Republican mailer magnate accuses Hinckley director of co-opting donation

Published: Monday, Oct. 10 2011 8:04 p.m. MDT

Valcarce is a graduate of Brigham Young University, and one of his first political jobs was working for Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in his Utah office. He later went on to work on congressional campaigns for Enid Greene and Chris Cannon. Since then, his client list boasts a long list of Republican elites, including George W. Bush, Sen. Saxby Chamblis, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Rep. Rob Bishop and a host of GOP state and national committees and conservative organizations.

Political insiders tell the Deseret News that this fight between Valcarce and Jowers has a much larger context, saying Jowers has rattled the cages of Tea Party Republicans by moving to change the ways in which the Utah Republican Party does business. For example, Jowers enraged some Utah conservatives when he proposed opening the party's caucus process to allow more voter participation.

Insiders say the timing of the scholarship donation fight was orchestrated as a warning to Jowers to leave well enough alone, and to make an example of him.

The donation to the U. did not come from Valcarce directly but rather through the Valcarce Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization set up by him, with assets set at $621,596 and generating revenue around $31,000, according to IRS filing information. Several sources have told the Deseret News that Valcarce was motivated to donate to the U. and BYU because the IRS had noticed that no charitable contributions had been made from the foundation. When asked, Valcarce said he was not in trouble with the IRS, but rather had an "obligation to make some donation."

Valcarce denies that there is any political motivation beyond wanting to make sure his money is not used for Jowers' political benefit.

"I'm barely involved in Utah politics," he said. "This showed low class. It basically showed that he was willing to do anything for his own personal gain."

As someone who likes to operate behind the scenes at the national level, Valcarce  initially wanted to remain anonymous. But he said he felt strongly enough about this issue that he wanted to come forward.

E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com

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