For-profit

Revolution Messaging

Website:

revolutionmessaging.com

Formation:

2009

Revolution Messaging is a Washington D.C.-based Democratic Party-aligned campaign consulting firm founded in 2009 by Scott Goodstein, the former external online director of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.[1] The firm provides digital advertising, campaign mobilization activism, and media strategies for left-wing interest groups and Democratic candidates.[2] The firm contributes its services to more left-wing candidates within the Democratic Party, including2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and U.S. Senate candidate then-U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) during the 2018 election. [3]

Background

Revolution Messaging was founded in 2009 by Scott Goodstein, a Democratic Party activist and political consultant who previously founded a variety of digital-campaign organizations such as the European consultancy Catalyst Campaigns.[4]

Following his experience as the external online director for Obama for America during the 2008 presidential election, Goodstein founded Revolution Messaging in 2009 to use social and digital media to connect Democratic campaigns to voters.[5]

Political Activity

Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign (2016)

Revolution Messaging gained popularity in left-wing circles after it was hired by Sen. Bernie Sanders to help with online advertising and fundraising for his 2016 Democratic presidential primary campaign.[6] With the help of Revolution Messaging, the Sanders campaign raised over $3 million in small-dollar donations in four days.[7] The Sanders campaign ultimately earned $218 million while using the digital services of Revolution Messaging.[8]

During the 2016 election year, Revolution Messaging made most of its revenue from its services to the Sanders campaign. Out of the $33.8 million in payments the firm reported that year, $28.7 million came from the Sanders campaign.[9]

Texas Senate Campaign (2018)

For the 2018 Texas Senate election, then-Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) purchased the digital services of Revolution Messaging against his competitor, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Between the start of O’Rourke’s campaign in March 2017 and the election in November 2018, he had paid Revolution Messaging $24.2 million.[10]

Other Activism

Revolution Messaging provides vendor services to a variety of Democratic and left-of-center clients. The firm received payments of $985,000 and $1.6 million from U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), respectively.[11]

Revolution Messaging also received $55,000 from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and was also paid by Democratic political action committees such as Giffords PAC, MoveOn Political Action, and End Citizens United PAC.[12]

People

Scott Goodstein

Scott Goodstein founded Revolution Messaging in 2009 after serving as the external online director for President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Before the 2008 election, Goodstein founded the consultancy Catalyst Campaigns while attending American University in 1995. Afterwards, he continued to create various online organizations even after he founded Revolution Messaging.[13]

Goodstein’s organizations also commonly use pop culture and art as a niche characteristic to distinguish themselves from other left-wing online activist groups.[14] In 2016, Goodstein founded Creative Majority PAC specifically for “the creative class, run by and for artists, musicians and writers.”[15] While the PAC reported revenues of $70,000 in 2016 and $837,000 in 2018, the PAC spent only $20,000 for anti-Trump campaigning in 2016. In 2018, the PAC paid $467,000, more than half of its revenue, to Revolution Messaging.[16]

During June 2018, Goodstein resigned his position as CEO of Revolution Messaging to assume a new but more limited role as a partner.[17] While he had stated in an email to the staff that he was leaving to create room in leadership for the growing organization, Goodstein’s resignation happened at the same time Revolution Messaging was dealing with several controversies. Revolution Messaging employees sought to unionize against the reportedly poor internal culture set by the firm’s management. [18] The leadership at Revolution Messaging had allegedly tried to punish a female employee after she reported that she was sexually assaulted by a coworker.[19]

Shauna Daly

Shauna Daly was the senior vice president of Revolution Messaging from March 2014 to January 2016. Prior to that, she worked with Scott Goodstein on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as a deputy research director. [20] Daly has also served as a research director and senior advisor for the anti-Republican activist PAC American Bridge 21st Century.[21]

Keegan Goudiss

Keegan Goudiss serves as a partner and head of advertising at Revolution Messaging. Before joining the firm, Goudiss worked at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as creating Vox-P Media.[22] Goudiss is also listed as the treasurer for Goodstein’s Creative Majority PAC and works at the same office building he uses for Revolution Messaging.[23]

Dae Levine

Dae Levine served as the senior vice president of Revolution Messaging beginning in July 2017 and has the responsibility to manage and work with clients on the West Coast as well as internationally. After graduating and becoming an adjunct professor at Columbia University, Levine was a director of Media Relations at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, head of communications at Greenpeace in Australia, and stayed in Australia to become a managing director at the left-of-center Republic of Everyone. She had also previously founded and ran her own consulting firm in Australia, Dea Levine Consulting.[24]

Funding

Revolution Messaging is funded through the payments it receives as a vendor. Notable payments include $28.7 million from the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential primary campaign, $24.2 million from Robert “Beto” O’Rourke’s 2018 Texas Senate campaign, and another $13.4 million from other Democratic groups. Nevertheless, at least $467,000 comes from the Creative Majority PAC, founded by the same man who founded Revolution Messaging, Scott Goodstein.[25]

References

  1. “Scott Goodstein.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottgoodstein. ^
  2. “About Us.” Revolution Messaging. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://revolutionmessaging.com/about/. ^
  3. Ludwig, Hayden. “The Bernie Revolution’s Consultant of Choice.” Capital Research Center. November 16, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-bernie-revolutions-consultant-of-choice/. ^
  4. “Scott Goodstein.” PopTech. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://poptech.org/instigator/scott-goodstein/. ^
  5. Barrett, Helen. “Interview: Scott Goodstein.” Third Sector. April 21, 2009. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.thirdsector.co.uk/interview-scott-goodstein/communications/article/899351. ^
  6. Topaz, Jonathan, and Katie Glueck. “The Power Players behind Bernie Sanders’ Campaign.” POLITICO. May 26, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/bernie-sanders-2016-campaign-staff-power-players-118282. ^
  7. Stein, Sam. “Bernie Sanders Raises $3 Million In Four Days.” The Huffington Post. May 6, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/06/bernie-sanders-campaign_n_7224630.html. ^
  8. Redden, Molly. “A Progressive Firm Fired A Partner For Allegedly Assaulting A Staffer. Soon She Was Gone, Too.” The Huffington Post. February 23, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/revolution-messaging-assault-female-staffer_us_5a8cd12fe4b0273053a5baad. ^
  9. “Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/expends/vendor.php?year=2016&vendor=Revolution Messaging. ^
  10. “Browse Disbursements.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&data_type=processed&committee_id=C00501197&recipient_name=Revolution Messaging&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=11/13/2018. ^
  11. “Browse Disbursements.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&data_type=processed&recipient_name=revolution messaging&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=11/13/2018. ^
  12. “Browse Disbursements.” FEC.gov. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/disbursements/?two_year_transaction_period=2018&data_type=processed&recipient_name=revolution messaging&min_date=01/01/2017&max_date=11/13/2018. ^
  13. “Scott Goodstein.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottgoodstein. ^
  14. “Scott Goodstein.” PopTech. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://poptech.org/instigator/scott-goodstein/. ^
  15. “Creative Majority.” Creative Majority PAC. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://creativemajoritypac.com/. ^
  16. Ludwig, Hayden. “The Bernie Revolution’s Consultant of Choice.” Capital Research Center. November 16, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-bernie-revolutions-consultant-of-choice/. ^
  17. Cramer, Ruby. “The CEO Of A Top Progressive Digital Firm Has Stepped Down.” BuzzFeed News. June 06, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/rev-messaging-ceo. ^
  18. Cramer, Ruby. “Staffers At A Top, Bernie-Backed Progressive Firm Have Unionized.” BuzzFeed News. March 20, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/rubycramer/staffers-at-a-top-bernie-backed-progressive-firm-have#.idnXpZGQp. ^
  19. Redden, Molly. “A Progressive Firm Fired A Partner For Allegedly Assaulting A Staffer. Soon She Was Gone, Too.” The Huffington Post. February 23, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/revolution-messaging-assault-female-staffer_us_5a8cd12fe4b0273053a5baad. ^
  20. “Shauna Daly.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/shauna-daly-9091184 ^
  21. Wilson, Megan R. “Revolution Messaging Adds American Bridge Alum.” TheHill. March 04, 2014. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/lobbying-hires/199837-revolution-messaging-adds-american-bridge-alum. ^
  22. Topaz, Jonathan, and Katie Glueck. “The Power Players behind Bernie Sanders’ Campaign.” POLITICO. May 26, 2015. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/bernie-sanders-2016-campaign-staff-power-players-118282. ^
  23. “Reports Image Index for Committee ID: C00619759.” Schedule E for Report FEC-1260062. Accessed November 26, 2018. http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00619759. ^
  24. “Dae Levine.” LinkedIn. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://www.linkedin.com/in/daelevine?trk=org-employees_mini-profile_title. ^
  25. Ludwig, Hayden. “The Bernie Revolution’s Consultant of Choice.” Capital Research Center. November 16, 2018. Accessed November 26, 2018. https://capitalresearch.org/article/the-bernie-revolutions-consultant-of-choice/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Walker Hamilton
    Former Chief Technology Officer
  2. Keegan Goudiss
    Managing Partner
  3. Shauna Daly
    Senior Vice President
  4. Scott Goodstein
    Founder and CEO
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