March 22, 2018/Press

Why Did NC GOP Pay Cambridge Analytica in 2015?

RALEIGH – Thom Tillis has admitted that the $100,000 he paid Cambridge Analytica in 2015 was a “win bonus” even though he claims the work they did for him in 2014 was “limited.” But NC GOP has yet to explain why they paid the shady firm $65,000 in the middle of 2015.

NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse has said that Cambridge Analytica did mail for the party, but he has yet to say what the 2015 payments were for. Was the NC GOP sending mail in 2015? Were the 2015 expenditures on behalf of Intelligence Committee Chair Senator Richard Burr?

Unlike Republicans in Colorado, where the Denver Post has gotten far more specifics on Cambridge Analytica’s involvement with their state legislative races, NC GOP has been mostly in hiding, stepping out only to say that “this is the kind of thing we routinely do” and that they’re “not convinced this company did anything wrong.”

“NC GOP needs to be more forthcoming about how and why they used Cambridge Analytica for services worth at least $215,000,” said NCDP spokesman Robert Howard. “Especially if NC GOP thinks this company did nothing wrong, they need to explain their involvement with them and be specific about which campaigns they assisted.”

BACKGROUND

Chief Executive Alexander Nix claims the firm “secretly campaigns in elections across the world” through “shadowy front companies”. “In an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News, the company’s chief executive Alexander Nix said the British firm secretly campaigns in elections across the world. This includes operating through a web of shadowy front companies, or by using sub-contractors.” (Channel 4 News, 3/19/18)

Nix boasted that the firm often assumes a false identity for clients who don’t want to be seen working with a foreign company. “Mr Nix also said: “…Many of our clients don’t want to be seen to be working with a foreign company… so often we set up, if we are working then we can set up fake IDs and websites, we can be students doing research projects attached to a university, we can be tourists, there’s so many options we can look at. I have lots of experience in this.” (Channel 4 News, 3/19/18)

CA often contracts under a different name in order to ensure there are no records of its involvement. “Cambridge Analytica sometimes contracts under a different name, so that there are no records of its involvement, Turnbull said. That does not only protect the company, but also makes its work more efficient, he is recorded saying. “It has to happen without anyone thinking it’s propaganda, because the moment you think ‘that’s propaganda’ the next question is: ‘Who’s put that out?” He added: “It may be that we have to contract under a different name … a different entity, with a different name, so that no record exists with our name attached to this at all.” (The Guardian, 3/19/18)

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