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Whenever there's news coming out of Norther Virginia, such as the current kerfuffle over Republican Eric Cantor's wife's affiliation with a bank that been accused by the Virginia State Attorney of fraud, I'm reminded of Bruce W. Eberle, founder of Eberle Associates, a direct mail enterprise that's morphed into political/charitable and online solicitation, where fraud is not a problem, because the solicitors don't promise to deliver anything for the money they collect.

The extent to which Bruce's outfit relies on lists of email addresses to generate income is not known.  Also not know for certain is whether Bobby Eberle in Texas, the founder of GOPUSA, the fundraising arm of the Republican party and former employer of the infamous Guckert at Talon News are actually related as brothers.  What is known is that they are in a fraternity that collects addresses for the purpose of collecting money, mostly from naive and easily deceived people.

While the Texas branch of Eberles is a relative new arrival on the scene, Bruce W. is proud of the fact that he's been plying his trade/mission since 1963. Below the jump, in his own words:

Bruce is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Direct Marketing Association of Washington and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Free Speech Foundation, an association that champions the rights of non-profit organizations through legislative and legal action.

In addition to his professional responsibilities, Bruce serves as a Trustee of Joe Gibbs' Youth For Tomorrow New Life Foundation, as a board member of the CHARIS Institute and as Vice President of Time of Grace ministry. He also served four terms on the Board of Regents of Wisconsin Lutheran College. He has previously served as President of God's Word to the Nations Bible Society. Bruce gave the 1994 commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College and was given the 1994 Pro Gloria Dei Award at the commencement ceremony. In 2000 he received the Nehemiah award from Youth for Tomorrow.

Bruce has been involved in the conservative movement for more than four decades, beginning in 1963 when he joined Young Americans for Freedom. He served several terms on the national board of directors of YAF and has been an advisor to many other groups and candidates over the years. One of his greatest thrills was serving as Ronald Reagan's fund raiser when he ran for President in 1976.

Nowadays, his client list is somewhat less illustrious.

The Michael New Legal Defense Fund, for example, suffered a final set back when the District Court for the District of Columbia found that the fellow was properly separated from the military, against his will, after he refused to wear the UN patch, but still shows up on the client list with the explanation:

Michael New is not a troublemaker. He even offered to be transferred in order to avoid a problem. But someone high up in the Clinton Administration decided to make an example out of Michael New. Rather than transferring Michael, they decided to court-martial him. And because the judge disallowed the admission of vital information, he was given a bad conduct discharge and thrown out of military service.

How ironic, a young man who loves his country and willingly serves in combat is court-martialed at the direction of a Commander in Chief who was a draft dodger when his country called! Today Michael New continues fighting to receive an honorable discharge. With the help of his family, he and his father established the Michael New Legal Defense Fund.

And it is a Mission.

The purpose of the Michael New Legal Defense Fund is to not only clear his good name, but more important, to ensure that future generations of Americans will not have to serve under the flag of the United Nations. For nearly a decade Michael New has continued battling in the courts to make sure that other Americans don't have to fight and die under the banner of a United Nations flag. But, of course, legal action is very costly. How does someone without great financial means fight a government that has millions of dollars at its disposal?

Designed to fail and go on and on and on.
The sample of clients (not necessarily satisfied, obviously) and case studies is an education in itself.  Start at the beginning with Citizens (note that word) for Reagan:

After eight years as California Governor, Ronald Reagan began his historic march toward the White House. It was his unsuccessful 1976 campaign that laid the groundwork for his triumphal defeat of President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
The campaign had to gather delegates to the Republican convention from every state in the nation. It was a daunting task, but because Ronald Reagan was such a unique candidate with such a powerful appeal to a broad cross-section of Americans, it came within a hairs-breadth of success.
With full knowledge that the race for the nomination could not be achieved unless the fund raising effort was a success, no stone was left unturned in making sure that every possible net dollar was raised.

When the dust cleared, Ronald Reagan missed being the Republican nominee by a whisker, but it was not because there was a lack of funding. In fact, the 1976 Reagan campaign for president surpassed all direct mail fund raising efforts up until that point in time. More net dollars were raised for Citizens for Reagan than had ever before been raised for a presidential campaign through direct mail.

Also, note the word "net."  The fundraiser's cut is not mentioned.

So, who are the clients of this enterprise almost forty years later?

    * American Border Patrol
    * American Civil Rights Institute
    * American Civil Rights Union
    * Americans for Tax Reform
    * Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms
    * Citizen Outreach
    * The Conservative Caucus
    * Conservative Caucus Foundation
    * Freedom Alliance
    * Institute of American Relations
    * James Watt Defense Fund
    * Stacey Koon Defense Fund
    * Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund
    * Lincoln Institute
    * Linda Tripp Defense Fund
    * Michael New Legal Defense Fund
    * Mountain States Legal Foundation
    * National Tax Limitation Committee
    * Paula Jones Legal Fund
    * ProEnglish
    * Radio America
    * Religious Roundtable
    * Ronald W. Reagan Scholarship Program at Eureka College
    * Ron Greer Defense Fund
    * Sixty Plus Association
    * Southeastern Legal Foundation
    * United States Justice Foundation
    * Young America's Foundation
    * Young Americans for Freedom

Promoting Americans' freedom to exploit their fellow man.  It's not an ignoble ambition when children are "our most precious resource" and the exploitation of other natural resources is increasingly difficult.
Note that these outfits are all not-for-profit.  So, in the context of the current conservative meme, let's just point out that 50% of Americans pay no income tax because they have no income; most American private corporations pay no income tax because they have no profits.  In effect, the tax code rewards failure.

Failure by design -- it's like planned obsolescence, the key to longevity in business and public office.

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