Washington D.C. Special Interest Group Sends $15,000 Worth Of Robots From Texas To Campaign For Ronald DeSantis For Senate In Florida
In Florida, Republican politician Ron DeSantis is running for a U.S. Senate seat, with a promise that he will “reform the ruling class culture of Washington, DC.”. For someone who is running against the ruling culture of Washington D.C., DeSantis is taking some mighty unusual help from it.
Though it’s residents of Florida who will be choosing whether to vote for or against DeSantis, the latest support for DeSantis comes from an organization from Washington D.C. – the Madison Project. Well, at least the Madison Project claims in this particular Federal Election Commission filing to be from Washington D.C.
The FEC more broadly lists the Madison Project (Committee #C00298000) as coming from Aledo, Texas, a suburb just to the west of Fort Worth, with a post office box there – #655. So, where is the Madison Project really headquartered – in Aledo, or in Washington D.C.? At the web site MadisonProject.com, the group posts contact information in Aledo – the same post office box as it gave the FEC. At the web site MadisonProjectCandidates.com, the group says its address is in Washington D.C. – at post office box 15179 (a post office box also claimed by Kauffman & Associates, Inc.)
The Madison Project claims to be “a political action committee committed to wholesale, conservative change of the Washington political scene.” However, for decades, the Madison Project has been part of the Washington political scene that it claims to oppose. The political action committee has had its address in Washington D.C. since 1999, and before that, it had offices for years in Hamilton, Virginia, which is just across the river from Washington D.C.
Whatever the Madison Project is doing for Ron DeSantis, it isn’t taking on the Washington D.C. establishment. The Madison Group is run by Jim Ryun, a former member of Congress.
The name Ryun comes up quite often in association with the Madison Project. Yesterday’s reported spending by the Madison Project on behalf of the DeSantis for Senate campaign was for checks written to Campaign Sidekick LLC. Campaignsidekick.com is registered to Andrew Ryun of 109 Muirfield Drive, Aledo, Texas.
Though it’s got a contact address in Washington D.C., Madisonproject.com is also registered to Andrew Ryun at 109 Muirfield Drive in Aledo. So is the domain Madisonprojectcandidates.com.
Andrew Ryun is also listed as “Managing Member” at Saratoga Strategies, a company that took a $8,000 payment from the Madison Project last year, and another $32,000 in payments this year.
This year, Campaign Sidekick has taken $50,478 in payments from the Madison Project.
In addition, Andrew Ryun has also taken $3,289.81 in direct payments from the Madison Project this year.
That’s more than $85,000 Andrew Ryun, or businesses managed by him, have taken from the Madison Project so far in 2015.
Andrew Ryun is listed as Political Director at the Madison Project. He’s also the son of Jim Ryun.
To be fair, Andrew Ryun isn’t just taking money for nothing. He claims to be providing a service to his father’s political action committee, and to Ronald DeSantis. That service, performed through Campaign Sidekick, is setting up a system to make robocalls, those annoying machine-operated telephone calls that interrupt your family dinner in order to blast a pre-recorded political message into your ear.
To make matters worse, it seems that somebody the Madison Project is using their political action committee to make some money on the side by selling lists of people who have made donations to the political action committee. An advertisement for this information brags, “The successful team behind the Madison Project (http://campaignsidekick.com/) has built a comprehensive acquisition algorithm which identifies only the most responsive Texas prospects using key donation, voter and demographic indicators. In a recent test on Madison Project, these high intensity republicans has an average donation of $70.” The minimum order is for private information about 5,000 people who have donated to the Madison Project.
Is combining robotic telephone calls, nepotism, and out-of-state interference in an election and selling out donor privacy what passes for political activism these days?