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“Slap Hillary in the Face” Guy Has Close Connections to VA House Speaker Howell, Rep. Wittman

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UPDATE: Chris Marston responds in the comments section of this post.

Wonderful, eh?

The Hillary Project, a super PAC that calls itself the “only thing standing between” former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) and the White House, has posted a video game in which players are encouraged to slap Clinton across her face. The sole officer identified on the PAC’s public filings, Christopher M. Marston, is a Republican operative with ties to several prominent GOP officeholders.

[…]

Marston, a former Alexandria, VA Republican chairman, an unsuccessful 2011 candidate for Clerk of the City Court, and an Assistant Secretary of Education in the George W. Bush adminsitration, is treasurer of The Hillary Project…

…Marston, who served as treasurer for the pro-Rick Santorum Red, White, and Blue fund in 2012, also currently serves in a similar role for leadership PACs for Rep. Marlin Stuzman (R-IN), Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), and Virginia Speaker of the House William Howell (R). None of those three responded immediately to ThinkProgress inquiries about their reaction to the game and their treasurer’s involvement.

Why am I note surprised at any of this, from the “war on women” party?

  • cmarston

    Somehow, over the last two days, I’ve become the “Slap Hillary in the Face” Guy. A Google search will bring up at least three pages of stories at various blogs parroting the same story quoted here that falsely claims that I’m responsible for this online video game and implies that my other clients somehow support it.

    I’m a treasurer for dozens of candidates, party committees, and PACs. It’s how I earn a living. Not the most exciting work in the world; I do bookkeeping and file reports. My big excitement is reviewing disclaimers on fundraising invitations.

    One buzzfeed post has turned me into an internet villain. I’ve even been nominated as an a**hole of the day (fortunately, my mom doesn’t read blogs). And the Think Progress piece quoted here, along with the headline, unfairly drags my other clients into a controversy that has nothing to do with them.

    I don’t manage campaigns. I don’t advise on strategy. I don’t develop online video games for websites. My clients don’t clear their plans for communication with me in advance.

    How many small businesses ask their accountant for advice on their marketing plans?

    Clients contract with me to meet their public disclosure obligations and ensure they follow regulations that apply to them. As a result, I’m listed on their FEC Forms. And usually as the “sole officer.” The only two officers the FEC asks for are the treasurer and custodian of records. And I’m usually both.

    Like the kids game telephone, as the story goes from one outlet to the next, I’ve gone from being the “sole officer” listed to leading the Hillary Project.

    I don’t lead the Hillary Project. Neither does Speaker Howell, Congressman Wittman, Congress Stutzman or any of my other clients.

    Think Progress at least posted an update in which the spokesman for the Hillary Project confirms that all I do for that organization is FEC compliance. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been picked up in the many other blogs that have parroted this story.

    As a contractor, I don’t offer opinions on the content of any of my clients’ communications. It wouldn’t be ethical. Unfortunately, all of these stories have put my clients in a pinch, so I’ve asked the Hillary Project to find a new treasurer.

    –Chris Marston