I support statewide conventions over primaries for nominating our Republican candidates. One of the many reasons for this is that I abhor the fact that the consultants who make their money off of primaries have made a habit of using their money and influence to engineer the selection of primaries for their own benefit, thus corrupting the process of selecting our nominees.
The particular consultants I have in mind are Boyd Marcus and Ray Allen, former partners in the firm Marcus and Allen. For years, both of these men have inserted themselves deeply into intra-party contests to ensure primaries for their candidates. Bolling, for example, managed to get his nomination method selected nearly two years in advance, with a lot of help from Marcus and Allen. Bolling’s chief consultant was Boyd Marcus, who famously defected last year for his thirty pieces of silver to work for Terry McAuliffe.
That leaves just Ray Allen. Allen’s chief patron is Rep. Eric Cantor (VA-7). Because Cantor appears to be next in line to become Speaker of the House, lobbyists and interest groups are all but throwing money at him, allowing him to fill his campaign coffers to overflowing, with plenty left over to lavishly fund the 7th District Republican Committee and YG Network/YG Virginia, the 501(c)(4) organization that staffed the slating operations around Virginia this winter and early spring. Allen is capitalizing on this ready availability of cash to ensure that there are plenty of paid staff to turn out Democrats and otherwise to corrupt GOP delegate selection processes in favor of his chosen candidates, while disenfranchising anyone who disagrees.
Why Rep. Cantor thinks it is a good idea to needlessly antagonize half the party he wants to lead is beyond me. It seems to be something against his interests. One thing is certain, though: it’s not against Ray Allen’s interests. Ray Allen stands to make a mint if his pro-primary candidates win this year and in 2016, regardless if in doing so he irreparably fractures the party. Why? Because if primaries are chosen to nominate our candidates, the lucrative direct mail business that goes along with primary elections will be steered to Allen’s direct mail company, Creative Direct.
That’s right. Ray Allen is not a consultant who just happens to offer direct mail; he’s a direct mail magnate who consults in order to more efficiently redirect his clients’ money into his own pockets. An old saying goes, “When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” When you’re Ray Allen, direct mail is your hammer, and every election is your nail.
That’s why it is intensely interesting to look at the Republican Party of Virginia’s 2013 campaign finance disclosures, available on VPAP.org. The vendor with the single largest spend of RPV dollars (and RNC Victory funds channeled through RPV)? Yep, you guessed it: Ray Allen’s Creative Direct LLC, to the tune of $1.13 million. So far in 2014 we haven’t had any elections, but Creative Direct has been tapped to do fundraising direct mail pieces for RPV, fattening Ray Allen’s wallet by another $26,000 while Allen orchestrates destructive slating campaigns at various Republican units around the state.
I don’t know about you, that doesn’t sit right with me. I think that if Ray Allen has access to Rep. Cantor’s money, then let him have at it. But, the Republican Party of Virginia must stop subsidizing the corruption of its own processes—immediately. Not a single dime of RPV money should find its way into the unclean hands of this political thug ever again.
[…] this year to flip a number of district chairman seats to candidates friendly to Cantor—and friendly to the nominating primaries that make so much money for Allen. It’s time for Eric Cantor to fire Ray Allen, whose lack of acumen about how to handle […]
[…] Ray Allen is not a consultant who just happens to offer direct mail; he’s a direct mail magnate who consults in order to more efficiently redirect his clients’ money into his own pockets. An old saying goes, “When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” When you’re Ray Allen, direct mail is your hammer, and every election is your nail. Source: The Bull Elephant, Steve Albertson […]
[…] voters are now hearing that a company run by Cantor’s top consultant, Ray Allen, is wealthy from party money. Allen’s Creative Direct, LLC is not just on the Republican Party of Virginia’s […]
[…] the GOP who has now declared open war on its conservative base, witness Virginia. Only this week it was revealed that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary advisor had been paid over a million dollars […]
[…] ad, anti-Brat robocalls — he even bought an anti-Brat website to attack his opponent. His chief consultant Ray Allen is making hay, or bank, while the sun […]
[…] this veteran at the front of their minds when they pass judgment on the despicable tactics of the Slate-master and his allies in Virginia […]
[…] in this post, but do yourself the favor of reading it at Virginia political blog The Bull Elephant: Eric Cantor’s chief consultant, Ray Allen, was paid $1.13 frigging million by the Republican P…. Which is now executive directed by the upstanding Shaun […]
[…] this veteran at the front of their minds when they pass judgment on the despicable tactics of the Slate-master and his allies in Virginia […]
Ray Allen doing what he does best.. and fails. FF to 3:05 where Ray Allen can be over ruled.
Interesting letter from Brent Bozell to Eric Cantor. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/04/republican-cantor-to-headline-anti-tea-party-conference-sponsored-by-george-soros-unions/ It begs the question, is Eric Cantor really a republican?
I haven’t got any mailers from Savitt and only one from Marshall, i.e., the scouting report on them is that they associate with a better class of people and they might actually pay attention to their constituents legitimate concerns and not just be in constant campaign mode. (Something Frank Wolf has very much fallen prey to over the years.)
Bob Marshall has sent out the best mailer. It’s a picture of him, says to vote for Bob Marshall, and then lists all the information a voter needs, date and time, and based on the voters address where they are to vote. It also says to bring a photo ID. Great mailer. Marshall knows his ground game!
Barbara Comstock’s have been very good, just one too many. Has Wolf officially endorsed her or just a guy that looks like Wolf?
Speaking of getting bulk rates for mass mailings, many years ago I worked for an employer who did a mass mailing every month. We produced the literature, took it to a local printer to be reproduced, and we took the boxes of prepared envelopes to the PO and got a bulk rate to mail those pieces. Using the local printer on an ongoing basis also brought deep discounts.
Most every campaign website that I have visited, there is an area where volunteers can sign up to do many things including mass mailings. In addition, campaigns have paid staffers, and some high earning consultants, who I would think would be capable of producing the literature desired in promoting their candidate. I’m trying to figure out what advantage someone like a Dave Brat would have in utilizing a company, which is owned by the top consultant for his primary opponent? The same can apply with other candidates that are primary opponents to candidates which Cantor supports/endorses at all levels.
Finally, who even reads what I view as junk mail? I’ve gotten plenty of items from the RPV, and being as disgusted as I am with them, it goes in the garbage unopened. We ain’t living in a world of writing letters and snail mailing them any more Mabel. I guess I should be thankful for the free paper though to start the BBQ with at least. In the Obama economy every little bit helps.
I’m laughing as just now I got my mail, and low and behold, I have a bulk mailing from none other than John Magoo McCain asking me to send a donation to the RNC. Hahahaha. My ribs tonight will be extra tasty.
Steve Albertson is absolutely right. Donors give to RPV thinking their money will be used to fight Democrats. Instead, it’s used by Ray Allen and Eric Cantor to attack and disenfranchise Republicans. Don’t forget, Eric Cantor just got back from a Soros-funded conference on how to destroy the Tea Party. And he and Ray Allen have disenfranchised hundreds of conservative GOP activists all across the state this year.
It’s kinda like the Russians sending saboteurs into Ukraine to stir up trouble, then using the trouble as a pretext to invade. Likewise, the Cantor/Allen machine uses donors’ dollars to bloody the convention process, to argue that it’s “too messy and exclusive,” so as to get back their primaries and their direct mail contracts.
(It’s funny how the Schoenemans of the world impugn the motives of those of us who fight these battles for no personal gain other than liberty, while defending the Ray Allen slush fund of unsuspecting donors’ money as honest “capitalism.” Try “crony capitalism,” Brian. That would be correct),
Right on Rick!
When have I impugned anybody’s motives? And, again, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about. Almost all, if not all, of this money is from campaigns being passed through RPV for mail. It’s not money anybody gave to RPV. RPV has never raised that kind of cash.
I’m sick and tired of the constant whining about people making money. You guys sound like Democrats when you talk that way.
Oh what a load of bull. I’m sick and tired of your specious line of argument. You are the one sounding like a Democrat demanding state-run taxpayer funded nominations like primaries.
Primaries require the huge direct mail and media buys to advertise to all those voters that aren’t Republican — with huge cuts to the consultants. Free market means we should pick a process that saves us and our candidates $$ to spend in the General — against Dems.
I suspect your real concern about Conventions is they tend to nominate conservative candidates — which isn’t your cup of Tea.
Good candidates can win in either format. That’s never been the point for me.
Primaries require direct mail and media buys, just like a general election. Conventions also require direct mail buys. The benefit of media buys, however, is that they provide a boost in name ID that carries over into the general election. That’s not the case in a convention, where the system you create to win the convention has almost no carry over to the general. You essentially start from scratch.
Getting an uncontested convention didn’t help Ken Cuccinelli in terms of fundraising, did it?
The point about primaries and conventions remains for me giving the widest number of Republicans a chance to have a say in our process. Period.
If I thought like you did, I’d be calling you a convention consultant.
we’re too close to DC.. the corrupt nasty is rubbing off
Steve, you nailed it. Thank you for exposing this disgusting slating-for-$$ scandal. RPV needs to act on this fast for it’s own credibility and end its business with Ray Allen and Creative Direct. I am dumb-founded how Majority Leader Cantor allows Ray Allen to spend his contributor’s money and control him like this. This nasty YGVA “Operation Slate-’em” is all about Ray Allen getting his lucrative statewide open primaries back. In this case $$ is the root of evil …
Reading this brings to mind a great big bed with Cantor, Allen, Gillespie, Comstock, Marcus, Cobb, Thomas, Howell, Rigell, Forbes, May, Sherwood, and others (insert your favorite Establishment Republican name) all under the covers. And we wonder why RPV is weak, distrusted, ignored, ridiculed, dysfunctional, broke and losing elections.
It’s amazing that any money is actually spent on this junk. Mailers are a postal version of spam only good for starting our fire pit. Comstock must have mailed 20 out so far and they all say the same thing. Don’t bore me bro, is there a study that shows mailers do a candidate any good. I’ll donate to a candidate who goes green and refuses to use money and paper in such a crummy manner. Death to mailers!
Not to mention taking large percentages of big statewide media buys. Only primaries require media buys of such magnitude. Follow the money. No primary, no media buy fortunes for Ray Allen and Boyd Marcus. That more than anything explains why the corrupt consultant class is so dedicated to primaries over conventions. Bring Eric home for associating with this cronyism.
I don’t know about you, but I’m more concerned with the Republicans who are disenfranchised and unable to take part in party nominating processes than who gets paid what for what.
Your initials aren’t BS for nothing. Your behavior shows what you are actually concerned about. You’ve dropped 6 comments on this thread within minutes of it being published.
Over on the threads about Republicans being disenfranchised? Lemme see…
nothing here: http://thebullelephant.com/mike-thomas-snuffing-conservative-votes-help-democrats/
nothing on this thread either: http://thebullelephant.com/grassroots-flex-muscle-cantor-country/
and nothing on this one either: http://thebullelephant.com/slating-2nd-district-republican-party-leaders-exclude-grassroots/
and given your manic obsession with our site, I know you read those articles when they came out.
You are simply a bald-faced liar protecting your interests, full stop.
That’s out of line, Alexis.
Sorry, let me rephrase all that more politely.
“The evidence doesn’t seem to concur with that assertion.”
I’m watching my kid pay Super Mario 3D World.
I saw the thread, I read it, and realized that Steve didn’t understand what was happening here. So, being the kind and loving soul that I am, I’m trying to explain what this means to folks.
I don’t have a manic obsession with the site, Alexis. It’s just on my rotation now, and I happened to run into this thread after church.
I’ve got no interests here, other than trying to help you guys not look dumb.
with all due respect Brian, you seem more concerned with protecting the right of Dems and non-Republicans to vote in GOP nominations ala these open primaries. The principle that only Republicans should be choosing our nominees seems hopelessly lost on you. But if you want a Party more like the Dems, and lining the pockets of consultants like Allen, open primaries are the definitely the way to go!
No, I’m more concerned with getting all Republicans who want to be a part of the nominations process involved in the nominations process. I also support closed primaries through party registration at the state level. I don’t want Democrats or non-Republicans in our primaries, but I am willing to accept those folks because the increased number of Republicans who can participate will drown them out.
The principle that we should get the largest number of Republicans involved in the nominating process, and take the decision out of the hands of a few diehards who have nothing better to do on Saturday than sit in a gym for twelve hours seems to be lost on you.
You guys are all way to obsessed about money.
oh good grief. “few diehards who have nothing better to do than sit in a gym for hours” is how you refer to several thousand Republican Delegates (8,000-14,000) elected to represent Republicans statewide to deliberate and carefully select our nominees? how utterly insulting. I guess to you selecting our nominees is something less important than watching TV re-runs. Are the 140 legislators representing over 8 million Virginians also these “few diehards with nothing better to do?” I think you are too blind to see it IS all about the money.
No, it’s utterly accurate. I’ve been one of those diehards every year since 2008. I’m tired of having to travel to Richmond, now having to travel to Roanoke. I’m tired of waiting around, getting no information, reading a book or talking to the same people I see day in and day out for ten hours waiting for the process to end.
Time is money. A Saturday wasted in the spring is one less chance I get to watch my son play t-ball, or do some extra work. We’re the party that’s supposed to respect the family, yet we expect folks like me with young kids to drop my kids off at a sitter, or force them to sit bored to death for hours at a time just because you’re scared of a Democrat crossing over in a primary?
There’s a better way, and we’re ignoring it because of tin-foil-hat fears. And guess what? There’s as much money to be made for consultants who do conventions as there is for folks who do primaries.
I’m not blind at all, having been on both sides of these processes. There’s more to life than money.
And that’s how democracy is lost. Too much bother to nominate our candidates so we leave it so the state and high-priced consultants. Primaries for convenience! that’s the ticket! Boy, those founders were such fools to spend their lives, fortunes and sacred honor … if only they’d had primaries.
And you are flat-out dishonest on the $$ convention vs primary — and you know it. it’s order of magnitude higher in primaries, all to the consultants. look at few expense reports. shame on you.
So we leave what to the state? Running elections? The state already does that. You call slating democracy? Again, money is made in either format by consultants.
Primaries are state-run taxpayer subsidized nominations that make the consultants and direct mail houses 10-20X+ what they make in Conventions — and you know it.
All so you don’t have to get a babysitter?
Is there any other way we can make these petty nominations more convenient for you?:-)
Look at the numbers.
8,094 – The total number of registered delegates who showed up, out of over 12,000 who registered.
255,826 – The number of Republicans casting a ballot in the 2012 U.S. Senate primary.
I don’t think the additional 247,000 Republicans couldn’t get a babysitter. Why do you think they should be excluded from nominations decisions?
The republican party spent more money disenfranchising its own members that fighting the left.. that should wake people up to the fact that there is no difference between the ‘2parties’ .Behind closed doors they work together to keep their shell game going
I for one will NEVER EVER send $ to the GOP or the RPVA EVER AGAIN. I will NEVER volunteer for one of their RINO candidates EVER again. I will abstain from voting before I would vote for Cantor or any one of his “cronies”. They will have to spend MEGA $ on their ground game from now on – the Libertarians and Conservatives will not be used again. They will NOT grow the GOP party with mass disenfranchisement. I will let Virginia turn DEEP Blue and move south the NC before I support progressive RINOs like Cantor and his ILK.
Keep in mind that most of that money is pass through – it’s from campaigns (like mine) that used Creative Direct for direct mail. It goes through RPV from the campaigns to take advantage of RPV’s cheaper bulk mail rates. So that’s money coming from campaigns from around Virginia, not RPV raised money.
Indeed that’s true, Brian. But RPV shouldn’t facilitate Ray Allen taking a cut of all that.
It’s not RPV’s call. They want to help all candidates by providing cheaper direct mail rates. That’s a good thing. It’s the campaign’s decision who their vendor is. Creative Direct is the best direct mail company in Virginia. That’s why everybody uses them.
If RPV is writing the check, it’s their call. Otherwise, why is RPV writing the check?
Because that’s the system that has been developed to allow campaigns to take advantage of RPV’s bulk mail rates. Campaigns donate money to RPV, RPV handles the mailers using the campaigns’ designated vendor and the campaign approves the designs and the vendors.
Both parties do it this way to save on postage.
And this is a good thing!! We *should* do this. Just not in a way that subsidizes Ray Allen’s destructive activities.
Steve, this is capitalism at work. Ray Allen’s firm is the best in Virginia. So he gets the bulk of the business.
I know you don’t like the guy, but he does good work. That’s why people hire him. They were able to put out 7 solid mail pieces for me in less than a month. I had originally hired a DC direct mail firm to do it and they couldn’t get one piece out in 4 months.
Creative Direct is good at what it does. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have any business.
Good for them. In capitalism, as a customer I also get to kick a supplier to the curb when he spits in my eye.
That’s fine – if you you need direct mail, you can use somebody other than Creative Direct. But why tell me I can’t?
A candidate can choose whatever vendor they wish. But if they want to use RPV’s bulk mail rates, they’re just going to have to find someone else. We shouldn’t be willing captives of this guy. If he wants to keep his business, he should stay out of ours.
You do realize that you’re doing the equivalent of attacking the lawyer for doing what his client wants, right?
Like I said, I understand where you’re coming from, I just think this is a bad idea. RPV shouldn’t have that kind of control over campaigns and vendors. You all spent a week bashing Shaun for apparent conflicts, yet you’re advocating for RPV to pick winners and losers here. I think that’s a bad precedent.
That’s it. I’ve said my peace.
If a lawyer has two clients, and one client pays him to act in a way that’s not in the other’s interest, for how long does the lawyer have two clients? Not long.
Like I said, Allen can spend Cantor’s money to corrupt RPV processes, but as another customer of Allen’s services, RPV shouldn’t have to reward and subsidize that behavior.
Happy Good Friday!
Actually, this is CORPORATISM not capitalism at work. If RPV had a capitalist approach there would be many vendors competing for the business, instead of an effective near-monopoly on RPV business.
In corporatism, the guy at the top of the market uses undue influence to maintain his market position, and it sure looks like that’s exactly what happened here.
No, it isn’t. If Creative Direct wasn’t doing good work, they wouldn’t get the work that they do. This isn’t RPV business, as I already said. It’s campaign business. Each campaign gets to decide who gets their money, and most campaigns use Creative Direct.
When candidates use CD, it’s usually due to the fact they think they are buying into the “access” and political connections they think that Allen gives them via Cantor. Sometimes there is even the “though shalt use CD or else” thing going on, with the “or else” often being Allen will find another candidate against them to make his $$. RPV should deny the bulk permit to campaigns using CD as a direct result of the shenanigans of Messr Allen’s manipulating our process to line his pocket. Period.
What if Creative Direct was run by a Tea Party guy who was a nativist, racist, knuckle dragger, who loved conventions, but he was the cheapest. Would/Should RPV continue to use that firm?
You looking at getting into direct mail?
Again, it’s the campaigns who get to decide. If they want to use bad people, that’s on the,
Brian, I know a democrat firm that can save more money.. Why not use them by this standard? I won’t, just sayn.
Does Lois Lerner know about this?
It’s a simple thing for RPV to decide they’re no longer doing business with a particular vendor. If a candidate wants use RPV’s bulk mail rates, then they’ll have to choose another vendor.
I think that’s an unnecessary interference in campaign’s decision making processes, and it would raise serious questions of conflicts in my mind. Do you really want the Chairman of RPV to get to decide who gets to do business in Virginia?
Yes! Who’s in a better position to decide that?
The candidates? The free market?
Yes, all true, IF RPV wasn’t writing the check. Then it’s their decision.
Read the other comments here. This is a pass through for direct mail, to use RPVs cheaper postage rates.
That reminds me of pre-Obamacare days when Anthem Blue Cross wrote something like 95% of the health insurance policies in the state. Then, and now, I understand VA had/has the highest health insurance rates in the nation. There is/was little to no competition. From what I’ve read, Anthem is the only choice in a majority of the state even now with the Obamacare exchanges. Anthem is one of Cantor’s all time top campaign donors. Cantor gave a speech right after Ocare passed where he said that Republicans don’t want to get rid of all of Ocare, they wanted to keep the “good” portions of it.
If the RPV wanted to provide the candidates with a service, it would be prudent of them, being Republicans and all, to provide candidates with a list of 3 or 4 company names to provide that service, and let the candidate choose their best option.
“unclean hands” is a term used often in the law. are you sure you wanted to use these exact words?
I could have used “dirty” or “sleazy” instead of unclean. I’m describing the man’s corruption of RPV’s process for his own personal gain. Any of those terms work as a descriptor. They’re not offered as a legal term of art.
Try unclean leg humping crack ho. Ray Allen is much worse.
Should also consider clawbacks, given the bad faith behavior. I say we attempt to claw back the whole $1.3 million plus anything that’s been paid to him in the past.
Allen got $2.2 million from RPV in 2011. http://www.vpap.org/vendors/profile/details/118701?committee_id=817&end_year=2011&filing_period=all&lookup_type=year&start_year=2011
Let’s get that back too.
Anyone know a good lawyer?