For-profit

Ardleigh Group

Location:

Washington, DC

The Ardleigh Group is a Washington D.C.-based political canvassing organization that works with Democratic Party candidates and left-of-center groups. The Ardleigh Group specializes in “get out the vote” tactics and other canvassing strategies. It is a part of a network of organizations tied to political consultant Matt Schneider.

Schneider’s firm, Field Strategies, has worked for high profile Democrats such as President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.[1] Schneider’s network of organizations has been involved in controversies surrounding registering people to vote who are not legally eligible to vote in Indiana[2] and questionable campaign spending in Washington, D.C. [3]

Organization Structure

In 2017, the Washington City Paper, the left-wing alt-weekly newspaper in the nation’s capital, examined the campaign finances of Washington, D.C. Councilmember Brandon Todd (D). Specifically, the paper examined three payments during his 2015 election campaign to a company called Block By Block, which has a Trenton, New Jersey address. Block By Block provided “get out the vote” services including sign posting, door knocking, and phone banking. The company has worked numerous campaigns in New Jersey. [4]

Block By Block officially has a New Jersey address, but a search of the address reveals that it belongs to a registered agent services company. Block By Block also does not have a working phone number and does not show up on internet searches. [5]

Further investigation that Block By Block operated from a Washington D.C. address, 1725 I Street N.W. Suite 900. It shares that address with the Ardleigh Group, which was also hired by the Todd campaign. The Mobilization Project PAC also shares that address. The three organizations share an address with Democratic political consultant Matt Schneider and his firm, Field Strategies. [6]

D.C. property records list Field Strategies’ address at 888 16th Street N.W. Suite 650. Ardleigh Group’s address, according to its Massachusetts foreign limited liability company filings, is also at that same address. [7]

Schneder claims that Block By Block is a separate company run by a New Jersey based political consultant named Blair Talmadge. But the paper found no records of payment to Field Strategies from the Todd campaign or Block By Block. In addition, Schneider refused to answer questions about the firms sharing the same address and the Ardleigh Group in general. [8]

During the Washington City Paper’s investigation of Todd’s campaigns, it spoke to a canvasser tied to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). The canvasser said that officials with ties to Bowser demanded that Todd and other candidates hire Schneider and Block By Block if they wanted to work with the Bowser administration. [9]

Indiana Voter Registration Project Controversy

In 2017, charges were filed against 12 workers from the Indiana Voter Registration Project. They were accused of submitting names of people who were ineligible to vote including dead people, non-U.S. citizens, minors, and felons ineligible to vote under state law. In addition, canvassers were accused of paying vagrants with cigarettes to fill out voter registration forms. [10]

The Indiana Voter Registration Project’s canvassers were paid by Block By Block, Field Strategies, and the Ardleigh Group. [11]

Clients

The Ardleigh Group works with various left-wing groups and candidates. It has also been hired by United We Can, Win Justice, and Priorities USA Action. It also was hired by Cory Booker’s U.S. Senate campaign. [12]

The SEIU and cutout “worker organizing committees” paid Ardleigh Group $9.4 million over a five-year period for services related to its “Fight for $15” minimum wage and unionization campaign. [13] Some left-wing activists criticized the SEIU for using an outside, non-union contractor for its campaign. [14]

References

  1. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  2.             Cook, Tony. 2017. “Indiana Voter Group Registered A Felon, Non-U.S. Citizen And A Dead Person, Police Say”. Indianapolis Star. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/09/voter-registration-group-charged-falsifying-registrations/384244001/. ^
  3. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  4. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  5. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  6. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  7. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  8. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  9. Anderson, Jeffrey. 2017. “The Brandon Todd Team Struggles To Explain Its Largest Campaign Expenditure”. Washington City Paper. https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/20859858/the-brandon-todd-team-struggles-to-explain-its-largest-campaign-expenditure. ^
  10.      Cook, Tony. 2017. “Indiana Voter Group Registered A Felon, Non-U.S. Citizen And A Dead Person, Police Say”. Indianapolis Star. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/09/voter-registration-group-charged-falsifying-registrations/384244001/. ^
  11. Cook, Tony. 2017. “Indiana Voter Group Registered A Felon, Non-U.S. Citizen And A Dead Person, Police Say”. Indianapolis Star. https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/09/voter-registration-group-charged-falsifying-registrations/384244001/. ^
  12. “Browse Disbursements”. 2019. Federal Election Commission. Accessed June 24. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?data_type=processed&recipient_name=Ardleigh+Group&two_year_transaction_period=2008&two_year_transaction_period=2012&two_year_transaction_period=2014&two_year_transaction_period=2016&two_year_transaction_period=2018. ^
  13. Author’s calculations from payer/payee data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards from forms filed by labor unions. Queries conducted July 2, 2019. https://olms.dol-esa.gov/olpdr/#Union%20Reports/Payer/Payee%20Search/ ^
  14. Gupta, Arun. “EXCLUSIVE: Some of SEIU’s ‘Fight for $15’ Workers Aren’t Unionized – and Don’t Make $15 an Hour.” Raw Story. August 13, 2016. Accessed July 02, 2019. https://www.rawstory.com/2016/08/exclusive-some-of-seius-fight-for-15-workers-arent-unionized-and-dont-make-15-an-hour/. ^
  See an error? Let us know!

Ardleigh Group

PO Box 12182
Washington, DC 20005