Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee has an excellent report on a recent revelation by blogger Aaron Camp that Thad Nation, the principle behind Nation Consulting, has strong ties to a number of right-wing organizations, including at least four that are funded either directly or indirectly by the Koch Brothers.

Camp doesn’t like two of the five candidates for chair, but has spent the most time criticizing Jason Rae, an employee of Nation Consulting, and wrote an eyebrow-raising piece noting that Rae’s boss, Thad Nation, “has provided money to at least seven right-wing organizations, including at least four that are funded either directly or indirectly by the Koch Brothers. Nation himself was listed in a 2012 IRS 990 filing as the principal officer of Coalition for the New Economy…. a 501(c)4 organization” which has funded groups “that have actively opposed Democratic and liberal political candidates, have actively supported Republican and conservative political candidates, and/or… advocated for far-right policies. Tax records show the group run by Nation gave $15,000 to the National Taxpayers Union, $5,000 to the Center for Individual Freedom, $5,000 to Americans for Prosperity, $10,000 to Freedomworks, Inc., $5,000 to the Institute for Policy Innovation, $15,000 to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and $14,740 to the 60 Plus Association.

Camp’s post got the attention of the Spanish Journal whose editor, the combative Robert Miranda, co-wrote a story with Chris Johnson, listed as editor of a shadowy website called Kingfishmke.com. They note that Nation “is a well known Democratic Party ‘strategist’ and party consultant. He sells his services working for Democratic candidates seeking political office. He is considered one of the most influential behind-the-scenes players in Democratic politics. But with the revelation about his company, it seems he’s playing both sides.”

When asked to comment about this, Nation told me “I run a firm with a lot of different clients. We work with both Republicans and Democrats and we employ Democrats and Republicans.” As for the Coalition for the New Economy, where Nation is listed as executive director, with a salary of $104,396, Nation says his work for this group is for “a business client” — presumably one that favors far right causes, given the groups it funds.

For those of you playing along at home, Nation Consulting is the consulting firm that employs Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair candidate Jason Rae, which of course could leave many with doubts about Jason Rae, given that he draws a paycheck from a company affiliated with a number of conservative organizations. However, as Murphy’s report noted, Thad Nation noted any clients connected to the right-wing giving by Nation are clients that Rae “has never worked under and are irrelevant to his portfolio.”

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8 Responses to Thad Nation: “I run a firm with a lot of different clients. We work with both Republicans and Democrats and we employ Democrats and Republicans.”

  1. MaseMan says:

    Nation Consulting sounds scummier and scummier, the more we learn about them. The DPW needs to get away from being subservient to the consultant class. They clearly don’t have the interests of progressives or the party base in mind with their agenda.

  2. This has all tumbled into the public sphere concurrent with Senator Larson’s endorsement of Jason Rae. My major concern with Nation Consulting, and distrust for those associated, has always been due to the faux grassroot broadband efforts done for AT&T and its predecessor Ameritech. Wisconsin is saddled with broadband duopolies and legislative bans against municipal broadband due to Nation’s efforts.

    • MadCityVoter says:

      But hey, he would have done the same for broadband competition and municipal broadband proponents, if only they had given him the money.

      This is starting to sound like another popular racket. Gee, it would be too bad if something should “happen” to that nice little state you have there, Wisconsin… I can fix it so it doesn’t, and all I want in return is a small percentage of the state economy I save. That’s not asking for very much, is it?

  3. John Casper says:

    Ed, thanks.

    FWIW from March, Sen. Vinehout’s interview with Wisconsin Eye, where she buries Jason Rae, Nation Consulting, and AT&T after the 13:15 mark.

    http://bloggingblue.com/2015/03/kathleen-vinehout-endorses-martha-laning-for-dpw-chair-video/

  4. CJMcD says:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2010/05/31/daily6.html
    Jason Rae was the Associate Director of Wired Wisconsin, is part of a nationwide set of telecom “astroturf” intentionally appearing as consumer groups, part of the of AT&T or other telcom operator in the network.

    ***
    More on Wired Wisconsin can be found here.: http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/theyre-att-it-again

    From the article: ” Governor-Elect Scott Walker and Republican leaders of the next state legislature called for a bill to “modernize the state’s outdated Telecommunications Act.”…

    ****
    Among main signers of the Dec.16 ad was Thad Nation, executive director of AT&T’s private mouthpiece Wired Wisconsin. Nation was shortly afterward also granted precious guest column space on the Journal Sentinel’s Op Ed page to tout the great virtues of deregulation and how it will benefit consumers and Wisconsin’s economy.”

    ****

    More on Thad Nation and Wired Wisconsin here:
    http://stopthecap.com/2011/05/11/wisconsin-republicans-rushing-atts-deregulation-wishlist-into-law-before-recall-votes/

    “Wisconsin Republicans Rushing AT&T’s Deregulation Wishlist Into Law Before Recall Votes”

    ****

    More:
    http://stopthecap.com/?s=Thad+Nation

    ***
    And here:
    Enbridge connection
    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2007/11/05/smallb1.html?page=all

  5. CJMcD says:

    Jason Rae was the Associate Director of Wired Wisconsin, is part of a nationwide set of telecom “astroturf” intentionally appearing as consumer groups, part of the of AT&T or other telcom operator in the network. http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2010/05/31/daily6.html

    More on Wired Wisconsin can be found here.: http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/theyre-att-it-again

    From the article: ” Governor-Elect Scott Walker and Republican leaders of the next state legislature called for a bill to “modernize the state’s outdated Telecommunications Act.”…
    Among main signers of the Dec.16 ad was Thad Nation, executive director of AT&T’s private mouthpiece Wired Wisconsin. Nation was shortly afterward also granted precious guest column space on the Journal Sentinel’s Op Ed page to tout the great virtues of deregulation and how it will benefit consumers and Wisconsin’s economy.”

    More on Thad Nation and Wired Wisconsin here:
    http://stopthecap.com/2011/05/11/wisconsin-republicans-rushing-atts-deregulation-wishlist-into-law-before-recall-votes/

    “Wisconsin Republicans Rushing AT&T’s Deregulation Wishlist Into Law Before Recall Votes”

    More:
    http://stopthecap.com/?s=Thad+Nation

    And here:
    Enbridge connection
    http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2007/11/05/smallb1.html?page=all

  6. CJMcD says:

    Sorry for the double post.

    Having trouble with Blogging Blue this morning

  7. Sara Johann says:

    Really? No wonder this guy, Thad Nation, tried to keep ME off the ballot for state assembly last year! I was THE Democrat in the race with 40 years of experience as a proud and life-long Democrat! Thad Nation needs to end his association with Democratic candidates in Wisconsin and stop destroying Democratic efforts! Enough is enough!

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