According to documents obtained by political money watchdog Open Secrets, billionaire Robert Mercer reportedly funded a secretive organization that used Facebook and Google to target swing-state voters during the 2016 presidential election. The group, which called itself Secure America Now, used the money donated by Mercer and others to produce decidedly anti-Muslim ads envisioning a world in which the United States and European countries had been converted into “Islamic States” where Sharia law is now imposed. These videos were then targeted to swing-state voters.
Tax documents obtained by Open Secrets indicate that Mercer — whose family name has become synonymous with the likes of former Breitbart-ers Milo Yiannopoulos and Steve Bannon, as well as President Trump himself — donated $2 million alone to the group. Along with two other donors, Mercer’s contribution to Secure America Now made up most of “the money fueling the group”:
Ronald S. Lauder, the heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, gave $1.1 million. Lauder has long been a supporter of conservative and pro-Israel causes, and his longtime political adviser Allen Roth serves as president of Secure America Now.
The remaining $60,000 in reported contributions came from three donors: Brad Anderson, the former CEO of Best Buy; Foster Friess, the investor and longtime Republican donor; and Olympus Ventures LLC, which is tied to a foundation created by Dick Schulze, the founder of Best Buy.
As for the ads themselves, they are a sight to behold. With a tone not unlike a travel promo, the three most prominent videos specifically target Germany, France, and the United States. With accompanying voice overs pointing out all the cultural highlights of the three countries, each video features notable landmarks (like the Eiffel Tower or the Hollywood sign) that have been altered to appear as if they were influenced by a supposed Muslim takeover.
(Via Open Secrets)