Monday, November 06, 2006

Making headway on Direct Strategies

I was able to find one piece of information on Direct Strategies at (which according to their website is either the premium source for business information or your business intelligence authority, both claims somewaht dubious as they misspelled the address of Direct Strategies). But they yielded up an important clue - the President of Direct Strategies, William McKinley.

No, not that William McKinley.

So if not that William McKinley, than who?

For starters, a somewhat regular, though not big money Republican donor (via

Let's see there's:
$500 to the detestable 2004 Mel Martinez Senate campaign.
$1000 in 2001 to Charles Bass (R, NH-02)
$1000 in 2000 to Clay Shaw (R, FL-22)
$750 in 1997 to Charles Crist (then a Republican candidate for Senate)
$1000 in 1999 to Bush's Presidential Campaign
$1000 in 1999 to Tom Gallagher (a Republican Senate Candidate)
$2000 in 2003 to Daniel Webster (!), another Republican Senate Candidate
(Incidentally, how does a guy named Daniel Webster not win a Senate seat-sheesh)

But the important information in the FEC database is not the link but the employer identified repeatedly as either Poole and McKinley or Poole, McKinley, & Blosser.

Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner folks. Who are these guys, you might be wondering?

Poole, McKinley, and Blosser was a very lucrative lobbying firm in Florida. Van. B Poole: failed U.S. Senate bid in 1982, Florida Republican Party chairman, 1989-1993, minor posts in campaigns and administrations of Ford, Reagan, and Bush I. Poole's wife was appointed to head Florida's PERC by Jeb Bush. More importantly, Poole was one of Bush's Rangers in 2004. James Blosser, the third player, raised over $100K for Bush in 2000 and was a Pioneer in 2004. (Incidentally, another player there, Justin Sayfie was also a Pioneer and does link these guys back to Greenberg Traurer, the other uber-lobbying firm right next door - see below).

When they split up in 2004, that left Poole and McKinley linking up with the Dutko group, forming Dutko, Poole, & McKinley, leading to a nice photo of McKinley. And now the information is rolling: McKinley is the former chief of staff of the Martinez administration, a former Executive Director of the Republican Party of Florida, and wait for it, a consultant to both the Republican Party of Florida and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Back to Van Poole, we also find a former Florida House and Senate member, and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

So we've got some probable principles now - where are the offices of Dutko, Poole, and Mckinley? How about that - they just so happen to be located in the exact same exact building as Direct Strategies.

Small world.

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