Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) provided the cash-poor Tennessee Democratic Party with more than $1 million through the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) he controls, which local Democrats have used to hire an army of 61 Bredesen campaign workers, many of them from out-of-state. The three Bredesen campaign workers –Will Stewart, James W. Miller, and Maria Amalla–who were captured on video saying that Bredesen lied about his Kavanaugh vote are part of this army of left wing volunteers.
On April 30, the Tennessee Democratic Party had less than $48,000 in its bank account, according to Federal Election Commission records. During the month of April, only 13 individuals received payroll checks from the party.
The group’s poor cash position changed dramatically on June 12, when the DSCC, a political fund that has raised over $98 million this electoral cycle and is controlled by Senate Minority Leader Schumer (D-NY) through the group’s chairman in name, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), gave the Tennessee Democratic Party $495,000 in what is called a “transfer from affiliated organization.” On August 7 the DSCC donated an additional $500,000 to the Tennessee Democratic Party, and has donated an additional $38,250 in eight smaller transaction in June, July, and August, according to FEC records, bringing the total amount provided to the Tennessee Democratic Party by the Schumer controlled DSCC to well over $1 million between June 1 and August 31.
Immediately after the infusion of much needed cash from the DSCC, the payroll of the Tennessee Democratic Party increased by 30 employees, all of whom received their first paychecks on June 5. Almost all of these 30 original new employees and have been paid about $2,700 per month each in every subsequent month, according to FEC records. It appears that these new hires were deployed to staff the 24 Bredesen for Senate campaign offices around the state. That additional payroll quickly grew from 30 new employees to 61 new employees, all apparently dedicated to work on the Bredesen for Senate campaign.
Among those 61 Bredesen campaign workers paid by the Tennessee Democratic Party through this $1 million transfer of funds from the Chuck Schumer controlled DSCC are the three Bredesen campaign workers featured on the undercover video released by Project Veritas on Wednesday saying that Democratic Senate nominee Phil Bredesen lied when he released a statement on Friday, October 5 that he would have voted to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court if he were a member of the Senate. Those three Bredesen campaign workers are Will Stewart, James W. Miller, and Maria Amalla.
As The Tennessee Star reported on Sunday, Tennessee Democratic Party spokesperson Mark Brown lied about who was paying these Bredesen campaign workers. He admitted the lie in an interview on Friday with Harriet Wallace of Fox News 17:
On Friday, Harriet Wallace at Fox News 17 called out Mark Brown, Tennessee Democratic spokesperson, who she said “lied” about the Bredesen campaign workers captured on video when he first claimed that they were interns and volunteers, not paid staff. . .
Brown told that lie to Fox 17 News after the video was released on Wednesday. Brown said the volunteers in the video are not campaign staffers. FOX 17 News was told the people in the video are State Democratic Party volunteers making calls and doing door knocking campaigns for various democratic candidates…
However, Wallace cited Federal Election Commission documents showing those people on video are paid staffers for the state party. She brought the evidence to Brown, who “changed his story.”
Brown said he “apologizes” and added, “We weren’t attempting to mislead anybody.” He said he meant to say that people shown in the background who did not talk in the video were volunteers and interns, while acknowledging those who spoke were staffers.
Brown is paid $6,000 per month as a “communications and messaging consultant” by the same Tennessee Democratic Party that added these 61 Bredesen campaign workers to their payroll in June, according to FEC records.
A look at the resumes of several of these 61 Bredesen campaign workers indicates that many of them are highly skilled political operatives with college degrees from elite universities.
Will Stewart, one of the three captured on the Project Veritas Video, for instance, appears to be a 2016 graduate of Vanderbilt University.
Another of these 61 Bredesen campaign workers paid for by the Tennessee Democratic Party–operating as, in effect, a conduit for Chuck Schumer’s DSCC–is Saif Ratul, an experienced political operative who graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 2013, and has subsequently worked at a very high level for a number of Democratic political campaigns, including, most recently for the campaign of the head of the DSCC, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), in Maryland, as the Maryland Democratic Party reported in 2017:
Saif Ratul will manage the Party’s field operation, and most recently served as the deputy field director for the 2016 Maryland Democratic Coordinated Campaign. Prior to that, Ratul was a regional field director for then-Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s U.S. Senate campaign and worked on electoral and issue-based campaigns in Iowa, Colorado and New York.
Though he is listed in the Tennessee Democratic Party FEC reports as a resident of Tennessee, Ratul appears to be a resident of Maryland.
His skills are apparently so highly valued by the Bredesen campaign that he is on the payroll of both the Tennessee Democratic Party and the Bredesen for Senate campaign, according to FEC records.
Ratul is not the only one of these 61 Bredesen campaign workers who is double dipping–receiving salaries from both the Tennessee Democratic Party and the Bredesen for Senate campaign. A Tennessee Star review of FEC records revealed at least three others who received paychecks from both organizations.
It is unclear if such double-dipping arrangments are in compliance with FEC rules and regulations.
The $1 million Chuck Schumer has provided to the Tennessee Democratic Party through the DSCC is not the only way he has tried to help Phil Bredesen, his hand picked candidate, in the 2018 Senate election in Tennessee.
Schumer’s Majority Forward independent expenditure committee has spent more than $7.6 million on ads in favor of Bredesen and attacking Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07), his Republican opponent in the November election.
Many of the 61 Bredesen campaign workers paid by the Tennessee Democratic Party since June are not residents of Tennessee, and are, in fact, from out-of-state.
A review of FEC records shows that 27 of these 61 Bredesen campaign workers brought into the Volunteer State through the “generosity” of Chuck Schumer are residents of Democrat controlled states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and California.
Those 28 out-of-state Bredesen campaign workers paid by the Tennessee Democratic Party came from the following states:
New Jersey (2)
North Carolina (2)
New York (1)
South Carolina (1)
You can see the full list of the residences of these 61 Bredesen campaign workers who were paid regular two-week salaries by the Tennessee Democratic Party on August 20 from this recent FEC document, as reported by the Tennessee Democratic party.