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Strategic Campaign Group, so many questions

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Posted on July 08 2018

Strategic Campaign Group (SCG)

et al...

 

At all times I will link to data source(s) and allow you to review my “homework”, thus giving you data/facts with the goal of allowing you to make your own informed conclusions.

 

Let’s start with a few baseline facts:

May 11, 2017 half a dozen FBI agents raided SCG’s Annapolis MD office. At the time, the Washington Post published this article, below are a few noteworthy data points I’ve extracted from the Post article:

 

Strategic Campaign Group says it supports Republican candidates on a range of services including mail, fundraising and telephone town halls. Its leaders include GOP strategists Kelley Rogers, Chip O’Neil and Dennis Whitfield.  (emphasis added)

 

At the time of and shortly after the FBI raid, SCG’s CEO stated:

 

...agents appeared interested in work the firm did during Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s 2013 gubernatorial race. Cuccinelli (R) sued the Strategic Campaign Group and the Conservative Strike Force in 2014, alleging they raised almost $2.2 million to support his campaign but steered little of that money to him.

“Our suspicion is that this is just a carry-over from that,” Rogers said. “I think the facts speak for themselves, and we tried to give the agents all the information they could possibly need.”

 

So let’s take a closer look at Case No (lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of Virginia) and relevant parties:

 

Filed EDVA 9/14/14

Case: 1:14-cv-01215-LO-MSN assigned to Judge O’Grady

 

 

🚩Named Defendants:

Conservative StrikeForce PAC; FEC ID: C00457291

Strategic Campaign Group, Inc.;

Mackenzie & Company;

Dennis Whitfield; Scott Mackenzie; Kelley Rogers; and Chip O'Neil

 

 

🚩Named Plaintiffs:

Ken Cuccinelli for Governor, Inc

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II 

 

 

Summary of the Action filed: 

Cuccinelli contends that the named defendants engaged in protracted scheme to solicit political donations. The Defendants reported raising a total of $2,169,034.93 during the 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial Race. Conversely of the nearly $2.2million raise the defendants only provided $10,000.00 in cash donations and/or services in support of Cuccinelli’s campaign efforts.

 

On 2/02/2015 a Magistrate Judge issued a Protective Order. Said Order is document no #99 on the docket for  Case 1:14-cv-01215-LO-MSN this shielding nearly all of the evidence from the public view. Also there is no Open Source Link for this Protective Order, nonetheless you can pay for this 11 page document via this PACER link

See paragraph number 14, which reads in part:

 

...”Following the conclusion of this action, the Court retains jurisdiction over the Parties and their counsel for e provisions ofthis Protective Order.”

 

On May 8, 2015 the parties reached a settlement and the Judge issued the following 1 page Order, essentially dismissing the case. Again no open source link but here’s the PACER link

 

 

 

On May 21, 2015 both parties submitted

 

STIPULATION AND ORDER DISMISSING CASE WITH PREJUDICE

 

AND INCORPORATING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

 

The settlement agreement obligated the SCG Defendants to the following terms and conditions:

 

Stipulation One reads in part:

Defendants shall pay or cause to be paid to Plaintiffs, the sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) (“Initial Settlement Payment”), and on the 15th day of every month of the seven (7) months following the month of the Agreement Date, the sum of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000), for a total of Eighty-Five Thousand Dollars ($85,000) (the “Settlement Payment”) in full and final settlement and satisfaction of all claims at issue in the Matter.

 

Stipulation Two, which reads as followed:

Dismissal of the Matter. The Parties agree to jointly move for entry of an agreed order of settlement and dismissal of the Complaint with prejudice, with each party bearing its own costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses (“Dismissal Order”). The Settlement Agreement shall be attached to and incorporated by reference in the Dismissal Order, which will expressly state that the Court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the Settlement Agreement.

 

The same day Judge O’Grady entered the following order, dismissing the case with prejudice and attached the aforementioned settlement agreement. Again no Open Source Link to this 2 page Order, nonetheless here’s the pacer link.

 

 

 

My point?

SCG v Cuccinelli lawsuit was

 

dismissed 2 years

 

BEFORE the May 2017 FBI raid 

 

However I certainly think it’s worthwhile to closely scrutinize:

THE CONSERVATIVE STRIKEFORCE PAC FEC filings, don’t you?

 

FEC ID: C00457291

During the 2013/2014 election cycle this PAC raised: $3,385,234.13, in the aggregate look at the amount of “unitemized individual contributions” it represents a disproportionate amount of dollars raised, literally by a 2:1 ratio. 

FEC 2013/2014 raw data report found here.

Unitemized individual contributions $2,589,655.53

 

Surprisingly during the 2015/2016 Election Cycle their FEC reports show a precipitous drop in fund raising, netting a meager $1,380,170.24 in total donations. But not surprising, look at the aggregate “unitemized individual contributions”, in this election cycle the ratio was 1M:1. As in 95% of ALL donations came from “individuals”

FEC 2015/2016 Report found here.

 

Unitemized individual contributions $1,141,838.81

 

And as expected the 2017/2018 election cycle, the bottom just drops. The FEC 2017/2018 fund raising thus far? A meager $258,376.27. And yes nearly 90% of those came from “unitemized individual donations”

FEC 2017/2018 report found here.

 

Unitemized individual contributions $215,120.90

 

During the same 2013/2014 Election Cycle the FEC sent a series of letters to this organization.

Link to June 2015 FEC letter found here.

See the FEC Complaint filed by Rep Allen West stating The Conservative StrikeForce engaged in a protracted scheme to defraud donors. Link to the 41+page FEC Complaint can be found here.

 

Or how in the holy hell did a Republican Virgin Island Organization start sending money to a random Virginia Bank Account that just so happens to belong to the SAME treasurer of The Conservative Strikeforce, a one Mr. SCOTT B MACKENZIE and yes of course I managed to track down that particular February 21, 2015 FEC filing too. See FEC link found here.

 

And now....

Strategic Campaign Group (SCG)

According to the Maryland State Corporation Commission, SCG incorporated on January 5, 2015 at 3:22PM. The fact I know the exact time SCG’s Articles of Incorporation should tell you:

Spicy has receipts. Bloopity Bloop. As in actual receipts:

STRATEGIC CAMPAIGN GROUP, INC. MD SCC No:  D16259574

Notice the Registered Agent, for now tuck that away, I’m going to come back to good old Baxter, Baker, Sidle, Conn & Jones, P.A.. trust me, keep a pin in that.

 

What I found interesting is SCG’s Annual filings in 2016 & 2017, respectively each of those years SCG disclosed “personal property” yet for 2018 (FYI most States, Counties, Cities fiscal-year runs July to June) so SCG, see link here

 

 

 

Again it was widely reported with a single source from Strategic Campaign Group’s CEO Kelley Rogers that “this was related to the Cuccinelli matter” frankly that quote was entirely misleading and I’m disappointed the MSM would run with it and boy did they -run- with it. Notwithstanding one local newspaper added a lot of meat to the bones, that newspaper? Capital Gazette

 

He (Kelley Rogers) insisted Thursday that the Cuccinelli campaign's claims have no merit. He said his firm raised about $300,000 for the PAC to spend on the governor's race. Of that amount, $10,000 was donated to Cuccinelli's campaign. He said the PAC, which he controlled, conducted an email campaign on behalf of Cuccinelli but was unable to raise enough money for direct mail or broadcast campaigns.

Cuccinelli said in a statement that he had not spoken to federal law enforcement officials about the consulting firm but is "curious" to see where the case goes.

"It was my hope when we brought our lawsuit to cast light on the dark practices of scam PACs. I think we did that successfully," Cuccinelli said. "Any cleaning up of these practices would be good for our political system."

 

 

Granted at the time of the FBI’s May 2017 SCG raid, none of us knew that a mageistrat Judge out of EDVA had signed off on a search warrant of Manafort’s Alexandria VA storage unit. That search warrant was executed on May 27, 2017, see the redacted Warrant in twitter thread below. 

  

 

I mean I’m certain it’s just a random coincidence that two search warrants were executed with in a few weeks of each other, from the SAME FBI field office, right?

Reminder SCG’s FBI Raid May 11, 2017

Manafort’s Alexandria, VA storage unit search warrant executed May 27, 2017.

My point is nothing in the actual Judical Record of Cuccinelli lawsuit would indicate the May 2017 SCG raid has/had anything to do with his previous civil case. Granted to date, zero federal criminal charges arose from Cuccinelli civil matter and I guess you could make a decent argument that Federal Wire Fraud Charges have a 10 year statue of limitations. As for me? I never bought into Kelley Rogers claim that the FBI raid centered around the Cuccinelli lawsuit. 

However in an exercise of transparency, let’s go ahead and drill down on SCG’x various FEC filings:

🚩FEC 2017/2017 payments from candidates/PACs to SCG, found here 

🚩FEC 2015/2016 payments from candidates/PACs to SCG, found here.

🚩FEC 2013/2014 payments from candidates/PACs to SCG, found here.

Did you notice the “self dealing” especially during the 2013/2014 cycle? Oh you missed the self dealing?

 

I have a few questions for McCarthy For Congress, FEC ID: C00655555, see recent (June 2018) FEC Form 3, found here. In total McCarthy made 7 separate disbursements to SCG for a current total of: $56,941.86

 

I mean it’s not like we haven’t discussed Strategic Campaign Group before, oh wait, yes we have:

  

 

With respect to Dennis Whitfield, listed as senior advisor for SCG in May 2017, yet when you go to SCG’s current/live URL you get Opps page not found, see link found here. But thank goodness for the WayBack, see Archived Link here

https://www.strategiccampaigngroup.com/about-scg/dennis-whitfield-senior-advisor

 

I don’t know any sane poltician that would continue to have any sort of business relationship with a “questionable” organization like Strategic Campaign Group, particularly AFTER the May 2017 FBI raid. 

 

 

According to lilsis.org, BKSH & Associates Worldwide, changed to Prime Policy 

 

...1980; merged with to form BKSH & Associates in 1996 and then which was merged with Timmons & Company in 2010 to form Prime Policy Group

With respect to Prime Policy, lobbyists are required by law to file with the House and Senate, see LDA. That said:

Prime Policy Group 41146

The way the LDA Database works is, the Lobbyist is assigned a main number, their “Clients” are assigned a sub-numbdf that rolls up to the “main number” Case in point here is a list of some on Prime Policy Group’s clients that they perform lobbying on behalf of.

to run a LDA Search, see House LDA Database here.

 

 

In kind here’s an abbreviated list of Prime Policy’s Senate Disclosures, this far they have over 2,500+ filings. See Senate LDA Database here.  

 

I could be wrong, but I think a tiny detail was overlooked in the FBI May 2017 Raid...remember the 2015 SCG Articles of Incorporation I posted above? 

 Moreover,  I don’t think anyone has actually made this connection. In fact it wasn’t until I pulled down SCG’s Maryland State Corporation Commission 2015 filing, specifically Strategic Campaign Group’s articles of Incorporation did I notice, that YES the same law firm that shares “offices with” SCG.

 

 

Oddly there are proven connections via the Paradise Papers, see link here.

 

 

 ...one thing to keep in mind, Reed Cornish did in fact join the Trump Administration in January of 2017 only to announce in Feb 2018 that he was leaving the Administration, see Washington Post Article here

Among the many responsibilities Reed Cornish over saw Infrastructure week (or month or year) because I don’t know about you, Infrastructure Week was on fleek.

“When we first came into office we did not come in with the idea that workforce was going to be a high priority of the administration,” he said. “The workforce initiative really came out of those conversations. What they kept saying is it’s great you’re going to do tax reform, but we can’t find workers with the skills that match available jobs.”

 

And an interesting little nugget Reed Cordish & Jared Kushner & Ivanka Trump are super bestest of friends. No I’m not kidding, see Kushner’s quote in the Washington Post Article: 

🇷🇺Kushner issued a statement saying Cordish had been “invaluable” to the administration and praising Rollins.

“Reed and I have been working closely with Brooke Rollins in her role as president and CEO of Texas Public Policy Foundation on Prison Reform, and she is well prepared to continue executing on our key initiatives,” Kushner said.

 

 

I’ll pick this up later, as I’m in the midst of reading the lawsuits between David Cornish v Donald Trump

Hodge v. The Cordish Companies Inc. (1:17-cv-00254)

Cordish v. Parlato (1:10-cv-00325)

Rams v. Cordish Operating Ventures, LLC (3:16-cv-00233)

10th Avenue Hospitality Group, LLC v. AMC Entertainment, Inc. (1:10-cv-05274)

FOOD AND WATER WATCH, INC. v. TRUMP (1:17-cv-01485)

MONUMENT REALTY LLC v. WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY (1:07-cv-01821)

TCI 2 Holdings, LLC (1:09-ap-2017)

-Spicy Out.

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