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Unity08 refuses to rule out jobs for staff in the White House

Last week,
Unity 08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris responded to some of my questions about the organization. Here is one of those questions, with Harris’ responses:

Our question: Founders’ Council member Douglas L. Bailey has stated that “There is no one on the Founders Council who intends or wants to benefit financially from Unity08.” Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will engage in paid work for Unity08? Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a campaign resulting from Unity08 nomination? Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a presidential administration resulting from the successful election of Unity08 candidates to the White House?

Answer: It means that there are no secret or hidden agendas by the Unity08 founders. Doug Bailey, Jerry Rafshoon, Angus King and others – some of our most active founders – receive nothing other than occasional reimbursement for expenses. The law firm Steptoe & Johnson is representing Unity08 in its legal proceedings with the FEC, and Unity08 is incurring fees for those services from that law firm at a standard, appropriate rate. Founders Council member Tom Collier is a partner at that firm.

Notice that? There are three straightforward questions:

1. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will engage in paid work for Unity08?
2. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a campaign resulting from Unity08 nomination?
3. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a presidential administration resulting from the successful election of Unity08 candidates to the White House?

Harris answers #1. Yes, members of the Founders’ Council will engage in paid work for Unity08.

Harris wholly refuses to answer #2 and #3. Given the opportunity to rule out jobs for Unity08 leadership in the 2008 race and the White House thereafter, Harris refuses to do so.

These are important points about which the public deserves answers, especially in light of the following information dredged up about the 2004 elections by the Associated Press (my emphasis added):

- Two-thirds of consultant spending in 2003-2004 – about $1.2 billion – went to media consultants who give strategic advice and prepare and place political advertising. Much of that money passes through directly to television stations, but consultants also get paid for production costs and typically keep a commission of up to 15 percent of the ad buy.

– The two biggest beneficiaries of the 2004 elections were media consultants for the presidential campaigns of President Bush and Democratic Sen. John Kerry. Maverick Media, led by Mark McKinnon, ran the media campaign for Bush and the Republican National Committee for a total cost of $177 million. Riverfront Media, led by consultant Bob Shrum, was paid $150 million to run the media campaign for Kerry and the Democratic National Committee.

That’s a lot of money, isn’t it? Money, money, money.

Look at who is in charge of the Unity08: Bigwigs Jerry Rafshoon, Doug Bailey, Shane Kinkennon, Jim Jonas and Anya T. Harris are all media consultants.

Naturally, this makes me very curious. Surely, if Rafshoon, Bailey, Kinkennon, Jonas and Harris are doing this because they believe in their mission, and not for personal gain, they should be willing to commit to the Unity08 Safe Money Pledge:

We pledge that no Unity08 corporate leader, member of the Unity08 Founders’ Council, or member of the Unity08 Rules Committee will pursue or accept payment or other compensation for any work in the campaign of a Unity08 nominee, or for work in the administration of a Unity08 White House.

Will the leadership of Unity08 sign on to the Unity08 Safe Money Pledge? I don’t see why not, if their work for Unity08 is really as selfless as they suggest.

The non-answers by Unity08 COO Anya T. Harris don’t bode well. But I will send on the pledge and ask for a response right now. Let’s see what ensues.

1 comment to Unity08 refuses to rule out jobs for staff in the White House

  • Jim

    Here is the text of the message I have just sent to Unity08 Chief Operating Officer Anya T. Harris and Unity08 Communications Director Shane Kinkennon:

    Dear Ms. Harris and Mr. Kinkennon,

    I notice that in the responses provided by Anya T. Harris at http://irregulartimes.com/index.php/archives/category/unity08/ to these questions:

    1. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will engage in paid work for Unity08?
    2. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a campaign resulting from Unity08 nomination?
    3. Does this mean that no members of the Founders’ Council will receive compensation for any work for a presidential administration resulting from the successful election of Unity08 candidates to the White House?

    Ms. Harris answers that YES, members of the Founders’ Council WILL engage in paid work for Unity08.

    Unfortunately, Ms. Harris does not answer the second or third question.

    This has led me to follow the form of Unity08’s challenging Clean Money Pledge to 2008 presidential contenders, and pose my own challenge as a Safe Money Pledge:

    SAFE MONEY PLEDGE
    We pledge that no Unity08 corporate leader, member of the Unity08 Founders’ Council, or member of the Unity08 Rules Committee will pursue or accept payment or other compensation for any work in the campaign of a Unity08 nominee, or for work in the administration of a Unity08 White House.

    Unity08 has indicated that the participation of leadership is not self-interested. If this is the case, then surely Unity08 leadership will have no problem agreeing to the Safe Money Pledge. Such an agreement would be in the best interest of the Unity08, since it would indicate that donations to Unity08 do not have the purpose of furthering the personal ambitions of the organization’s leadership.

    Will the leadership of Unity08 agree to the Safe Money Pledge?

    Sincerely,

    Jim Cook
    Irregular Times
    http://irregulartimes.com

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