Home 2019 Elections How Are Dem Gubernatorial Candidates Spending Money?

How Are Dem Gubernatorial Candidates Spending Money?

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By Josh Stanfield of Activate Virginia

At around 7am this morning, as I was casually perusing 2021 Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls’ PAC filings on VPAP, I realized the info could be of public interest. So here ya go – a breakdown of how they’ve been spending focusing almost exclusively on the [1/1/2020 – 3/31/2020] filing period:


LG Justin Fairfax 

We Rise Together PAC

Raised $7,769 / Spent $26,520 / $0 On Hand

WIN Digital Media LLC: $18,000 for Communications Services

WIN Digital Media LLC has no known website, but this bio of Lauren Burke states she’s the Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. Burke is regularly quoted by the press on questions of Justin Fairfax, as seen in this February 2020 article

Avis Jones-DeWeever: $5,000 for Communications

Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, according to her website, is “a Career Reinvention Strategist, Diversity Consultant, and Women’s Empowerment Expert. She’s the Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, a global personal and professional development firm that helps established and aspiring entrepreneurs and executives experience accelerated success while building a holistic life they love. She’s also the President of Incite Unlimited, a Washington, DC-based boutique consulting firm specializing in diversity consulting, communications strategy and the development and implementation of impactful research.”

NGP Software: $2,100

Also note the Schedule F: Debts Remaining Unpaid filings for We Rise Together PAC. There’s a 1/1/19 debt to former Fairfax advisor Lawrence Roberts (recently named director of the Sorensen Institute of Political Leadership at UVA) for $54,000. There’s another 2/8/2019 debt to Dave Mills, LLC; David Mills is married to State Senator Jennifer McClellan and is former Executive Director of the DPVA. Both debts are for Strategic Consulting Services.


Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy

Virginia For Everyone PAC

Raised $980 / Spent $42,671 / $36,395 On Hand 

Pfeiffer Finance Strategies: $12,000 for Finance Consulting Services 

Pfeiffer Finance Strategies has no known website. The Washington Post reported that Foy has brought on “Polly Pfeiffer, the former finance director for Northam’s gubernatorial campaign,” presumably the operative behind Pfeiffer Finance Strategies. PFS did $37,749 of work for Leslie Cockburn, 2018 VA-05 Democratic candidate.

Foglamp Content Studio: $8,500 for Digital Consulting 

Foglamp’s website doesn’t tell you who’s behind the operation, and its large Twitter and Facebook buttons redirect you to dead accounts. But this Politico brief from June 2019 tells us that “Democratic campaign veterans Patrick Brown, Nicole Cairns, and Steve Olson announced the launch of their new venture FogLamp Content Studio today based in Washington, DC and Oakland, CA.” These same three campaign veterans are listed as the team at Evergreen Strategies (aka Evergreen Political Partners), which has received regular payments from Virginia for Everyone for digital consulting – including a $50,000 digital ad buy on 9/23/19.

Foglamp did $76,400 of communications work for Senator Ghazala Hashmi’s 2019 campaign.

KHL Consulting: $593 for Communications

KHL Consulting is Kaylie Hanson Long’s firm. According to the website, Long “led teams and served as a spokesperson at NARAL Pro-Choice America, the U.S. Senate, and the Democratic National Committee. She got her start working on the political campaigns of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy.”

KG LLC: $3,750 for Compliance

Amber Ellison: $11,328 salary

 

Jennifer Carroll Foy for Delegate [Closed]

$11,069 Raised / $76,577 Spent / $0 On Hand

KHL Consulting: $10,000 for Communications Consulting

Josh Crandell: $4,795 payroll

Fatima Malik: $4,668 payroll

Syreeta Martin-Gunn: $3,212 payroll

KaMyia Gunn: $2,048 payroll


State Senator Jennifer McClellan

Virginia United PAC

Raised $89,930 / Spent $82,283 / $67,405 On Hand

Leopold Strategies LLC: $26,195 for Communications Consulting

There’s no known website for Leopold Strategies, LLC, though an SCC search reveals the entity is registered to Jared Goldberg-Leopold. Leopold worked for the DPVA and Deeds for Governor over a decade ago. He’s also worked for the DGA, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, and Jay Inslee 2020.

Undaunted Ventures: $21,199 for Strategic Consulting

Undaunted Ventures is a consulting firm “designed to both train and condition progressive leaders.” On its website we find, listed as a “Coach,” former Northam and McClellan staffer Ngiste Abebe.

Turnkey: $2,500 for P2P services

According to its website, this Richmond firm is a “strategy company serving nonprofits to acquire and nurture constituent relationships that result in sustainable revenue.”

Benjamin Franklin Printing Company: $182 for printing

Courtney McCargo: $11,100 salary

Alicia Foster: $6,498 salary

Milton Gardner: $4,386 salary


Attorney General Mark Herring

One Commonwealth PAC

Raised $14,688 / Spent $43,591 / $417,623 On Hand 

AB Data: $11,250 for Digital Media Consulting

AB Data is a Milwaukee firm focused partly on integrated fundraising and digital communications. 

Thomas Keefe: $11,244 salary

Adam Illowsky: $2,250 salary

NGP Software: $5,100 for Database Support

DPVA: $3,000


Former Governor Terry McAuliffe

Common Good VA

Raised $0 / Spent $62,298 / $66,826 On Hand 

Jon Christopher Bolling: $30,000 salary

Bolling became Executive Director of the DPVA in 2017 but, as reported by Patrick Wilson in the RTD, was “plucked” by McAuliffe to run Common Good VA PAC in November 2019.

Thomas Buneo: $1,500 for Consulting

Buneo was Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the DPVA. 

Mark Heinitz CPA: $2,774 for Consulting

PerkinsCoie LLP: $1,528 for Legal

NGP Software: $1,650

There’s also a $10,000 contribution to controversial Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s reelection campaign and a $2,500 contribution to Emerge VA.

Finally, we should note that Jake Rubenstein may be part of the McAuliffe campaign apparatus. Rubenstein was quoted in the Washington Post as a “McAuliffe spokesman” on November 22, 2019, and he acted as a de facto body man for McAuliffe as the former governor campaigned for Virginia Democrats in the runup to the 2019 elections. News clips from both November 2 and December 7, 2019 quote Rubenstein as “Democratic Party of Virginia Communications Director” and “Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman,” respectively. Rubenstein was on DPVA payroll for all of 2019; he received a $15,000 bonus from the DPVA on 11/12/19, just four days after Common Good VA sent $15,000 to the DPVA. Rubenstein was also appointed Director of Communications and routinely quoted as the spokesman for House of Delegates Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn throughout the 2020 sessions. 


As time passes, we’ll inevitably get more information on these nascent campaigns. But as it stands, we at least have an idea of how these campaigns are spending – and which operatives are behind the scenes.