New PAC Surfaces Backing Liz Cheney; Paid For $183,000 In Internet Ads Last Week

A new major political action committee has surfaced in support of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, paying $183,000 for web ads last week.

Leo Wolfson

July 13, 20225 min read

Cheney dog 7 12 22 scaled
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

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A new major political action committee has surfaced in support of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, paying $183,000 for web ads last week.

Wyomingites Defending Freedom and Democracy Inc. paid Texas media consulting group Fifty Elevn LLC $188,428 on July 1 for the ads, which were to be released on July 6. 

With the contribution, “Wyomingites” is now the third-highest spending organization in the race that is not directly affiliated with any of the candidates.

Gillette resident Chad Trebby is identified in as the organization’s custodian and treasurer.

Trebby ran for the state House of Representatives as an Independent in 2020, losing to Timothy Hallinan, a Republican, by about 35% of the vote. Trebby is also a deputy for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m appreciative of the work (Cheney) has been doing,” Trebby told Cowboy State Daily. “I think she is adhering to her oath of office ahead of party alliances. Although people want to contradict her, it’s a part of the process.”

Trebby said WDFD was created by Tex McBride, a Weston County welder and rancher. 

The documents filed in support of the PAC’s organization actually spell Trebby’s name as “Trebbe” three times. A signature on the documents also spells the last name as Trebbe.

The phone number listed for Trebby on the documents is also incorrect. It is actually a contact for Wisconsin campaign finance consultant Thomas Datwyler. 

Datwyler has served as treasurer of a number of different Republican campaigns including those of Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Georgia, two candidates who have spoken out against Cheney and endorsed her opponent Harriet Hageman. 

Trebby said the mistakes were not intentional and will be remedied as soon as possible.

Under Federal Election Commission rules, it is illegal to provide inaccurate or false information in campaign filings. The False Claims Act states that any person who knowingly submits false claims to the government is liable for double the government’s damages plus a penalty of $2,000 for each false claim. 

In order for charges to be filed, an official complaint has to be filed with the FEC.

Recently, a $50,000 contribution made to Wyoming Values, a super PAC supporting Hageman, from an organization known as “Snow Goose LLC,” caught the attention of nonpartisan election watchdog group The Campaign Legal Center. 

The CLC filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that Snow Goose is a “shell company” created solely to contribute to Hageman’s campaign.

Cheney, seeking her fourth term in the U.S. House, and Hageman, who has Trump’s endorsement, will be filing updated FEC information this week, which will be released on Friday.

The report will detailing donations and expenditures related to the second quarter of the year, running from April 1 through June 30. 

Those documents are likely to show a large expense on the part of the Save America PAC, which organized the campaign rally Trump held in Casper in May with Hageman.

The Cheney campaign had already set personal and Wyoming fundraising records through the end of March, with $10.1 million raised.

According to nonpartisan political finance watchdog group OpenSecrets and FEC data, some of the worlds’ biggest Fortune 500 companies have donated to Cheney’s campaign over the last two years through various PACs. 

The list of donors includes Comcast ($22,250), Berkshire Hathaway ($21,683), Goldman Sachs ($15,000), New York Life Insurance ($15,000), Morgan Stanley ($12,870), Dell Computers ($12,000), Capital One Financial ($10,000), AT&T ($10,000), Honeywell ($8,000), UPS ($5,000), Charter Communications ($5,000), Verizon Communications ($5,000), CVS Health ($5,000), Cigna ($5,000), Hewlett Packard ($5,000), Marathon Petroleum ($5,000), FedEx ($5,000), Boston Scientific ($5,000), Viatris ($5,000), United Health Group ($5,000), Texas Instruments ($3,000) and Molson Coors ($2,000). 

Also contributing to Cheney’s campaign were the American Gas Association, U.S. Travel Association, American Property Casualty Insurance Association, United States Automobile Association, Koch Industries, National Association of Broadcasters and National Beer Wholesalers.

A number of Jewish lobbying organizations have also supported Cheney, including the Republican Jewish Coalition and the Pro-Israel PACs, however the U.S. Israel PAC has supported Hageman.

Only one Democratic based PAC has put money into the race. Priorities USA Action, spent $9,622 to oppose Hageman.

Individuals contributing to Cheney’s campaign include film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, $21,600, and two high-ranking members of the administration of former President George W. Bush, Michael Chertoff and Theodore Olson.

Also donating to Cheney was Jane Fraser chief executive of Citigroup, with $250. Citigroup was the first major bank to offer employees paid travel to receive abortion services.

Hageman’s support has come from more traditional political-based groups such as the House Freedom Action and Club For Growth Action super PACs and the Protect Freedom PAC. 

The Citizens United Political Victory Fund and CPAC Action PAC also gave $10,000 each. When it comes to fundraising from these outside groups, Hageman has raised about $700,000 more.

Also donating to Hageman’s campaign was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, ($4,000), Jordan ($4,000) and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York ($2,000). 

Well known Wyoming political figures Lynn Friess ($305,800), Marti Halverson ($5,800) and Rachel Rubino ($2,500) have also donated either directly to Hageman’s campaign or to a PAC supporting her. Casper businessman Ron McMurry gave $100,000 to Wyoming Values and billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel gave $5,800 to Hageman’s campaign.

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter