Notorious Washington consultant is behind the anti-Trump campaign
Donald Trump, the prohibitive favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, just added a fistful of primaries to his string of victories and knocked the GOP establishment’s favorite son, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), out of the race. To beat Trump now, it seems, someone thinks it’s time to get evil.
Dr. Evil, to be exact. Washington consultant Rick Berman, whom CBS News christened with that title in 2007, runs a public relations consulting company in Washington known for deploying surreptitious tactics on behalf of major industry clients. Berman’s firm has now contracted with a group Berman runs, the Enterprise Freedom Action Committee, in connection with a $315,000 (so far) campaign against Trump waged via Google and Facebook ads.
Berman earned the Bond-film moniker in part by deploying tactics like “shooting the messenger.” As he told CBS: “Shooting the messenger means getting people to understand that this messenger is not as credible as their name would suggest.”
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Source: Notorious Washington consultant behind anti-Trump campaign | OpenSecrets Blog
How many superdelegates are lobbyists or shadow influencers? With your help, we’re trying to find out.
As of the March 15 primaries, the delegate count in the Democratic presidential primary stands at 1,119 for Hillary Clinton and 813 for Bernie Sanders. But Clinton also has 467 “superdelegates,” while Sanders has just 26. A few weeks ago, we asked you to help us track which Democratic superdelegates (a key part of the presidential nominating process on that side of the aisle) are also lobbyists. Using data provided to us by Vox, and building off of work by the Intercept which firstreported on this, we created a spreadsheet detailing superdelegates’ lobbying work.
Some of the registered lobbyists we found on the list with your help:
- Donald L. Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chair who was a registered lobbyist for the SC Credit Union in South Carolina in 2009
- Alexis Tameron, who registered to lobby for American Traffic Solutions in Arizona in 2011
- Joyce Brayboy, a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, most recently registered in 2015
- We also found several superdelegates who aren’t officially registered as lobbyists, but work for lobbying firms or otherwise perform what most of us would think of as lobbying activities. We think it’s important to track this, too because it seems there’s a lot of unregistered (or “shadow”) lobbying activity that happens, and the public should know who else might be wielding influence beyond the election.Jennifer McClellan, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, also works for Verizon as assistant general counsel, “focusing on state regulatory matters for several states.”
- Boyd Brown of South Carolina runs Resurgens, a government relations (lobbying) firm in South Carolina. The firm’s site says they “bring a concept to lobbying that the rest of the Statehouse lobby does not: countless personal relationships with the House and Senate memberships, state agency contacts and a deep understanding of how things get done inside the South Carolina General Assembly.” Brown is not a registered lobbyist, either federally or in South Carolina.
Several superdelegates work for consulting, communications or strategy firms whose work touches on lobbying: Alice Huffman, a superdelegate from California, is the president of AC Public Affairs, whichoffers “public affairs,” “public policy advocacy” and “building opinion leader support.” Maria Echaveste, also from California, works for NGV LLC, which does “executive branch advocacy” and “legislative strategy.”
There are still a number of superdelegates we haven’t yet looked into, so please continue to send us what you find!
Go here to learn how you can help: Progress report: Tracking lobbyist superdelegates – Sunlight Foundation Blog