One of the chief complaints among conservative political types is the revolving door between Democratic government jobs, political jobs, and leftist organizations. The obvious coordination between these groups allows public funds to be used for political purposes, a cycle of violence against the taxpayer that really needs to be broken.
Robin Carnahan's Secretary of State office, political campaigns, and political allies are ground central in this battle.
- Ryan Hobart is the spokesman of Missouri Democratic Party, former SoS staffer
- Laura Egerdal, formerly of SEIU, works is the Director of Communications
- Ron Berry, formerly of Missouri Pro-Vote works in the SoS office.
- Mindy Mazur, formerly Chief of Staff for the SoS, now runs her political campaign.
On it's face this isn't illegal, but if you want to coordinate your outside interests with your official government duties, using your networked allies in and out of power is a good way to coordinate a message, ethics be damned.
But sometimes, you make the mistake of getting too cozy. At this point, I need to stop and thank FiredUpMissouri. FiredUp's close ties to Robin Carnahan (including leaks of official documents from her office) were exposed on this site, but I didn't realize that FiredUp's job board would lead me to Paula Hodges.
Paula Hodges is the Missouri Political Director for America Votes, the coordinating organization for dozens of national progressive groups. Among those groups you have USAction, ACORN, SEIU, Emily's List, and Planned Parenthood and just about every other progressive name under the sun. America Votes is the new America Coming Together for 2010. It seeks to funnel millions of soft dollars to coordinate campaigns and progressive across the country.
Paula has managed to hide so far because technically she works for ISSI, but that doesn't fool us. In Missouri, the political director for America Votes is Paula Hodges.
And why is this of interest? What makes this different than any other change of employment? Why, it's because outside groups have funneled an unprecedented amount of money into attack ads on Roy Blunt's Senate campaign. And those groups are all coordinated through...America Votes.
The League of Conservation Voters aired statewide television ads as early as March of 2009 attacking Roy Blunt. The League is under the umbrella of America Votes.
USAction, using its affilliate Missouri ProVote, aired radio ads, and purchased billboards attacking Blunt for this cap-and-trade vote, but did so outside of his district (proving they were attacks on his Senate campaign and not his House vote). USAction is also under the umbrella of America Votes.
The Blunt campaign has accused the Carnahan campaign of laying low and letting its political allies run attack ads. But did they know that the ads were actually set up at the behest of actual Robin Carnahan staff alumni? And who else associated with the Carnahan campaign might be associated with America Votes?
(if you know, don't spoil it in the comments)