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Everywhere But Georgia: The Money Behind Jon Ossoff

- June 16, 2017

Despite False Claims About "Grassroots Fundraising," Jon Ossoff Has Led A Fundraising Effort That's Largely Driven From Out-Of-State Donors And Liberal Outside Groups 

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Jon Ossoff decries outside spending in campaigns, but his self-described "grassroots campaign" is financed by special interest groups and out-of-state donors, with only 3.5 percent of his donations coming from Georgians.
  • Ossoff's politics are significantly further to the left than previous Democrats that have ran in the region, showing a sharp shift in the Democratic Party as a whole.

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JON OSSOFF RAILED AGAINST OUTSIDE SPENDING AND DODGED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS FUNDRAISING WHILE RAKING IN MILLIONS FROM OUT-OF-STATE DONORS AND LIBERAL GROUPS

Ossoff Said Contributions From Outside Of Georgia Are "A Major Problem" And Has Downplayed Any Influence His Donors May Have On Him

Ossoff Admitted "It's A Major Problem" In Response To A Question About The Bulk Of Money In The Race Coming From Outside Georgia. CHANNEL 2 ACTION NEWS ANCHOR JUSTIN FARMER: "I'd like to follow-up talking about the money in this race. It has been widely reported that there has been more money spent on this House race than any other in American history. And the bulk of those dollars are not coming from the state of Georgia. Mr. Ossoff, firstly with you. Is that wrong? What are your thoughts on that?" JON OSSOFF: "Well it's a major problem." (Justin Farmer and Jon Ossoff, Remarks At WSB-TV Debate, Atlanta, GA, 6/6/17)

Ossoff Explained That His "Grassroots Fundraising" Allowed Him To Be Accountable To A Broad Base And Not Appeal "To A Narrow Range Of Interests Who Write Big Checks." OSSOFF: "We've raised significant resources in average contributions of less than 50 dollars. That kind of grassroots fundraising changes the incentives that candidates face because rather than appealing to a narrow range of interests who write big checks, I am and other candidates who apply the same method will be accountable to a broad base of people who have dug deep for 30,40,50 dollars to support a candidate who supports their interests." (Jon Ossoff, Remarks At The Atlanta Press Club's Loudermilk-Young GA-06 Debate, Atlanta, GA, 4/5/17)

At The June 8 Debate, Ossoff Side-Stepped A Question About How He Can be Independent Given All The Financial Support He's Received From Democratic Leadership. MODERATOR: "Assuming you are elected, you are almost immediately going to be running for reelection and you are going to need help from the Democratic leadership, which has been part of the help for your campaign. It's a natural thing in politics, they are going to say 'Look, we helped you, you need to help us. You've talked about being independent. How can you when you may need their help against a well-funded Republican opponent in the next election should you win?" JON OSSOFF: "Well there is indeed a clear contrast in this race, as Secretary Handel said. I will be a fresh, independent voice for this district." (Moderator and Jon Ossoff, Remarks At WABE-FM Debate, Georgia, 6/8/17)

Karen Handel Told Ossoff, "You Might Live Five Minutes Outside The District, But Your Values Are Nearly 3,000 Miles Away In San Francisco." KAREN HANDEL: "You might live five minutes outside the district, but your values are nearly 3,000 miles away in San Francisco, and that's why so many of your contributions have come from liberals in California, New York, and Massachusetts. It's why you're supported by Nancy Pelosi." (Karen Handel, "Remarks At WABE-FM Debate," Georgia, 6/8/17)

Despite His Rhetoric, Ossoff Has Accepted Millions In Support From Liberal Special Interest Groups, Super PACs, And Democrat Party Bosses

Only 3.5 Percent Of Ossoff's $15 Million In Campaign Contributions Come From Georgia. "Only $530,000, or about 3.5 percent, of Ossoff's recent $15 million haul came from within Georgia." (Tamar Hallerman, "Georgia 6th: Tide Of Out Of State Donors Buoy Ossoff, Handle Campaigns," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 6/12/17)

According To An Analysis By The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ossoff's Campaign Has Received Four Times More Money From Donors In California And New York Than From Georgia. "As far as we can tell, only $530,000, or about 3.5 percent, of Ossoff's recent $15 million haul came from within Georgia - which appears to set a new national record in terms of percentage of out-of-state donations. More than 14 percent of Ossoff's contributions came from California and New York." (Tamar Hallerman, "Georgia 6th: Tide Of Out Of State Donors Buoy Ossoff, Handle Campaigns," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 6/12/17)

  • On April 3, 2017, Ossoff's Campaign Received $5,000 From Planned Parenthood Action Fund Inc. PAC. (Jon Ossoff For Congress, Federal Election Commission , Accessed 6/14/17)
  • On April 17, 2017, Ossoff's Campaign Received $1,000 From Democrats Of Orange County PAC. (Jon Ossoff For Congress, Federal Election Commission , Accessed 6/14/17)
  • On April 11, 2017, Ossoff's Campaign Received $500 From The West LA Democratic Club. (Jon Ossoff For Congress, Federal Election Commission , Accessed 6/14/17)
  • On April 1, 2017, Ossoff's Campaign Received $500 From The Santa Clara County Democratic Club. (Jon Ossoff For Congress, Federal Election Commission , Accessed 6/14/17)
  • On April 8, 2017, Ossoff's Campaign Received $200 From The Pacific Palisades Democratic Club. (Jon Ossoff For Congress, Federal Election Commission , Accessed 6/14/17)

Ossoff's Campaign Set A New National Record For Percentage Of Out-Of-State Donations. "As far as we can tell, only $530,000, or about 3.5 percent, of Ossoff's recent $15 million haul came from within Georgia - which appears to set a new national record in terms of percentage of out-of-state donations." (Tamar Hallerman, "Georgia 6th: Tide Of Out Of State Donors Buoy Ossoff, Handle Campaigns," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 6/12/17)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee [DCCC] Is Pouring Another $2 Million Into The Georgia House Special Election, Bringing Their Total Spending To $5 Million. "The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending an additional $2 million to back Jon Ossoff in the Georgia House special election, The Hill reported. Ossoff is facing Republican Karen Handel in the June 20 runoff. The latest campaign expenditure by the DCCC brings its total spending to nearly $5 million four weeks before the election." (Lisa Hagen, "House Dems Spend $2M More On Ossoff In Ga. House Election," The Hill , 5/23/17)

A Democratic Super PAC, House Majority PAC, Announced A $700k Investment For The Jon Ossoff Campaign. "House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC trying to take back the House, announced a $700,000 investment to boost Ossoff." (Lisa Hagen, "House Dems Spend $2M More On Ossoff In Ga. House Election," The Hill , 5/23/17)

Washington-Based League Of Conservation Voters Bundled Nearly $40,000 For Ossoff." "The Washington-based League of Conservation voters bundled nearly $40,000 for him [Ossoff]." (Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould-Sheinin, "A Closer Look At Jon Ossoff's Epic Fundraising Haul,"  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , 4/8/17)

Actor Jon Cryer And Comedian Chelsea Handler Gave The Maximum Donation They Could For Ossoff. "Comedian Chelsea Handler maxed out with a contribution of $2,700, as did actor Jon Cryer." (Lisa Hagen, "Celebrity Donations Help Fuel Georgia Dem's $8.3M Haul," The Hill , 04/06/17)

CNN's Eric Bradner Credits "Liberal Blog Daily Kos" For Catapulting Ossoff's Campaign By Raising More Than One Million Dollars. "But it was the involvement of the liberal blog Daily Kos that really catapulted Ossoff onto the national map. The blog has been the largest driver of Ossoff's eye-popping $4 million fundraising effort to date. It bested its previous fundraising record for a single candidate -- $412,000 for Elizabeth Warren in 2012 -- in a single week. Daily Kos's pro-Ossoff fundraising efforts crossed the $1 million mark on February 28." (Eric Bradner, "Dems Look South To Test Anti-Trump Strategy," CNN , 3/31/17)

Democratic Insiders Co-Hosted A Fundraiser For Ossoff In Washington D.C., Including Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairman Ben Ray Lujan, And Many Others. "The top House Democratic brass will host a fundraiser on Thursday at Democratic National Committee headquarters for Jon Ossoff, whom Democrats have seized on as their best shot at snapping up the conservative-leaning House seat in the Atlanta suburbs vacated by HHS Secretary Tom Price. Among the headliners: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn; Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley; Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda Sánchez; DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján; and Reps. Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, John Lewis and David Scott, all Georgia Democrats. The jungle primary for the special election is April 18." (Theodoric Meyer, "House Democrats Host Ossoff Fundraiser," Politico , 3/13/17)

OSSOFF'S LIBERAL IDEOLOGY REPRESENTS THE SHIFT TO THE LEFT THAT IS SWEEPING THROUGH THE DEMOCRAT PARTY

Compared To The Previous Democrats, Ossoff Is A "Way More Progressive" And "Far Less Conservative" Candidate

Ossoff Is "Way More Progressive" Than Moderate Democrats Of Years Past. "He's [Ossoff] way more progressive than the Blue Dogs of yesteryear." (Matthew Yates, "That Jon Ossoff's Message Seems Moderate Is A Sign Of How Far Democrats Have Shifted," Vox , 6/13/17)

  • Ossoff's Campaign "Is A Sign Of The Same Leftward Shift Of The Democratic Party's Message" Which Is A "Baseline" For Democrats In Place Like California. "Taking an Obama-style campaign to the Atlanta suburbs is a sign of the same leftward shift of the Democratic Party's message that's making free college and a $15-an-hour minimum wage a baseline for Democrats in California and the Northeast." (Matthew Yates, "That Jon Ossoff's Message Seems Moderate Is A Sign Of How Far Democrats Have Shifted," Vox , 6/13/17)

Karen Handel Noted That Ossoff Was A "Junior Staffer For Rep. Hank Johnson, One Of The Most Liberal Tax-And-Spend Members Of Congress That We Have." KAREN HANDEL: "My opponent talks a lot about cutting spending, he talks about balancing budgets, he has not done it one single time. He was a junior staffer for Hank Johnson, one of the most liberal tax-and-spend members of Congress that we have. I have a track record of cutting spending and balancing budgets." (Karen Handel, Remarks At WABE-FM Debate, Georgia, 6/8/17)

Ossoff And The Democrats' Approach To Winning This Election Is "Far Less Conservative" Than Previous Democrat Winners. "And the big takeaway of Ossoff's approach is that Democrats think they can win in marginal seats with a message that is a lot less conservative than the approach taken by the Blue Dog winners of 2006 and 2008." (Matthew Yates, "That Jon Ossoff's Message Seems Moderate Is A Sign Of How Far Democrats Have Shifted," Vox , 6/13/17)

Former Democratic Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) Released A 2014 Campaign Advertisement Where He "Bragged About Voting With John Boehner A Majority Of The Time" And Running Against The Affordable Care Act. "This Barrow ad, from 2014, by contrast, gives you a glimpse of what a moderate Democrat looked like in the very recent past. He bragged about voting with John Boehner a majority of the time, and ran against cap and trade and the Affordable Care Act." (Matthew Yates, "That Jon Ossoff's Message Seems Moderate Is A Sign Of How Far Democrats Have Shifted," Vox , 6/13/17)


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