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  • Stephen Moore previously attacked the GOP senators he now needs for his Fed bid

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, spent years attacking Republicans for purportedly being insufficiently Republican. Moore now needs the support of some of those same Republicans in the Senate if his bid is going to succeed.

    Moore is a longtime Republican commentator and Trump economic adviser with problematic views on women and economics. Moore's bid is reportedly in trouble because of a host of issues, including his past commentary. 

    He has also worked with several right-wing organizations, including co-founding the Club for Growth in 1999. The group was started to “help elect candidates who support the Reagan vision of limited government and lower taxes” and oppose Republicans who “vote like Democrats.” Club for Growth booted Moore in late 2004, and it eventually paid the Federal Election Commission a $350,000 penalty “for its failures to register as a political committee during each of the national elections during Mr. Moore’s tenure as president,” as The Wall Street Journal noted.

    During his career as a pundit, Moore has frequently attacked Republicans for supposedly being insufficiently loyal to the party. He said Utah’s Mitt Romney is a “traitor” who has “no voice left in the Republican Party” because of his past criticism of Trump. He attacked Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski for purportedly supporting “anti-growth” policies as a politician. He labeled Maine’s Susan Collins a “dinosaur” who was waging a “last stand at the Alamo” over a tax bill. He called West Virginia’s Shelley Moore Capito a “Republican In Name Only” for her vote on a Department of Labor bill that wasn’t supported by then-President George W. Bush. And he declined to support “career politician” Johnny Isakson in a Republican primary in Georgia because of his “worse-than-average” voting record.  

    Mitt Romney (Utah)

    During a December 6, 2016, appearance on the conservative radio program Rose Unplugged, Moore criticized Romney, who at the time was in consideration for secretary of state:

    STEPHEN MOORE: I’m a “never Romney” guy. Never Romney. Never, never, never Romney. Mitt Romney cannot be the secretary of state, his behavior was despicable throughout this campaign. And look, if he had an ounce of dignity, if he really believes the things that he said about Donald Trump. This man has no dignity. Why would he even entertain the offer of -- you know, come on -- you know, you’re bigger than that. You bet on the wrong horse and you go -- you ride off in the sunshine because nobody really cares about you anymore. You have no constituency; you have no voice left in the Republican Party. Good riddance. I feel strongly about this. I really do. I think it would be a betrayal of people like you and me if he picked somebody like -- turncoat like Mitt Romney.

    Moore himself was a Trump critic before joining his campaign.

    During a November 28, 2016, interview with WLS-AM’s Big John and Ramblin' Ray, Moore said: “I cannot stand the idea of Mitt Romney being in this Cabinet.” He added that Romney was a “traitor.”

    Susan Collins (Maine)

    CBS News reported in a June 2004 article that Moore referred to Susan Collins, among others, as a “dinosaur” while talking about the political debate over Bush’s tax plan:

    The Republican Party has changed. It was once dominated by a strict adherence to cutting revenues only if spending was decreased proportionally. Since President Ronald Reagan, however, it has become a party that believes tax cuts benefit the economy even at the cost of a ballooning deficit.

    President Bush's dedication to cutting taxes is so fervent, that even with the drastic spending increases of wartime he refused to compromise in the slightest on tax cuts.

    "These four Republicans are the last dying gasp of dinosaur northeastern Republicans," Moore says. "This is their last stand at the Alamo."

    Besides Chafee, the other three Republican senators opposed to the Bush tax cuts are Maine's Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, and John McCain of Arizona.

    Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)

    A June 11, 2004, article in the Anchorage Daily News reported that Moore said he liked then-Republican Senate primary candidate Mike Miller better than Murkowski because she voted for “a bill that expanded the Medicare program, which he thinks is too expensive, and believes she supported ‘anti-growth" policies when she was in the Alaska Legislature.” (Miller lost the primary to Murkowski.)

    Stephen Moore, president of Club for Growth, said he likes Miller's politics but can't invest in him if his campaign is "hopeless."

    "We basically agreed that he's certainly better than Lisa Murkowski," Moore said. Moore doesn't like her vote for a bill that expanded the Medicare program, which he thinks is too expensive, and believes she supported "anti-growth" policies when she was in the Alaska Legislature.

    "Our reservation is whether or not (Miller) has any chance of beating her, the viability issue," Moore said. "We said we'd wait until we saw some polling."

    So far, Alaska public-opinion surveys show Murkowski has an enormous lead over Miller.

    Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia)

    Moore’s Club for Growth put then-West Virginia Rep. Capito’s name in its “Republicans In Name Only” list after she and other Republicans voted on a measure regarding Department of Labor rules on overtime pay in 2003. The group wrote that the now-West Virginia senator was one of “the Republicans In Name Only who voted against the efforts to modernize these complicated regulations.”

    Johnny Isakson (Georgia)

    Politico reported on April 17 that Moore backed Herman Cain over then-Rep. Johnny Isakson in a 2003 Republican Senate primary, calling Isakson's voting record “worse-than-average” and labeling him a “career politician”:

    “The Democrats don’t have any blacks in the Senate. We, as Republicans, could. A black, free-market senator from the South would be rich with irony,” Moore told the National Review, referring to Cain, in 2003. After endorsing Cain, he dinged Isakson for losing out: “Cain beat out Congressmen Johnny Isakson and Mac Collins for this very significant endorsement.”

    Moore also tore into Isakson in a 2004 statement backing Cain, calling Isakson’s voting record “worse-than-average,” dubbing him a “career politician” and vowing to support Collins or Cain over him, according to a Club press release posted on a conservative website.

    Republicans said Isakson was cool to Cain’s nomination, though Isakson personally declined to criticize Cain in an interview last week. His office on Wednesday declined to comment on Moore’s support of Cain in the 2004 primary.

  • Stephen Moore repeatedly said he liked working at Fox News because he met "a lot of beautiful women" there

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, frequently told audiences that Fox News’ motto is “fair, balanced, and blonde” and that he enjoyed working there because he “met a lot of beautiful women.”

    Moore has come under fire in recent days for his sexist commentary about women. CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Paul LeBlanc reported that he “has written that women should be banned from refereeing, announcing or beer vending at men's college basketball games, asking if there was any area in life ‘where men can take vacation from women.’”

    Moore also said during an October 2017 appearance on CNN that he got “very good advice” from a CEO who told him to “never have a meeting with a woman without someone else in the room” because women have reported sexual harassment against people in a “position of power” like Bill O’Reilly and Trump.

    Moore worked as a Fox News contributor from 2013 to early 2017, when he left the right-wing network for CNN (after Trump's Fed announcement, CNN removed him as a commentator). He also frequently appeared on Fox News as a guest before becoming an official commentator. Fox News’ workplace culture has been toxic for years, especially for women.

    One of the staples of his speeches to organizations was touting how he's met “beautiful women” at Fox News, calling it one of his employment’s “fringe benefits” and saying it makes Fox News a “fun” and “great” place to work. Here are five examples:

    • During a May 10, 2012, speech for the Freedom Foundation, Moore said: “It’s great to be working with Fox News. You know their motto, by the way? Fair, balanced, and blonde, right? I’ve met a lot of beautiful women at Fox News, including Megyn Kelly, who I have to confess -- my wife isn’t here -- I’m in love with Megyn Kelly.”
    • During an October 18, 2012, speech at the Kansas Policy Institute, Moore said: “You know the theme of Fox News, right? Fair, balanced, and blonde. I’ve met so many, you know, beautiful women at Fox and it’s a lot of fun to work there.”
    • During a November 15, 2012, speech for the Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, Moore said: “People are always asking me, ‘What’s Greta [Van Susteren] really like?’ And I say, ‘Greta is absolutely perfect for Fox News. She’s fair, balanced, and blonde.’ And that is the philosophy of Fox News. ... One of the great things about working at Fox News: I have met a lot of beautiful women at Fox News. It’s a great place to work.” The Washington Post first reported on that remark.
    • During an August 7, 2013, speech for the American Legislative Exchange Council, Moore said: “My night job is working at Fox. You all know the theme of Fox News? Fair, balanced, and blonde. I’ve met a lot of beautiful women at Fox News.”  
    • During a November 21, 2013, speech at Brown University, Moore said: “By the way, for those of you who do watch Fox News, you all know the motto for Fox News, right, John? It’s Fox News: fair, balanced, and blonde. I’ve met a lot of beautiful women at Fox News and it’s one of the fringe benefits of working there.”
  • Trump Fed pick Herman Cain was a frequent gold company spokesperson

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Herman Cain, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, frequently acted as a gold company spokesperson on his radio program. He warned listeners in advertisements that they need to put some of their assets in gold because there’s a recession coming and “even central banks are buying gold every year in astronomical amounts. What do they know that you don’t?”

    Cain is a right-wing commentator who was previously the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a Republican presidential candidate. Cain dropped out of the race in December 2011 after several women reported him for sexual misconduct. The Washington Post reported that one of those women, Sharon Bialek, has said “she is willing to testify before the Senate Banking Committee if called upon. And she said Cain’s past behavior with women, including three others who have accused him of sexual harassment, should disqualify him from the Fed post.”

    Media Matters previously reported that Cain sent dubious medical information to his mailing list and also sent scammy financial emails that touted now-virtually-worthless penny stocks, pushed a “weird trick” that supposedly “adds up to $1,000 a month to Social Security checks,” and boasted of a "moneymaking strategy" that could "turn $1,000 into $800,000." He also sent sponsored emails touting the alleged benefits of investing in precious metals, including a message from a gold company which claimed that a return to the gold standard “could provide the biggest wealth building event of our lifetime.”

    In the past, Cain has advocated for the gold standard, which would tie U.S. currency to the value of gold. He recently told The Wall Street Journal: “I just know that no, I am not a beat-the-drum advocate for the gold standard these days because our economy is too complex. Too complex.”  

    Cain hosted a radio program for WSB Radio in Atlanta, GA, from 2013 to August 2018. He now does an online show.

    On his now-defunct WSB program, Cain frequently recorded advertisements for ITM Trading, an Arizona-based company that describes itself as a “full service buy/sell precious metals firm. We deal in most forms of physical gold and silver, shipped directly to your door.” Cain’s ads played into his listeners’ economic fears and touted gold as a protection against “economic calamity.” Here are four examples of ads that Cain aired on his show during 2016:

    “Have you noticed how fast gas prices are rising lately? Did consumer demand suddenly explode or is this just another Wall Street manipulation? Could this push us into the recession I have been warning about? If so, your investments could go down quite a bit, 10, 20, 30% or more. The good news is there is something you can do to protect yourself. You put some of your assets in gold. Why? When traditional investments are losing value, gold tends to rise in value. It’s a hedge against economic calamity and it’s been considered a safe haven for thousands of years.”

    “With the Dow rallying back to recent highs, everything looks good on the surface. But the underlying data is saying something very different. Some analysts are saying another recession may be on the horizon. Have you heeded my advice and gotten some gold from ITM Trading? Well I have, and you should too.”

    “It’s almost time for the presidential election and if you are like the majority of Americans, you are praying that your candidate will win and provide some much needed confidence and economic security for the country. But what if the unthinkable happens? Well regardless of the outcome, you can protect yourself now by owning gold and silver.

    “Ninety three percent of polled Americans do not trust in our Congress to do what’s best for our country. That is why gold and silver are more important than ever. … Even central banks are buying gold every year in astronomical amounts. What do they know that you don’t?”

    During one segment on his radio program, a listener called in and asked Cain questions about whether he should buy gold. He responded that he’s “not an expert” on gold but advised the caller to contact ITM Trading.

  • Eight times that Trump Fed pick Stephen Moore has endorsed some version of the gold standard

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Right-wing economist Stephen Moore has frequently recommended that the United States return to some version of the gold standard, saying that he loves the idea and that former President Richard Nixon’s decision to drop the monetary system in the 1970s was probably an impeachable offense. Now that President Donald Trump has picked him for a seat on the Federal Reserve, Moore has claimed he’s “not in favor of a gold standard” and has “never actually been a gold standard guy.”

    Moore, a longtime commentator who most recently worked for CNN, has a long history of pushing partisan and false economic propaganda. He worked for Trump’s 2016 campaign and co-authored the book Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.

    CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski and Paul LeBlanc recently reported that “Moore advocated for eliminating the corporate and federal income taxes entirely, calling the 16th Amendment that created the income tax the ‘most evil’ law passed in the 20th century.” He also “repeatedly said he believed capitalism was more important than democracy,” attacked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as “one of Trump's ‘worst appointments,’” and “called for firing hundreds of employees at the Federal Reserve Board,” calling them “‘worthless’ economists,” they wrote.

    Moore has also frequently endorsed the idea of the country returning to the gold standard, which would tie the United States’ currency to the value of gold. Washington Post reporter Matt O’Brien explained why such as a policy would be a “disaster”:

    So the gold standard is a lot like playing Russian roulette with the economy. It can turn recoveries into recessions, and prevent recessions from turning into recoveries just because the price of gold “wants” to go up at an inopportune moment, and we have to raise rates when everything else would tell us not to. But wait: It gets worse. This isn’t just about forcing governments to adopt bad monetary policies. It’s about stopping them from enacting good fiscal policies, too. Countries on the gold standard can’t run big deficits without markets wondering how committed they are to it — at which point, they would need to raise rates to reassure them. So even thinking about expansionary policy would require to them to impose even more contractionary policy. This isn’t a hypothetical, but rather a history of what happened in the 1930s.

    Now that he’s potentially moving from the pundit world into a job requiring Senate confirmation, Moore has been trying to hide his past support for the gold standard.

    During the April 11 edition of CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront, Moore blatantly lied by claiming: “I don’t think I’ve ever really said anything much about the gold -- I’m not in favor of a gold standard, I am in favor of using commodities as a forward-looking indicator for where prices are.” Burnett then played three clips of him endorsing a gold standard. Moore responded: “I think that a gold standard would certainly be better than we have right now, but I think there’s a much better system that we could put in place, which would not just look at gold, but all commodities.”

    Moore also said during a March 22 appearance on Bloomberg that he’s “never actually been a gold standard guy. I’m open-minded to it.”

    Here are eight examples of Moore endorsing some version of the gold standard over the years, including the three instances CNN aired:

    “I didn't believe in this before. We need to go back to a gold standard. We really do.” [Washington Policy Center, 3/9/09]

    “How many of you are aware that Richard Nixon was the president who took America off the gold standard? In 1971, the U.S. went off the gold standard. I always said that Richard Nixon was impeached for all the wrong reasons. He should have probably been impeached for taking America off the gold standard. … I’m kind of a convert to this idea. I really think we have to go back to some kind of monetary system where we have an anchor of gold. And we’ve lost that. And so I actually have come around to the idea that I think we have to re-establish some kind of gold standard in America so the dollar retains its value.” [BBT Economics, video posted online on September 2010]

    “I don't know if I'm for a hard gold standard like we had, but I do think we have to peg the dollar to gold, because what we've seen in the last 10 years is a 30 -- about 30 percent decline in the value of the dollar, and I believe, Judge, that the number one factor behind the slowdown in this U.S. economy has been the decline in the dollar. Let's make the dollar as good as gold again. That's what the Gipper said, right? Make the dollar as good as gold.” [Fox Business, Freedom Watch, 6/21/11]

    ROBERT REICH (professor and former labor secretary): “You want to go on the gold standard?”

    STEPHEN MOORE: “Yes, I do. … I want hard money, sound money!” [CNBC, The Kudlow Report, 1/11/12]

    "We have got to get rid of the Federal Reserve and move towards a gold standard in this country!" [FreedomWorks, 9/12/15, via]

    “We need sound money. Why don’t we audit the Fed and see what these people are doing at the Federal Reserve, they’re ruining our country. And why don't we go back to a gold standard in America? Let's make our currency as good as gold again!” [FreePAC, 3/12/16]

    "We should go back to some kind of gold standard, where -- I want to take discretion away from the Fed. We don't want the Fed to be making all these decisions. … We should, I believe, we should go back to some kind of gold, maybe not a gold standard, but have the dollar be as good as gold, so that the price of the dollar is relative to what it is in gold and take the discretion away from the politicians, and if you do that, I do think you’re going to see a stable currency." [Young America’s Foundation, 9/23/16]

    “I like the idea of going to a gold standard and restoring, you know, value to our currency. … [Conservative publisher] Steve [Forbes] has a new book out on the gold standard, so I love that idea.” [Turning Point USA, 12/17/16]

  • Trump Fed pick Herman Cain promoted anti-vaxxer and medical conspiracy theories through email list

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

    Herman Cain, President Donald Trump’s pick for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, took money to promote the newsletter of an anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist. Cain also sent sponsored emails suggesting that the government is forcing citizens to take “7 deadly drugs” and that former first lady Nancy Reagan's "desperate fight to cure Alzheimer’s disease" may be "over." 

    Cain is a right-wing commentator who previously was the chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and a Republican presidential candidate. He dropped out of the race in December 2011 after several women reported him for sexual misconduct. The Washington Post reported on April 4 that “Sharon Bialek, who said Cain had reached beneath her skirt in 1997 and tried to pull her head toward his crotch, said Thursday that his record of harassment should disqualify him from the Fed post.”

    Cain also recently founded a pro-Trump PAC with Floyd Brown, a right-wing birther who produced the racist Willie Horton ad attacking Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. The PAC recently attacked the 12 Republican senators who voted against Trump's emergency border declaration as “traitors.”

    Media Matters has documented that Cain sent scammy financial emails to his mailing list, including ones that touted now-virtually-worthless penny stocks and dubious financial advice like a “weird trick” that supposedly “adds up to $1,000 a month to Social Security checks” and a "moneymaking strategy" that could "turn $1,000 into $800,000."

    Catherine Rampell, who covers economics as a Washington Post opinion columnist, recently noted that "Cain spent the years following his failed presidential campaign spamming his email followers with snake-oil scams, promising 'weird tricks' that would make his followers get rich quick or 'naturally' cure their erectile dysfunction. Of course, such grifting might enhance Cain’s candidacy in Trump’s eyes, but it hardly bodes well for a man seeking to join an institution with consumer protection duties."

    Cain has also pushed sponsored emails with scammy medical information to his email list. Here is a look at three of those dangerous paid promotions.

    Cain sent emails featuring quack Russell Blaylock, an anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist

    In 2013 and 2015, Cain sent sponsored emails touting the work of Dr. Russell Blaylock, an anti-vaccination “quack” who has repeatedly appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ program. The emails were part of an advertising campaign for a subscription to The Blaylock Wellness Report, which is published by the conservative website Newsmax.

    Blaylock is a frequent source of misinformation about vaccines through Newsmax, where he is also a columnist. Here are six false and dangerous headlines for Blaylock-written columns on Newsmax about vaccines:

    As the World Health Organization explains, “Vaccines are safe”:

    Vaccines are safe. Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use, and regularly reassessed once it is on the market. Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause an adverse event. Most vaccine reactions are usually minor and temporary, such as a sore arm or mild fever. In the rare event a serious side effect is reported, it is immediately investigated.

    It is far more likely to be seriously injured by a vaccine-preventable disease than by a vaccine. For example, in the case of polio, the disease can cause paralysis, measles can cause encephalitis and blindness, and some vaccine-preventable diseases can even result in death. While any serious injury or death caused by vaccines is one too many, the benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks, and many more illness and deaths would occur without vaccines.

    Blaylock has also repeatedly appeared on discredited conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ program, where he has fearmongered about vaccines and other topics. A sampling of Infowars headlines about his appearances include: “ Saves Lives: Dr. Russell Blaylock Exposes Medical Genocide”; “Dr. Russell Blaylock: Obamacare is Mandated Social Engineering”; “Blaylock: Fluoride's Deadly Secret”; “Interview: Dr. Russell Blaylock Exposes Obama's Nazi Healthcare System.”

    Some of the Cain emails had the following disclosure at the end: “Material Connection Disclosure: The sender of this email may receive compensation for the advertising contained in this message. Any products or services offered by sponsors or advertisers have not been evaluated by Herman Cain and as such no warranty or claims are made.”

    Associating with Blaylock has previously been toxic for a Trump-affiliated politician. In 2014, right-wing commentator Scott Brown, a former Massachusetts senator who is now Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, dropped Newsmax as an email advertising partner after he was criticized for sending sponsored advertising from Blaylock to his mailing list.

    "The 7 Deadly Drugs the U.S. Government can't wait for you to swallow”

    Cain sent a sponsored email from the Health Sciences Institute which claimed that "an insider near Washington D.C. has just blown the lid off the 7 Deadly Drugs the U.S. Government can't wait for you to swallow." The email assured readers that it's not a conspiracy theory since the "whistleblower has concrete evidence 'the powers that be' are shoving pure poison down your throat... and laughing all the way to the bank, while you're carted off to the graveyard. ... P.S. You won't believe what innocent little pill rounds out the list at #1. If you're taking it regularly, you're 530% more likely to die TONIGHT."

    Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy wrote a 2015 article about the scammy practices of the Health Sciences Institute, which publishes a subscription newsletter. He reported:

    Last year, a man named Brian Chambers announced a world-changing advance: An international research organization called the Health Sciences Institute had found an incredible cure for cancer hidden in the Book of Matthew. For just $74, you, too, could discover the secret.

    That was the breathless pitch emailed to hundreds of thousands of [former Arkansas Gov. Mike] Huckabee’s followers in January, beneath a “special message” from the Republican presidential candidate trumpeting “important information.” Upon closer inspection, the divine remedy—eating fewer carbs—was never recommended by St. Matthew. Chambers is not a doctor, and the studies on starvation diets he cited make no mention of “cures.”

    The Health Sciences Institute is part of a company called NewMarket Health, which is just one asset of a Baltimore-based publishing empire named Agora Inc. Agora’s subsidiaries and affiliates publish more than 40 newsletters and sell more than 300 books on a range of topics, including biblical health tips, natural-healing supplements, and “insider” investment advice—a mix of ideas the company considers the intellectual equivalent of the marketplace of ancient Athens. To find new readers for its ever-expanding catalog of publications, Agora’s subsidiaries have tapped into a network of conservative heavyweights, including Huckabee, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich, who sell access to their massive email lists to advertise Agora’s products.

    “[Nancy Reagan’s] Desperate Fight to Cure Alzheimer’s disease over?”

    Cain sent a sponsored email from a group called Laissez Faire in 2015 and 2016 which falsely suggested that doctors have found a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. (The advertising campaign, which appears to have been aimed at selling newsletter subscriptions, has been discontinued and the landing page no longer exists.)

    Cain also sent emails in 2015 and 2016 from Laissez Faire with the subject line, “Must see: Alzheimer’s Mystery Finally Solved?”

    Laissez Faire is another Agora-affiliated company that sells a subscription-based newsletter which claims to show readers “how to live a happy, healthy, and wealthy life.” It also publishes a newsletter called Natural Health Solutions, which uses Nancy Reagan (“Nancy’s 90-Day Protocol”) in advertising materials in an attempt to gain subscribers.  

    Correction (4/10/19): This piece originally stated that Scott Brown promoted Russell Blaylock in 2013. In fact, it was in 2014.

  • Herman Cain promoted numerous now-virtually-worthless penny stocks through his mailing list

    Cain also associated with a fraudster who was later barred by the SEC "from involvement in any future penny stock offerings"

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Herman Cain, whom President Donald Trump is recommending to the Federal Reserve Board, has sent numerous sponsored emails to his mailing list promoting penny stocks that are now virtually worthless.

    Cain is a right-wing commentator and former chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He previously ran for president but dropped out after several women reported him for sexual misconduct. The Washington Post reported on April 4 that “Sharon Bialek, who said Cain had reached beneath her skirt in 1997 and tried to pull her head toward his crotch, said Thursday that his record of harassment should disqualify him from the Fed post.”

    In the years since his presidential campaign, Cain has turned his mailing list into a haven for scammy emails. In January, Media Matters documented numerous financial grift emails that Cain sent to his list. Cain also recently founded a pro-Trump PAC with Floyd Brown, a right-wing birther who produced the racist Willie Horton ad attacking Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election. The PAC recently attacked the 12 Republican senators who voted against Trump's emergency border declaration as “traitors” who can’t be trusted “to defend President Trump.”

    Cain has also repeatedly touted penny stocks to his email subscribers. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission defines "penny stock" as generally referring “to a security issued by a very small company that trades at less than $5 per share” and says such stocks are “generally considered speculative investments.” The penny stock market is riddled with unsavory practices and fraud, especially because of paid promoters who attempt to pump up the price of penny stocks for the benefit of themselves and their employers.

    Andrew Calamari, then-director of the SEC's New York office, said in 2014: "If we had a message to deliver, it would be that this is a very dangerous market for retail investors and that they should tread very, very carefully.”

    Media Matters has received numerous sponsored emails from Herman Cain promoting penny stocks which are now virtually worthless. Those emails, which were not written by Cain, told readers of countless future financial rewards, including turning "$5,000 into more than $40,000 within a few short months”; making "ten-times your money or better”; and becoming "multi-millionaires in the process."

    Cain’s penny stock mailings also include pitches from disgraced penny stock fraudster Tobin Smith, who was so corrupt that Fox News fired him in 2013 for violating a policy against paid stock promotions. In 2016, the SEC announced that Smith “agreed to settle charges that he and his company fraudulently promoted a penny stock [IceWEB Inc.] to investors” and “agreed to be barred from involvement in any future penny stock offerings.”

    Here are 10 examples of Cain’s mailing list sending sponsored emails which touted now-virtually-worthless penny stocks. (Note: Because of the transient nature of penny stock promotions and the passage of time, many of the original images in the emails are no longer available.)

    Virtus Oil & Gas (VOIL) “could yield stratospheric gains for shareholders who move in immediately”

    See the email, sent on 9/17/14, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by The Wall Street Revelator’s Andrew Carpenter:

    Virtus Oil & Gas VOIL suddenly finds itself conservatively valued in excess of $70.71 a share*...

    And you can buy VOIL right now for around $1.50!

    Opportunities like this don't come often. It's big, it's unprecedented, and it's happening right now. I urge you to follow up immediately. Virtus Oil & Gas VOIL could yield stratospheric gains for shareholders who move in immediately.

    Current stock price: $0.025.

    American Heritage International (AHII) “could easily double or triple in the next 18-24 months”

    See the email, sent on 4/10/14, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by BottomLine Newsletter's John Person:

    Disruptive technologies have the ability to change society, revolutionize entire industries, and turn savvy investors into multi-millionaires in the process.


    American Heritage (AHII) is, in my opinion, destined to become one of the leaders in the fast-growing electronic cigarette business. Currently trading for about $1-2, the stock could easily double or triple in the next 18-24 months if the company remains independent.

    Current stock price: $0.00.

    Ener-Core (ENCR) could be “the NEXT 884% Industrial Cleantech monster winner”

    See the email, sent on 4/7/14, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by Next Big Thing Investor PRO’s Tobin Smith:

    The Simple Investment Case for Ener-Core (ENCR): 2.50 dollars to 3.00 dollars over the Next 12 Months

    I discovered this company from one of the only investment banks that covers smaller industrial clean technology companies.

    These analysts (who are top drawer in the clean tech world) published an Ener-Core (ENCR)12-month price target of 2.50 dollars in the beginning of 2014.

    But I truly think their target price is too conservative in the short term--3 dollars is reasonable given that the company is OUT of its proof-of-concept stage and ramping up revenues in 2014 with a hockey-stick type sales ramp in 2015.


    You will need to act quickly on've seen how as these Industrial Cleantech stocks get discovered many have exploded in value in a matter of weeks and months.

    The key to your chance for catching the NEXT 884% Industrial Cleantech monster winner is of course to be in the stock at today's prices...but you know that.

    Current stock price: $0.10.

    Centor Energy (CNTO) could “climb to $25 and from there onwards to $100”

    See the email, sent on 2/5/14, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by The Myers Letter’s John Myers:

    Centor Energy (CNTO) just went public. Shares are now around $1, and as my just-released Special Report reveals, early investors are looking at a 1,200% winner.

    I'm John Myers and I'm going on record saying CNTO is set to jump from $1 to $8. And that's my short-term outlook. Longer term could see the stock climb to $25 and from there onwards to $100.

    Current stock price: $0.0011.

    KonaRed (KRED) “could turn $5,000 into more than $40,000 within a few short months”

    See the email, sent on 1/29/14, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by The Bowser Report’s Thomas Rice:

    Recommendation: KonaRed (KRED)

    Rated: Speculative Buy

    Current Price: $0.70

    Initial Target: $4.50

    Long-Term Target: $8.00

    KonaRed is already selling at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Albertson'’s, 7-11 and other giant retailers in Hawaii. Now, this breakthrough sensation and the company that makes it, KonaRed (KRED) is ready for prime time. It is looking at rolling out all across the U.S. mainland! Investors are thrilled -– KRED is still under $1. Buy now!

    FREE report reveals how early KRED investors (such as you!) could turn $5,000 into more than $40,000 within a few short months.

    Current stock price: $0.0151.

    Endeavor (ENIP) could “turn $10,000 into $757,200”

    See the email, sent on 12/24/13, here.

    Sample sponsored email claim, which was written by The Kolber Report’s Jonathan Kolber:

    Endeavor IP (OTCBB: ENIP) represents the hottest company I've seen in decades. I believe ENIP is a company with little downside... and a strong likelihood of seeing an extraordinarily high upside become a reality.

    P.S. Make no takes just one company to cut a deal - or attempt a buyout - and shares of Endeavor IP (OTCBB: ENIP) could potentially move so quickly you wouldn'™t [sic] have time to get in. That's why it's so important that you act now - before the window closes - to avoid missing out on what could be your second chance to turn $10,000 into $757,200 just like investors in patent stock VHC!

    Current stock price: $0.00.

    North American Oil & Gas (NAMG) could “make ten-times your money or better”

    See the email, sent on 8/19/13, here.

    Sample sponsored email claim, which was written by Champlain Media’s Tobin Smith:

    Strike now and you stand to make ten-times your money or better with this off-radar newcomer:

    North American Oil & Gas (NAMG)!

    This is an urgent buy recommendation to act on immediately!

    Current stock price: $0.00.

    National Graphite Corp (NGRC) could turn $2,000 into $132,000 “in just months!”

    See the email, sent on 6/18/13, here.

    Sample sales pitch from the sponsored email, which was written by James Rapholz of James Rapholz's Economic Advice:

    Cash in on the Greatest Materials Bonanza Since the Invention of Plastic!

    Can you imagine investing $2,000 in National Graphite Corp (NGRC) and walking away with $132,000? It's not only possible...

    I think it could happen in just months!


    P.S. Graphite is such a modern-era commodity, watching this 40 cent stock hit $13.20 is certainly possible. Last century steel played the same role as a breakthrough material. And it was.

    Current stock price: $0.06.

    Petrosonic (PSON) “could turn $10,000 into $50,000”

    See the email, sent on 5/13/13, here.

    Sample sponsored email claim, which was written by NBT Equity Group’s Tobin Smith:

    • How this little-known breakthrough technology could help make the U.S. the world’s #1 Oil producer by 2017.

    • How this same revolutionary technology could be about to add some 6 trillion barrels oil to the world’s recoverable reserves.

    • Why Obama and the environmentalists will absolutely love it.

    • Why you really could turn $10,000 into $50,000 in the next 6-1`2 [sic] months if you act now!


    Buy Petrosonic (PSON) now while you can still get it at less than $1 and . . .

    Look for $3.50 to $4.00 in six months or less!

    Hang on for a big-oil takeover that could rocket PSON as high as $30.95!

    Current stock price: $0.0001.

    Polar Petroleum (POLR) could hand investors “near-term gains of up to 1,800%”

    See the email, sent on 5/10/13, here.

    Sample sponsored email claim, which was written by Hard Asset Report’s Ken Williams:

    Investors are buying this stock up to $10 per share... with a $20 price target


    Polar Petroleum (POLR) may be about to hand us a massive windfall, like we witnessed on Carrizo Oil (5,500%), Denbury Resources (3,400%) and Northern Oil (1,100%).

    Polar Petroleum (POLR) could blow-the-doors off all three of these stocks...

    Astute investors are buying shares in Polar Petroleum now for near-term gains of up to 1,800%

    Current stock price: $0.0001.