past three months concerns evolved into questions about the integrity of the National Bloggers Club. It leapt into the spotlight three weeks ago, when progressive bloggers revealed that Team Romney hired Murphy as its Social Media Director. My three stories thus far have focused on Akbar and Murphy’s past associations, the dubious nature of NBC’s claims to be a non-profit, and conservative bloggers’ distaste for, and demands for … Continue reading

Romney Staffer Committing Charitable Fraud

Bill Murphy, Mitt Romney’s Social Media Director, and his colleague Ali Akbar have ripped off a lot of people. They ripped off the Tea Party with the American Liberty Alliance. They ripped off movement Conservatives with the National Bloggers Club. They even ripped off Andrew Breitbart. But their days of making it rain misbegotten right-wing dollars may be numbered. In 2009 Murphy and Akbar worked together at American Liberty Alliance, an organization which collected “donations” throughout the summer while claiming they were just waiting for their 501(c)3 application to go through. It never did. Then they worked together at National Bloggers Club, a group which solicited “donations” for the past six months while actually calling itself a non-profit (status pending). … Continue reading

Romney Staffer Ran Sham Non-Non-Profit

Team Romney’s Social Media Director, Bill Murphy, is the former Director of the National Bloggers Club, a group under IRS investigation for soliciting donations while falsely claiming to be a non-profit organization. Although NBC filed incorporation papers in January, the organization is still absent from both the IRS and GuideStar charity databases. The group’s President, Ali Akbar, is a long-time associate of Murphy’s. In fact this isn’t even their first for-profit non-profit. I first wrote about Akbar in 2009, when he was working at American Liberty Alliance – an organization that fraudulently solicited funds while purporting to be non-profitable. Murphy was ALA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. Though Akbar would eventually rise to the dizzying heights of Chairman of the ALA … Continue reading

Team Romney Hires Colleague of Convicted Felon Ali Akbar

Earlier this year Akbar and Murphy started a group called the National Bloggers Club. They were supported by seed money from Foster Friess, the billionaire who propped up Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign and earned notoriety for suggesting that women use aspirin as birth control – by placing a pill between their knees. Continue reading

Top Ten Tips to Tackle Crowdfunding

SC Logo from Deck flattened cropped

Cross-posted on Huffington Post and Daily Kos   My company, Spend Consciously, has just launched its second crowdfunding campaign. At the start of our first, my boss Matthew Colbert and I were fairly new to the process. But thanks to what we learned from the first campaign, the second is off to a very encouraging start. In fact we’re currently the “Hottest” campaign on StartSomeGood.com. It’s incredible how a bit of experience can manifest so significantly. We developed an idea for what communication methods were most effective. We learned about – and made – some common mistakes. But as a result, we are more battle-hardened, more effective entrepreneurs. It’s one thing to read up on crowdfunding. It’s another to go … Continue reading