March 27, 2018/Press

2015 Report on Cambridge Analytica Quotes Tillis’ Chief Strategist and Names Foreign National Sent to Help His Campaign

Raleigh – A 2015 Bloomberg report on Cambridge Analytica has some interesting North Carolina information buried in it. The article highlights Cambridge employee Tim Glister of Newcastle, England as one of the firms “message people.” From Bloomberg:

Glister was dispatched to North Carolina, where he was tasked with helping the state Republican party on behalf of Thom Tillis’s ultimately successful campaign to defeat Senator Kay Hagan. “I was English enough to be an entertaining curiosity,” he said.

Tillis has claimed that Cambridge Analytica foreigners were not working on his campaign but instead at the Republican state party (a claim to which the NC GOP has had 3 different responses in 3 days). But Tillis’ chief strategist is quoted extensively in the Bloomberg piece and is even described as having “hired Cambridge Analytica to work for Thom Tillis’ successful campaign”:

“The traditional microtargeting vendors I’ve worked with, they were all waiting for me to call them, I guess,” says Paul Shumaker, a North Carolina general consultant who hired Cambridge Analytica to work for Thom Tillis’s successful campaign for the Senate last year. “We were one of the top US Senate races in the country and I never got approached by anybody else—which told me they were either too busy or took me for granted.”…

In North Carolina, where the company was paid $150,000 by the state party and $30,000 by Tillis’s campaign, Cambridge Analytica developed models to predict individual support, turnout likelihoods, and issues of concern that would recalibrate continuously based on interactions with voters. Shumaker says that dynamic process allowed Tillis’s campaign to identify a sizable cluster of North Carolinians who prioritized foreign affairs—which encouraged Tillis to shift the conversation from state-level debates over education policy to charges that incumbent Kay Hagan had failed to take ISIS’s rise seriously. “It gives you an edge in increasing the probability that voters would pay attention to your message,” says Shumaker.

Based on 2015 reports and the Cambridge Analytica case study featuring Tillis’ campaign, it appears as though Tillis and the NC GOP are now purposely misleading reporters and the public about the role Cambridge Analytica played for them.

Based on the wave of new reporting that has come out in recent days, Thom Tillis and the NC GOP have a whole new set of questions to answer.

  • Will Tillis and the NC GOP make public their contracts with Cambridge Analytica?
  • What were the names of other Cambridge Analytica foreign nationals who were sent to North Carolina in 2014?
  • Why did NC GOP pay Cambridge Analytica another $65,000 in 2015?
  • Did Cambridge Analytica work on any state legislative races?
“As the days go by and the questions for Thom Tillis and the NC GOP continue to mount, neither Tillis nor North Carolina Republicans can get their story straight, instead dodging and misleading reporters and the public,” said NCDP spokesman Robert Howard. “Tillis and the NC GOP need to drop the shifting stories and misleading responses and come clean with specific answers about their work with Cambridge Analytica.”
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