It appears that a bunch of gullible suckers are gladly opening their wallets for these con artists. Do you think they even have a clue? That's the beauty of any con. The true believer targets are blissfully ignorant. Televangelists have been doing the same kind of thing for years. It's one way to get rich, I guess.
The conservative movement is a massive and elaborate moneymaking venture. Numerous nonprofits exist almost solely to raise money, which they spend on their own salaries and, obviously, more fundraising. A conservative civil war is great for business. Karl Rove throwing money at “electable” Republicans is a wonderful opportunity for people to raise money for groups that promise to elect crazies. More primary campaigns means more jobs for consultants. More third-party groups fighting for the soul of the party means more desperate pitches to gullible millionaires and billionaires. Plus more crappy books sold in bulk to conservative book clubs!