Political Radar

Consulting fees

July 6th, 2014

Pacific Resource Partnership did not publicly disclose how much it paid Andy Winer, a Democratic strategist, for consulting work during the mayoral election in 2012 that included negative attacks on former Gov. Ben Cayetano.

But Winer, who advised PRP on several political campaigns that year, reported $131,258 in consulting fees from the group on his U.S. Senate financial disclosure statement.

Winer also listed $18,000 in consulting fees from the Democratic Party of Hawaii, where he helped with get-out-the-vote strategies.

Winer advised U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono's campaign in 2012, but as a volunteer.

The strategist is now chief-of-staff to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

17 Responses to “Consulting fees”

  1. Tyrion Lannister:

    Andy Winer is a high level political consultant who is paid appropriately for his services. So what? The only people badmouthing him him are the one's who lost to his clients. Why not ditch the double standard and report on how much the newspaper, TV and radio media pocketed off of PRP?

  2. Much ado:

    Tyrion: Because there are reporting requirements for noncandidate committees (both state and federal) and prohibitions on "coordinating" between candidate campaigns and PACs, among other things (unreported "donations" of his services to Mazie Hirono's campaign). Winer's involvement with both Mazie Hirono's campaign (and other campaigns) and PRP raises legal questions for PRP, Mazie's campaign, and Winer. Winer's having his fingers in so many things could be a very big problem, and is a big deal.

  3. nonpolitic:

    Well said Much ado. Moreover, if it's found that Winer did violate federal elections laws, it could also mean disbarment as an attorney.

  4. Chicken Grease:

    What's that Demotivator ("We didn't just invent them. We perfected them.") poster say?

    CONSULTING. If you're not a part of the solution, there's good money to be made in prolonging the problem

  5. Kolea:

    Much ado,

    I think you state more than the evidence suggests. PRP may be in trouble for failing to report the fees they paid Winer. Winer himself DID report the income. In addition, I can see no basis at all for your assertion there might have been coordination between the PRP and Mazie Hirono's campaign. Mazie was not involved in the Rail controversy. How are you suggesting she benefitted from the attacks on Cayetano or the pro-rail PR campaign by PRP?

    To get sense of what a violation of federal laws on coordination between a candidate's committee and a so-called "independent" campaign, look at what was happening between Colleen Hanabusa's deputy chief of staff, Chris Raymond, and the pharmaceutical industry. There is very strong evidence, another "leaked" email, which showed Raymond and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry were discussing an "independent" negative campaign against Brian Schatz in the current race. Apparently, a high-ranking leader in the Hanabusa campaign mistakenly forwarded the email to someone with ethical problems with such blatantly illegal coordination and the deputy was fired. If he had not been fired, he would probably have been prosecuted and forced to "name names."

    Or look at how the Aiona campaign, in the 2010 race, shared polling data with the Republican Governor's Association, who was running an "independent" campaign. In addition, Aiona aloowed them to videotape him for use in their "independent," pro-Aiona ads.

    There is nothing in anything I have seen which shows anything like similar coordination between PRP and Hirono. If you see anything which even suggests a violation, please point it out. The fact Andy helped Mazie at the same time he was being paid as a consultant for PRP is not evidence of any sort of illegal coordination. Consultants work for multiple clients all the time. What you need to show as the first step is that PRP engaged in activities which helped Mazie? Got anything? If such activity is evident, it then becomes necessary to come up with a plausible explanation tying Andy into the coordination.

  6. Tyrion Lannister:

    You guys are laying on the innuendo and hyperbole pretty thick..."COULD be a very big problem...IF it's found that...It COULD mean disbarment...." Isn't every volunteer guilty of not reporting the "donation of his services" according your your definition. Talk about semantic gymnastics.

  7. University of Makiki:


    The PHARMA IE never happened. It was a stupid email for sure, but nothing happened. The guy realized his mistake and resigned.

    Winer, however, is in the middle of some real, seriously suspect coordination.

    Winer was on the payroll of PRP and the Democratic Party of Hawaii at the same time in 2012.

    The party was paying him to help with Mazie's part of the coordinated campaign, which was Chaired by then Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, and PRP was paying him to throw mud all over Ben Cayetano.

    At the same time, PRP was doing independent expenditures for Mazie:


    Winer's emails show that he was working for PRP at the same time he was helping Schatz run the Democratic party's work for Mazie:


    That is straight SHADY, maybe illegal kine shady, and speaks to Winer and Schatz's character.

  8. ohiaforest3400:

    "Consulting Fees"? Didn't you mean "Insulting Fees"?

  9. Especially Incognito:

    President Obama needs to work with progress,
    since congress is holding things back.

    Like a CPA with accountants that take kickbacks
    to overlook a slight infraction of the budget.
    lingle herself said an audit is shoddy and to this
    day, the balance is tipsy. You want to see where a politician
    stands, look into their family history. lingle was keen on health
    since her mother died from being ill with bipolar disorder.

    Winer worked for "free". That is a lot of balogna.
    Nothing is free and there are some catering done.
    Kowtowing is you scratch my back and I scratch yours.
    Chinese would saying banging their heads on the floor
    in submission to a superior.

  10. Kolea:

    U of M wrote:

    "The guy realized his mistake and resigned."

    Hah! Why do you write such nonsense. He got busted because OTHER PEOPLE "realized his mistake." And he resigned because he was told to do so to spare the campaign and the congressional office the damage they would have suffered if he had not. I am confident he found a good job somewhere else out of respect for his cooperative spirit.

    Chris Raymond was caught in a conspiracy to commit a crime. Because he was exposed, the plan did not go very far down its path. Had he stayed in place, there would have been a more serious investigation. Once he left, there was less reason to pursue it.

  11. Much ado:

    Kolea and Tyrion:

    I'm just pointing out that everything isn't "all good" and that the way this occurred raises questions for me. The "so what" is that there are laws that may be implicated, and I would like to see where this goes before concluding that there is nothing to see here.

    Kolea: PRP made expenditures supporting Mazie Hirono during that campaign: http://political-advertising.findthebest.com/l/297/Pacific-Resource-Partnership

    Hirono may not have been involved in the Mayor's race, but PRP was sure involved with her (as was Winer). I can see consultants working for multiple clients at the same time, but things get sketchy when the clients you're working for shouldn't be talking to each other and you are right in the middle, working for both sides. I don't know who else Winer worked for, but I would be interested to find out.

    Kolea, that email from Hanabusa's staff member always seemed like a referral email to me. "You should talk to these guys ..." doesn't seem like a smoking gun, more like "you should go see Rick's Gun Shop, they have good deals." Not really good evidence that anything actually happened, particularly when there wasn't any reported evidence that any follow-up communication occurred.

    Re: Aiona. I remember that (the video, not the polling data). I think I've seen other campaigns that have done that in the past, but can't remember which ones. Do you know if anything came of that?

    Overall, it has been and will be interesting to see what comes from the PRP emails, because that whole campaign stunk and I think that everyone involved looks plenty sleazy.

    And an aside, I am really disappointed when I see all the white-washing that is happening now with PRP and the string-pullers of that campaign. There was a lot of foul-crying in 2012 by good-government types who I respect(ed) because of the tone and the specious nature of the allegations. That has all gone down the drain now. Suddenly, "Cayetano was asking for it", "it's just the way campaigns are now!", "it was the Evil Mainland Folk!", and now "Andy Winer is a professional!" I assume that this change of heart comes from Winer working for Schatz now.

    I get that Winer is working for someone you like now, but how does that make the PRP campaign okay now? Are you really willing to give that level of smear a pass just two years later? And to happily accept that there are no repercussions for a PRP-type campaign? I am really disappointed in how willing people are to sweep this under the rug and declare the matter closed. Very result-oriented.

  12. Tyrion Lannister:

    It's all pretty simple...if you were against rail and lost you think Winer should do hard time (although no one has yet identified any actual crime). Why not also sue the newspapers and TV newsrooms who originally reported all those awkward facts that he used? How can the same copy be journalism fifteen years ago and a smear today? Sure it's negative advertising to dig up your opponents bad press, and those that are squawking about it now would do it too, in a New York minute, if it suited their purposes.

  13. ohiaforest3400:

    Kolea, did you really say "Chris Raymond was caught in a conspiracy to commit a crime"?

    A conspiracy takes at least two people, so who else was in on the conspiracy?

    And if it really was a conspiracy, why has neither he nor anyone else been charged?

    I agree that the guy was either ignorant (didn't know coordination was illegal) or stupid (thought he could casually toss the idea of coordination around like he was some kind of "playa"), or both, but your bombast far exceeds your proof.

    Very disappointing for a guy(?) who just a few months ago (AFTER the Chris Raymond incident) was still portraying himself (?) as seemingly undecided and looking forward to an issues campaign to help him (?) decide when it's become painfully obvious that he(?) has always supported Schatz, or at least never supported Hanabusa.

  14. TKeiko:

    TL: It isn't about the "awkward facts that [Winer] used," it's about the so-called facts that he twisted to create a false narrative about Cayetano's supposed corruption. That's what made the PRP effort a smear: it tried to lead voters to a false conclusion. And that extremely focused attempt to convince the public of something that wasn't and isn't true is what calls Andy Winer's integrity into question. And it now turns out that while he was doing that, he was cutting all kinds of ethical corners, working for PRP, Mazie Hirono (who was the beneficiary of a PRP independent expenditure), and the Democratic coordinated campaign at the same time.

    Also, as much as you'd like to believe that whether one believes that the PRP campaign was a smear worthy of public disgust and Winer has proven himself devoid of character is based on one's opinion of rail, it's simply not true. Personally, I have always been pro-rail and I find Winer's actions reprehensible. A number of my friends share those opinions.

    Kolea: Yes, "Consultants work for multiple clients all the time," but they do not work for multiple clients who are not allowed to coordinate with each other. His position with both campaigns makes him the lynchpin of the coordination. No amount of obfuscation and revisionism will change that fact.

  15. Tyrion Lannister:

    TKeiko - It is an established fact that Cayetano's organization accepted illegal campaign contributions (from people engaged in pursuing state contracts), the Campaign Spending Commission caught them, ordered them to pay the money back, and that only a fraction of that money was actually returned before the campaign committee dissolved. These are indisputable facts. The whole basis of charging Winer and PRP with "smearing" Ben seems to hinge on they're having said "he used a loophole in the law," instead of more accurately saying "his campaign committee exploited a weakness in the system." This, in the great scheme of things, is a rather fine point. You are using much more oblique and questionable speculation to claim that Winer is "reprehensible" and "devoid of character."

  16. Especially Incognito:

    Only the shadow knows.

  17. Especially Incognito:

    Better than fox media.
    All sides of the circle are exposed.

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