Wisconsin Democratic chairperson candidate Jason Rae employed by firm founded by individual that provided money to Koch-funded organizations

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have made edits to the blog post and title to accurately reflect Nation Consulting founder Thad Nation’s use of a 501(c)(4) organization to give money to right-wing organizations and Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairperson candidate Jason Rae’s employment by Nation Consulting.

I’ve found information that proves that Thad Nation, Wisconsin Democratic chairperson candidate Jason Rae’s boss at Nation Consulting, has provided money to at least seven right-wing organizations, including at least four that are funded either directly or indirectly by the Koch Brothers. Nation himself was listed in a 2012 IRS 990 filing as the principal officer of Coalition for the New Economy (CftNE), a 501(c)4 organization that opposes government-run broadband internet services in areas where private-sector firms currently provide broadband internet service. CftNE has also given money to at least several right-wing political groups that have actively opposed Democratic and liberal political candidates, have actively supported Republican and conservative political candidates, and/or have advocated for far-right policies that would have a negative impact on America. Here’s the organizations that CftNE has given money to, according to page 17 of the 2012 IRS filing by that organization:

  • $15,000 for “general support” to the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), a right-wing anti-tax organization that has, among other things, effectively supported allowing the U.S. federal government to default on the national debt. NTU has received a total of $32,500 from the Koch Family Foundations from 1998 to 2008, including $5,000 from Charles Koch’s own foundation in 2008.
  • $5,000 for “general support” to the Center for Individual Freedom (CIF), a right-wing organization that spent $1.9 million in television advertising in an attempt to help Republicans win U.S. House races that were seriously contested by both major parties in the 2012 elections. CIF spent a slightly larger amount of money on a similar effort in the 2010 elections.
  • $5,000 for “general support” to Americans for Prosperity (AfP), a far-right political organization founded by the Koch Brothers themselves. In Wisconsin, AfP spent $866,000 in ads designed to help Scott Walker win the 2014 Wisconsin gubernatorial race and approximately $2.9 million in ads in opposition to the 2012 recall effort against Walker that was strongly supported by Wisconsin progressives.
  • $10,000 for “general support” to FreedomWorks, a far-right organization that has, among other things, ran several anti-union campaigns in states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and supported far-right extremist Chris McDaniel, who, among other things, blamed rap music for many of our country’s problems, in his unsuccessful 2014 Republican primary challenge to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi.
  • $5,000 for “general support” to Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), a right-wing organization that was founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and, among other things, opposes taxation and supports privatizing Social Security. IPI has received $35,000 from the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation, which is identified by the Center for Media and Democracy’s SourceWatch as one of the four Koch Family Foundations. IPI is the only one of the organizations listed in the CftNE filing that is a 501(c)(3) organization; all of the others are listed as 501(c)(4) organizations.
  • $15,000 for “general support” to the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), a right-wing organization that has, among other things, attacked the federal government over the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, two of the largest cable television providers in the country.
  • $14,740 for “general support” to the 60 Plus Association (60 Plus), a right-wing organization funded by Koch Brothers-funded organizations like Freedom Parners and American Encore as part of a complex web of Koch Brothers-funded organizations. In Wisconsin, 60 Plus ran this advertisement attacking now-Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), federal legislation that provided millions of Americans with health insurance.

That’s a total of $69,740 that Thad Nation has, through CftNE, provided to right-wing organizations that have supported Republicans like Scott Walker, ran smear campaigns against Democrats like Tammy Baldwin, and have supported far-right policies that would make America a much worse place to live. Thad Nation is also the same person who employs Jason Rae as a senior associate at Nation Consulting, and Rae is running for Chairperson of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. If Rae is elected DPW Chair, it would be at least an apparent conflict of interest for someone like Rae to be the head of a state-level Democratic organization if he were to remain employed at Nation Consulting, because the founder of that organization was the head of a 501(c)(4) organization that gave money to groups that support Republicans and their destructive far-right agenda.

Let me finish this post by saying two things about Rae and his supporters. One, Rae’s supporters are some of the most vile people I’ve ever interacted with online. Two, Rae completely lacks the temperament to be in a Democratic Party leadership position of any kind.


24 thoughts on “Wisconsin Democratic chairperson candidate Jason Rae employed by firm founded by individual that provided money to Koch-funded organizations

  1. May I point out that bosses in general tend to be more Republican than their employees, for fairly obvious reasons? So a lot of very loyal Democrats have either Republican or (as in this case) fence-straddling bosses.

    This is not to defend Jason Rae in particular (whom I don’t know from Adam), but to object to the basis of argument used here. For years *my* boss was the wife of the very Republican sheriff of Waukesha County; great boss, we never discussed politics; and you can see *my* alignment in my graphix…


    1. The reason why I’m attacking Jason Rae over this is because he’s working for a consulting firm that does political work. If Rae were working for an obviously GOP employer in a non-political field, I wouldn’t hold that against him, but, because he’s working for a guy who clearly plays both sides of the street politically at a consulting firm that does political work, it’s a serious issue, in my opinion.


    2. True. But for anyone on the outside, who’s observed the relationships of Nation Consulting and the DPW, it gives, at least the impression of a conflict of interest.

      Sachin Chheda,, former DPMC Chair is a partner at Nation. PARTNER. Jason Rae is a Senior Associate.

      There “appears” to be a consolidation of power and monetary control within the revolving relationships between Nation and the DPW.

      Thad Nation not only does business with interests that are in direct conflict with DPW’s ideals and goals, but he gives them money to fund their actions. Not a token two or three hundred dollars. But thousands of dollars.

      IRS filings don’t lie.

      There seems to be a HUGE dissconnect within the MKE faction of the DPW. It’s not just Thad. It’s the whole rotating systemm of players.

      To the deniers. I know these are your friends, people you support, are invested in, know and love. But take off the rose colored glasses and actually look.


  2. Right on, Aaron. None of Rae’s more unpleasant allies will argue fact, just slime. It is expected that Tate’s band of incompetents like Graeme Jonathan Zielinski are casting aspersions. Keep up the good work!


  3. Thad Nation is the model Democratic Party consultant. He works for Democratic candidates (for $$). He donates money to Democratic causes. He’s a well-known Democratic “strategist”. He is present in various lists of the most influential behind-the-scenes players in Democratic politics.

    But he’s playing both sides. You should also look into other Nation Consulting astroturfs, including:

    Clean Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy – pro-nuclear. Worked to remove local citizen control for the siting of windpower/powerplants/pipelines/etc., also to remove the state’s then-existing moratorium on building new nuclear power plants, all done in the guise of climate change.

    The second astroturf is harder to track down, but maybe just as interesting. Nation was Executive Director for “TV4US Wisconsin”, an astroturf founded by AT&T – see http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=TV4US . Since it was a subsidiary of a national TV4US there are no independent 990’s available. However, he/they managed to get WI 2007 Act 42 passed, pushed by AT&T & written by ALEC, which stripped municipalities of control of cable TV franchises.

    More information here – http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=background.view&backgroundid=226

    As a side note, one of the lobbyists AT&T hired – https://lobbying.wi.gov/Who/LobbyistInformation/2007REG/Information/2204?tab=Profile . More info here – http://lacrossetribune.com/news/state-and-regional/wi/democratic-party-chairman-called-on-to-resign-due-to-lobbying/article_59c0ccd0-f19e-5540-991f-28f641376973.html

    The third is Mobile Consumers for Choice and Competition (MCCC) aka Midwest Consumers for Choice and Competition, d/b/a Wired Wisconsin, d/b/a Illinois Technology Partnership, d/b/a Technology for Ohio’s Tomorrow – Allegedly funded by big telecom. More information here – http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/theyre-att-it-again and http://stopthecap.com/?s=tv4us . Or see http://stopthecap.com/?s=%22thad+nation%22

    Both MCCC and Clean Responsible Energy for Wisconsin’s Economy are listed on Wisconsin’s GAB website “Eye on Lobbying” as clients of Thad Nation. IRS 990’s for both are available at https://www.citizenaudit.org/. One shows donations to the Discovery Institute in Seattle, the “Intelligent Design” people.

    Oh – and the vote for DPW chair will be a single ballot, with the winner receiving a plurality not a majority. The balloting is not secret, an interested party can request access to who voted for which candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Who someone’s boss choses to and not to associate with has zero baring on the beliefs and views of their employees. I’ve known Jason for several years and this is a distortion at beast but in reality is a dirty and unseemly lie. I urge you to remove this slanderous piece of misinformation immediately.


    1. Jason, it’s not slanderous at all to speak the truth. The truth is that Rae works for someone who has indirectly given money to right-wing organizations that have opposed Democrats and supported Republicans. Does that say anything about Rae’s own personal political views? No. Does that create an apparent conflict of interest if Rae is elected DPW Chair and remains at Nation Consulting? Yes. To be employed by someone who has indirectly funded groups that oppose Democrats and be in a position of power within the Democratic Party is something I’d consider to be a conflict of interest.


      1. Clearly you don’t understand that the Chair of DPW is a full time position so Jason would be leaving Nation Consulting. And your argument is still poorly formed and not well thought out. If someone works at Walmart does that mean they support the Walton’s and their political positions? Or is simply the fact that who someone’s employer is has no bearing on their own political views. As for that Thad Nation – he worked for a democratic governor and has been extremely generous with his person money to progressive causes and candidates. You want to know why I get mad at unsophisticated progressives like you? Because you fail to see the big picture, you fail to do any deeper digging than surface level fluff. In other words – stay in Illinois.


        1. Do a little research on Thad Nation. Executive Director of numerous dark money 401(c)(4)’s that work for telecom/cable companies? Gives money to AFP, FreedomWorks, et al? Some Democrat. With a few more like that we wouldn’t need Republicans.

          Working for Jim Doyle does not establish one’s Democratic cred.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. “And your argument is still poorly formed and not well thought out. If someone works at Walmart does that mean they support the Walton’s and their political positions?”

          Your argument is not well thought out. Jason Rae is not just an employee.

          Jason Rae is a Senior Associate at Nation Consulting. Senior Associate.


  5. This surprises me not at all. Walker had thrown my former boss under the bus after Walker made all these offers for the company to move to WI. Once here, Walker and his incompetent staff never followed through on their promises, and then publicly threw the company under the bus.

    My boss called the Dems, HQ to tell them he was willing to help them beat Walker and the Dem HQ didn’t want to hear anything about it.

    Now I know why?


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