I’m doing some investigations into the fundraising activities of U.S. Representative Scott Murphy, a new member of the right wing Blue Dog Democrats, but I’ve run into something of a dead end. So, I’m calling upon the citizens of Washington D.C. to give me a hand.
I was struck by the way that the Blue Dog Coalition praised Congressman Murphy as a politician intent upon “returning fiscal responsibility and accountability to the federal government”. That’s an odd way to describe Murphy’s political agenda because, although he’s only been a member of Congress since the end of April 2009, Murphy has already had 11 special events designed to bring Murphy into contact with lobbyists carrying money to deposit into his accounts. It looks like Murphy has more accountability to Washington D.C. insiders than to his constituents back in New York State.
One of these events was a breakfast that it cost a minimum of $500 and up to $2,000 to attend. Imagine paying $2,000 for a plate of bacon and eggs. It wouldn’t matter how nice the accompanying coffee was. You’d be expecting some extra service. What kind of extra service were the influence brokers at Scott Murphy’s breakfast looking for?
This special service breakfast for lobbyists was arranged by Jackie Whisler, a “Finance Associate” at the Helen Milby Company, a firm that facilitates introductions and exchanges of information between members of Congress and people seeking special favors for corporate clients (Jackie makes the contents of her Twitter account closed to the public). Before working with Helen Milby, Whisman was a lobbyist working for Elmendorf Strategies LLC, which has powerful clients such as the Consumer Bankers Association and military contractor Northrup Grumman.
The event is listed as having taken place at the UPS Townhouse at 421 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington D.C. I’m looking for more information about the UPS Townhouse, trying to understand what kind of facility it is. Some “townhouses” in Washington D.C. are headquarters of lobbying firms, after all. However, as much as I search for more information about the UPS Townhouse, I’m coming up short.
When I search for 421 New Jersey Avenue SE, I’m not finding the UPS Townhouse, but a company called Campaign Details instead. I’m having trouble finding information about that firm as well, which appears to have no web site. The address is two doors down from the National Democratic Club, as shown on the overhead view from Google Maps, seen below.
Zillow’s estimate of the value of the property is $1,509,500, with a monthly payment of nearly $7,000. The space inside the townhouse is just 2,532 square feet – which I presume is not enough room for more than one substantial political consulting firm.
There are a good number of pay to play events taking place at the UPS Townhouse. So, I’d love to know:
- Who owns 421 New Jersey Avenue, SE?
- What does UPS stand for, if it’s not United Parcel Service?
- How is Campaign Details connected to this event, and what is the nature of its business?
- Who are the people involved in setting up the events at the townhouse, and what are their roles?