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Scott Brown’s High Priced Consultants

Monday, June 11, 2012

 

Scott Brown, who has spent more than half a million dollars on consultants, is painting himself as a bi-partisan senator who will work with anyone on either side of the aisle. If those high priced consultants are any indication of Brown’s leanings, he is squarely in the Republican camp in the vein of Mitt Romney and George Bush.

Last week GoLocalWorcester examined the consultant spending of the Elizabeth Warren campaign. In the first seven months of her campaign, Warren spent $408,000 on consultants and raised $16 million in campaign contributions.

Brown has spent more on consultants overall, more on fundraising consultants specifically, but raised $4.5 million less than Warren.

“Apparently the campaign is going to have to pay a lot of money to construct a brand for someone devoid of any reality or factual basis,” Kevin Franck, communications director for the Massachusetts Democratic Party said. “Scott Brown will have to keep spending a lot of money if he wants to convince Massachusetts families that he is not a shill for Wall Street and big corporations.”

A Quarter Million For Fundraisers

From September 1, 2011 until March 31, the Brown campaign spent $260,607 for fundraising consultants, with Finance Director John Cook collecting the lion’s share of the spending.

Cook’s firm, JCI Consulting, has collected $108,565 in fundraising consulting fees since September. Cook, who was the Finance Director for Charlie Baker’s failed gubernatorial bid and who was on the finance team for the presidential campaigns of John McCain and Mitt Romney, has also collected $9,246 in salary and $1,787 for travel expenses.

Paul Giorgio, a member of Democratic State Committee, said Brown’s strategy of appealing to the rich for campaign funding is more costly than Warren’s grass roots approach.

“It takes more resources to appeal to the Wall Street types, whereas Elizabeth Warren has a grass roots and online strategy,” Giorgio said. “She is collecting small amounts, but she is collecting them from many more people.”

Steven Roche, who is working on the Romney presidential campaign, has collected $77,603 in fundraising consulting fees. Roche’s firm, SCR & Associates has raised money for the gubernatorial races of Charlie Baker in Massachusetts and Meg Whitman in New Jersey, as well as Bill Binnie’s bid for Senate in New Hampshire. SCR has also raised money for the National Republican committee.

Laura Rizzo of the Dukes Rizzo Group has been paid $63,159. Rizzo is also a fundraiser for the National Republican Senate Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strategic Consultants

The Brown campaign has paid the Shawmut Group $105,000 for strategic advice. Shawmut, led by Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom, was a key part of Brown’s 2010 Senate campaign. Fernstrom, who has been called Mitt Romney’s backbone, has been associated with Romney for more than a decade.

The campaign has also spent $28,750 on strategic consulting from Public Opinion Strategies, a DC based Republican consulting firm that works with the campaigns of 19 U.S. Senators, six governors, and 71 Members of Congress.

For digital consulting advice, Brown has turned to the online advertising firm Targeted Victory and spent $68,890. Led by co-founder Michael Beach, Targeted Victory has advised the campaigns of Marco Rubio for Senate (FL), Susana Martinez for Governor (NM), and Mitt Romney’s Presidential Campaign.

Giorgio was unimpressed with Brown’s choices of consultants.

“He’s hiring the same consultants that Mitt Romney did, and we know how poorly Romney treated Massachusetts,” Giorgio said.

Legal and Compliance Consulting

Unlike the Warren campaign, Brown’s campaign has spent close to $70,000 in legal and compliance consulting. Warren’s data from the FEC shows no expenditures in either category.

$19,605 has been paid to McDermott Will & Emery and Proskauer Rose LLP for legal advice. Brown has also paid $48,190 for compliance advice to four different firms:
Red Curve Solutions (Beverly, MA), The Compliance Consulting Company (McLean, VA). Lisker, Huckaby David (Alexandria, VA) and Duane Morris LLP (Philadelphia).

Beverly based Red Curve is led by Romney insiders including Bradley Crate and Mike Welch.

Brown Campaign Says Campaign is Grass Roots

Despite all the spending on highly connected Republican consultants, the Brown campaign says it is all about the local voter.

Colin Reed, a spokesman for the Brown campaign issued the following statement: “This election will be won at the grassroots level: door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor, phone call by phone call. So far, thousands of volunteers have made more than 306,000 phone and door voter contacts spreading Scott’s independent, pro-jobs message. We are extremely encouraged by this outpouring of support, and will continue to work tirelessly in the five months ahead to earn the votes of people all across the Commonwealth.”
 

 

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