|Democratic Money Aided Jean Schmidt's Campaign|
|Records Show Axelrod Firm Did Media For Schmidt|
"At AKPD, we’re proud of our history. And we think when you get to know a little about where we have been, you’ll have a better sense of the unique strategy, discipline and creativity we bring to our work.
David Axelrod began his career as a journalist, and before long he was the ’s political editor and columnist, the youngest person in the paper’s history to hold those positions.
But Axelrod’s passion was politics. He left the and managed Paul Simon’s upset victory for the U.S. Senate in 1984. Following that race he founded Axelrod and Associates, which later became AKPD Message and Media.
He launched the firm with a mission—to provide superior strategic and communications advice and advertising for Democratic candidates and causes, and to do so with a sense of purpose and passion for ideals that underlie Democratic campaigns."
But there is more than one expenditure from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in support of Schmidt. A month before the payment to Axelrod's from, another $12,680 went to Winning Directions, 2700 South Quincy Street, Suite 54D, Arlington, Va. Winning Directions is a Democratic political consulting firm whose staff includes Jerry Austin, an Ohioan who ran Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign. Austin is one of the best-known operatives in the state. Take a look at his bio:
"Mr. Austin has worked on behalf of President Jimmy Carter, Senator Gary Hart, Senator Paul Tsongas, Senator Carol Moseley Braun, Senator Paul Wellstone, Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator John Glenn, Governor Richard Celeste, Governor Jim Guy Tucker, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Mayor Jane Campbell, Obama for President and numerous members of Congress."Mr. Austin was a member of the international delegation who witnessed the Marcos/Aquino election in the Philippines, the Pinochet Plebiscite in Chile and was an advisor to the SDLP in Northern Ireland when they beat Gerry Adams for the MP seat in Belfast. In 2006, he helped the MSZP retain enough seats in Parliament to remain in power in Hungary.
The Daily Bellwether has been making calls today asking why Democratic money was spent in support of Schmidt's 2005 campaign -- the year she won the OH-02 seat. Perhaps there is a mistake and the money spent in opposition to Schmidt -- but the records don't say that."In 1988, Mr. Austin was Jesse Jackson’s National Campaign Manager and in 1992 he served as a Senior Political Advisor to Senator Paul Tsongas' campaign for President. Mr. Austin's governmental clients have included The Greater Cleveland Growth Association, Cuyahoga County Regional Transit Authority, and the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, The Cleveland School Board, The Columbus School Board, the State of Arkansas Highway Department and the State of Virginia Department of Health."
So far, there have been no answers. Hackett's office said he was out of town. If you want to look at the records online at the FEC website, go to the Democratic Congressiional Campaign Committee reports filed in September and October 2005. The expenditure for Axelrod's firm is on page 1,003 of the 1,004 page document that covers the period September 1-30 2005.
[UPDATE: 3/09/2012, 11:35 a.m. -- Jerry Austin has sent The Daily Bellwether an e-mail. It says he had nothing to do with Jean Schmidt. The e-mail speaks for itself:
I have never been part of an independent expenditure to help Jean Schmidt--now or ever.
I am not now nor have ever been an employee of Winning Directions. They listed me as a consultant on their website.
Please make your readers aware of this information.