June 21st, 2010
09:29 PM ET
10 years ago

Hayworth's 'free money grant' infomercial surfaces

J.D. Hayworth appeared in a 2007 infomercial that promised billions of dollars in free government grants.

J.D. Hayworth appeared in a 2007 infomercial that promised billions of dollars in free government grants.

Washington (CNN) – Former congressman J.D. Hayworth has used several ads as part of his bid to oust Sen. John McCain in Arizona's Republican primary. But in 2007, Hayworth was appearing in a different kind of ad: an infomercial that promised billions of dollars in free government grants.

The television ad promises free information about "hundreds of billions of dollars in government funding" to individuals who attend a conference on the topic.

The company behind the meetings – National Grants Conferences – has been criticized by the attorneys general of multiple states for deceptive marketing. A simple internet search brings back legions of complaints about the company.

Hayworth appears in the infomercial as part of a panel discussion on the availability of government grants that don't require repayment. Also on the panel are Mike and Irene Milin, the company's co-founders.

After introducing Hayworth as a former congressman, the infomercial's host says, "Forgive me if I sound like a skeptic, because that is a lot of money. It sounds too good to be true." The host then asks of Hayworth, "Congressman, is it for real?"

"It is for real," Hayworth responds. "Now look, I understand the skepticism in part because President Reagan used to say, 'The greatest contradiction ever uttered is, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help,'" Hayworth added.

The McCain campaign has quickly criticized Hayworth over his involvement with the group. "J.D. Hayworth lent his title, name and credibility as a former member of congress to an obvious rip off scam," said McCain spokesman Brian Rogers.

But the Hayworth camp says the McCain campaign is engaged in "politics as usual." Hayworth's campaign also pointed to the fact that National Grants Conferences co-founder Mike Milin has donated thousands of dollars to the McCain campaign in recent years.

Rogers says those donations have been given to Arizona charities - and are not being used by the McCain campaign.

Hayworth recorded the ad in 2007 following a 2006 electoral defeat. Hayworth served in Congress for six terms.

Arizona's GOP primary will be held on August 24.

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • J.D. Hayworth • John McCcain
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. The reality is...

    free government grants = tax the workers and give to the slouchers. That's just what Obama's agenda is all about and the more slouchers we have voting, the more secure Obama and his cohorts are.

    June 21, 2010 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Debbie from Arizona

    Here is another reason, we, the citizens of Arizona need to vote Democrat in November. Our state has been treated to the disgusting Republican style politics for far too long. We have two Republican Senators in Congress, a Republican majority in our state and an un-elected Republican Governor. I for one, have had enough.

    June 21, 2010 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    Like all true conservatives, the quickest way to kill J.D. Hayworth would be to glue a $20 bill in the middle of the road...he is so blinded by greed that it overcomes his own philosphical inclinations (if he ever had any). Bill O' Reilly appeared at a forum recently, during which he touted a pyramid scheme. Limbaugh could have earned a legit living voicing over ads, instead of defending BP's right to kill the economy of the entire Gulf Coast.

    Greedy slobs, all.

    June 21, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  4. deceptive marketing

    says GOP all over

    GOPers are the kings of deceptive marketing

    June 21, 2010 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He did say that it was money that people had already paid in taxes. What was never made clear to me was what these grants were for and how ethical some of these grants were obtained. That concerns me that someone who is a conservative (wants to shrink government, is advocating for this massive government system. Is he really a conservative?

    June 21, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. Lolcats

    Geesh, not that McCain should ever be forgiven for Palin – but those infomercial ads make Hayworth 100% unelectable. He's done. No way his campaign can survive this. Pure slime.

    June 21, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  7. missu

    John McCain had his Charles Keating, and we're now asking what involvement John McCain had in Scott Rothstein's Ponzi scheme, for the McCain campaign. I think the voters of AZ should look elsewhere from both Hayworth & McCain. Both their characters are just too shady.

    June 21, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  8. Alleen

    Hayworth is not the only GOP guy to work for this scam operation.

    These Nat'l Grants Conference scammers came to my town. I was shocked to see their TV infomercials hosted by "former HUD officials" in the Bush administration. I looked into it at the time and found that many had worked for former HUD secretary Mel Martinez. Remember Martinez? He just resigned from the U.S. Senate to become a LOBBYIST! An FEC audit found Martínez's campaign accepted a total of $313,235 in contributions that exceeded limits from 186 donors. His staffers are a bunch of money hungry charlatans that care nothing about serving the public. Just the opposite in fact. At the same time that Wall St was collapsing and unemployment was soaring they bilked many desperate Americans out of thousands of dollars with promises of "free money" from the government.

    Shameful. Keep looking. There's more under this slimy rock.

    June 22, 2010 12:00 am at 12:00 am |


    This is GOP Self-Destruct Week!

    June 22, 2010 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Gil

    We keep hearing about the GOP and family values. One is to own a home, yet they are running the teabugger, Rubio, in Florida and his house is maybe being foreclosed. I bet the party helps him out to avoid more embarrassment over their total lack of values, family or otherwise! Hayword's situation further adds to the proof of these nut case right wingers having no values at all!

    June 22, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  11. Shellie

    JD Hayworth is so stupid he cannot possibly be in contention for another Congressional seat?! JD was a failure for Arizona, he was a failure for Congress and now this?! JD needs to stay away from Politics, he is just too inexperienced, stupid and unethical to offer us anything we want or need.

    June 22, 2010 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  12. Bill Sampson

    Typical. A pig and a crook. Good luck Arizona.

    June 22, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  13. Gregory Hilton

    Tabitha Hale of Freedom Works is one of many J.D. Hayworth supporters who abandoned him today: "He is a total fraud. He's a sell out, period. . . He will be a huge liability for the conservative movement. I have no interest in seeing him elected. . . The conservative movement is not responsible for McCain. We would be responsible for Hayworth. I'm not willing to be responsible for someone who is a) crazy and b) not conservative."

    June 22, 2010 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  14. shelly

    Another Republican/ Tea Party two faced idiot....Can't believe the GOP or the Tea Party because they ONLY care for themselves and their bank balance.

    June 22, 2010 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  15. Donkey Party

    Send both of those gutter-snipes a message AZ, vote for your Democrat. It's the last and best hope you have.

    June 22, 2010 04:10 am at 4:10 am |