30 June 2011 ~ 21 Comments

Craig Huey’s Scam-dalous Past

It’s no coincidence that the most insulting ad I’ve ever seen in politics was made in support of Craig Huey. I say that because we now know that Huey has made a living in the direct mail business by peddling the same type of fear and confusion we saw in that sad and shocking ad a few weeks back.

LA Weekly looks at Huey’s fondness for dirty advertising tactics:

“Your job as a marketer is to move them from skepticism to greed,” [Huey] said in a 2009 interview with the Newsletter on Newsletters. On his website, he notes that good ad copy “motivates with fear.”

In fact, the election of President Obama gave Huey the perfect opportunity to scare conservatives and merge his ruthless approach to business with his extreme political agenda:

As [Huey] explained in the interview, they could make use of “fear of government, uncertainty and confusion in Washington, and information overload” to sell investments.

Which investments was Huey trying to sell? Amongst others, a “pump and dump” mining stock scheme aimed at seniors which promised big returns but ended up wiping out their retirement savings:

[One of Huey's "pump and dump"] pitches was featured on a blog that exposes “attempts to extract money from the elderly.” The author of the blog wrote that he started it after his father, who had dementia, fell for a series of direct mail scams.

Incidentally, on his company website Huey has an article that explains how to target the “mature market,” which he defines as anyone over 55.

It gets worse. Huey also promoted two direct mail nutrition companies that had to pay huge fines for misleading advertising to seniors:

According to the settlement, the companies had claimed that their products could cure emphysema, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.

But that’s not the only time one of Huey’s clients has run afoul of the law. Donald Rowe paid Huey big money to promote a newsletter. The problem? The newsletter turned out to be a front for ponzi scheme in which hard working Americans lost millions of dollars. That doesn’t seem to bother Huey. On his business website, Huey features a quote from Rowe praising Huey’s work marketing the scheme:

“The new direct mail package you created is productive beyond my best expectations. I received a $300,000 profit in less than 30 days—from one mailing! Without a doubt, this has been my most profitable mailing, and I’ve been in business for 20 years.”

Profitable to his scam artist clients. Devastation to the families who lost their money. Testimonials from con-men make one thing clear: Craig Huey cannot be trusted.

Huey has spent his professional life marketing for scam artists and direct mail schemes — taking money from thousands of good people. Now he is running for Congress with a plan to end Medicare as we know it by passing out vouchers that will leave seniors holding the bag on the high costs of healthcare. Scheme after scheme. An extreme agenda. That’s Craig Huey’s way of doing business and politics. And our new ad lays it out:

Janice Hahn needs your help to keep up this ad and to stop Craig Huey from pursuing his extreme agenda in Washington.

Full disclosure: I’m the media consultant and senior strategist for the Janice Hahn for Congress campaign.

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