Overnight, the GoFundMe that’s raised over $300,000 for UNC frat boys changed: It added that the funds were now being raised by John Noonan on behalf of Susan Ralston. A comment on the GoFundMe calls Ralston a “world class event planner named Susan [who is] already hard at work. She worked in the White House and knows what she’s about.

Not quite.

Ralston resigned from the George W. Bush administration  in 2006 after serving as a go-between between Karl Rove and Jack Abramoff. (She was previously Rove’s top aide, and before that, worked for Abramoff.) An NPR piece from 2023 notes she has “deep ties to power players in conservative politics.” She currently runs a consulting firm called SBR Enterprises, which received over $300,000 from the Paul E. Singer Foundation. Singer is the President of the Manhattan Institute. NPR notes that “His investment firm, Elliott Management, is the largest shareholder in the coal producer Peabody Energy Corp.”

Noonan was the national security adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton. He was tweeting about setting up the GoFundMe yesterday before locking down his account.

Is the money going to the frat? Or to a Republican operative using all the right culture-war keywords to collect hundreds of thousands of dollars? (Sources have told us the frat knows nothing about this. If you know more, email [email protected] and we’ll update this story.)

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John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...