STG Results (Smoot Tewes Group)



Washington, DC

Full Name:

Smoot Tewes Group


Julianna Smoot

Paul Tewes


Aaron Wells

Dan Kanninen

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STG Results (also called Smoot Tewes Consulting) is a Democratic Party-aligned public affairs and political strategy firm. It was founded in 2013 as Smoot Tewes Group by two former Obama for America senior staffers, Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes. 1

Its current principals are former Democratic campaign strategist Aaron Wells and former Obama and Clinton campaign staffer Dan Kanninen. Kanninen is CEO. 2 3

STG Results has worked on a number of high-profile campaigns, including a gun control bus tour with former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and a pressure campaign in favor of Obamacare to convince Republican Senators to not overturn the law. 4


Smoot and Tewes launched the Smoot Tewes Group after helping President Barack Obama win the White House in 2008. Smoot also worked for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. 5

Julianna Smoot was the chief fundraiser for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She returned to the campaign in 2012 and fundraised for the Democratic National Committee in 2012. 6 She is a member of the boards of directors of the Obama Foundation and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. 78

In addition to her campaign duties, Smoot served in multiple positions in the Obama White House, including White House Social Secretary. 9 Prior to the Obama campaign, she worked for several high-profile Democratic Senators, including current Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and former Vice Presidential nominee Sen. John Edwards (D-NC). 10

Paul Tewes ran Obama’s 2008 Iowa caucus campaign and was credited with the future president’s surprise victory there. He was moved to the Democratic National Committee for the general election. 11 Prior to his work for Obama, Tewes ran re-election campaigns for two U.S. Senators, co-founded a leading group opposed to President George W. Bush’s Social Security reform proposal, and was the Iowa director for Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. 12 He also worked for the Democratic Party’s Senate election committee and co-founded a Democratic-aligned firm Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, with clients such as Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, several Democratic U.S. Senators, and a group opposed to escalation of the Iraq war. 13
Tewes, who co-founded the consultancy New Partners in 2009, was brought onto the 2020 presidential campaign of former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) in Spring 2019. 15

Dan Kanninen is also a veteran of the Obama 2008 campaign, leading Obama’s Wisconsin efforts in the general election and working in other states during the Democratic primary campaign. He later directed Obama’s 2012 reelection efforts in the Northeast of the United States and Obama’s successful 2012 Virginia campaign. In 2016, Kanninen led Hillary Clinton’s North Carolina election operation. 16

In addition to his campaign roles, Kanninen was White House Liaison to the Environmental Protection Agency and Legislative Director to former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle (D).

Aaron Wells was STG Results’ communications director and one of its principals prior to its name change. 17 He previously ran campaigns in Minnesota and worked in a number of non-profit and government roles. 18

Major Campaigns and Clients

The firm’s clients include Protect Our Care, an organization that defends Obamacare, and Citizens for Transparency, an LGBT coalition created to attack the right-of-center group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

The pro-LGBT advocacy group Citizens for Transparency has hired STG Results to attack the conservative Christian-based legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), joining in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s efforts to claim ADF is a hate group. Citizens for Transparency, ironically described as “shadowy” by PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil, paid for a New York City billboard attacking ADF in 2018. 19 20 21 Caleb Cade, an STG employee, is the spokesman for the STG-backed group Citizens for Transparency. 22

Smoot Tewes was one of five consultancies hired by the Campaign for Consumer Choice in 2016 to oppose several health insurance mergers. Branded as a grassroots organization, the Campaign was made up of well-established organizations such as hospital groups, a SEIU affiliate, and the American Medical Association. 23

Senate Majority PAC, the Super PAC supporting Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate, paid Smoot Tewes $72,000 in the 2013-2014 election cycle and $3,250 in the 2015-2016 election cycle. 24 25 In the 2015-2016 cycle alone, Smoot Tewes earned over $640,000 from prominent left-leaning advocacy campaigns and candidates’ campaigns. U.S. Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) paid over $62,000 to Smoot Tewes in that cycle, Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue paid over $87,000, and the union-affiliated For Our Future Super PAC paid $251,000. Abortion advocacy organization EMILY’s List paid $8,000 to Smoot Tewes in that cycle.

The left-leaning environmental group NextGen Climate Action paid Smoot Tewes over $162,000 in the 2014 election cycle and over $69,000 in the 2016 cycle. 27

STG Results has partnered with The Bright Compass, a Democratic-aligned firm which was founded in light of the #MeToo movement and for which Kanninen serves as an advisor. 2829

Climate change is a major issue for the firm. Smoot Tewes ran campaigns in favor of ethanol renewable fuel standards and against the Keystone XL Pipeline. 30 A STG Results vice president wrote about the importance of the issue for in June 2019. 31 Kanninen was on MSNBC in May 2019 to oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back some Environmental Protection Agency legal responsibilities. 32


  1. STG Results, Our Story, Accessed July 7, 2019.
  2. STG Results, Dan Kanninen, Accessed July 7, 2019.
  3. STG Results, Aaron Wells, Accessed July 7, 2019.
  4. STG Results, Case Studies, Accessed July 7, 2019.
  5. Sean Miller, “Smoot Tewes Group ‘one-stop shopping for candidates,’” October 20, 2013. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  6. Rob Christensen, “Obama’s chief fundraiser opens political consulting firm,” October 21, 2013. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  7. Planned Parenthood 2017-2018 Annual Report, Accessed July 8, 2019.

  8. Obama Foundation 2017 Annual Report, 2017 Board of Directors, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  9. Reuters, “Obama taps Washington insider as social secretary,” February 27, 2010. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  10. Rob Christensen, “Former N.C. debutante Julianna Smoot heads Obama’s money machine,” September 3, 2012. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  11. University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Paul Tewes, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  12. David Plouffe, “Obama campaign: New Iowa staff announced,” January 24, 2007. Accessed July 8, 2019.

  13. SourceWatch, Hildebrand Tewes Consulting, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  14. Shane D’Aprile, “Tewes launches New Partners Inc.,” March 1, 2009. Accessed July 8, 2019.[/note] 14David Siders, Daniel Strauss, Christopher Cadelago, Natasha Korecki, “O’Rourke ramps up in Iowa,” March 11, 2019. Accessed July 8, 2019.

  15. STG Results, Dan Kanninen, Accessed July 7, 2019.
  16. Politico, “The Smoot Tewes Group launches media engagement practice,” Accessed July 8, 2019.
  17. STG Results, Aaron Wells, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  18. Julie Compton, “Activists take aim at anti-LGBTQ ‘hate group,’ Alliance Defending Freedom,” November 14, 2018. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  19. Tyler O’Neil, “Shadowy LGBT group launches witch hunt against Christian law firm,” February 19, 2019. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  20. Alliance Defending Freedom, “Tolerance is a two-way street,” Accessed July 8, 2019.
  21. Hayden Ludwig. “’Citizens for Transparency’ Ain’t so Transparent.” Capital Research Center. November 30, 2018. Accessed July 12, 2019.
  22. Sheila Kaplan, “Hospital industry secretly running campaign against insurance mergers,” May 20, 2016. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  23. Open Secrets, Smoot Tewes Group, Reported payments in 2014, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  24. Open Secrets, Smoot Tewes Group, Reported payments in 2016, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  25. Open Secrets, Smoot Tewes Group, Reported payments in 2014, Accessed July 8, 2019.[/note] 26Open Secrets, Smoot Tewes Group, Reported payments in 2016, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  26. The Bright Compass, Who We Are, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  27. Twitter, Dallas Thompson account, March 19, 2019, Accessed July 8, 2019.
  28. Kevin Bogardus, “PR firm boosts Congressman for 1 client, attacks his cause for another,” October 28, 2014. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  29. Twitter, STG Results, June 26, 2019. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  30. Twitter, STG Results, May 29, 2019. Accessed July 8, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Paul Tewes
    Co-Founder, Strategic Partner
  2. Julianna Smoot
    Co-Founder, Strategic Partner
  3. Mike Naple
    Vice President
  4. Adam Hoyer
    Former Director of Field Campaigns (2014-2016)
  5. Daniel P. Dozier
    Former Principal
  6. Ross Morales Rocketto
    Former Principal (2014-2017)
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STG Results (Smoot Tewes Group)

818 Connecticut AVE NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006