For-profit

The Organizing Group (TOG)

Website:

www.organizinginc.com

Location:

Washington, DC

Formation:

2005

Founder:

Steve Rosenthal

The Organizing Group (TOG) is a for-profit political consulting firm founded by former AFL-CIO political director Steve Rosenthal, who serves as its president. [1] It leverages the labor union and other left-wing contacts of its founder and staffers to provide consulting, field organizing, voter outreach and other services to left-of-center political organizations, candidates, and labor unions.[2] Rosenthal is a prominent practitioner of direct voter contact and canvassing, a particular area of expertise TOG promotes to prospective clients.

General Background

Founded in 2005, TOG’s business model was built upon the premise that competition from widely-dispersed audience options in the information age was causing mass media advertising  (such as traditional radio and television) to rapidly lose its standing as the ideal voter communication tool. The alternative TOG sells is direct voter contact and canvassing, with traditional mass media advertising as a supplement.[3]

TOG president Steve Rosenthal is an expert in the field of direct voter contact.[4] As AFL-CIO political director from 1995-2002, he deployed hundreds of union representatives to Congressional districts across the nation for political mobilization of AFL-CIO members, ultimately spending a budget of $30 million per election cycle. According to former AFSCME president Gerald McEntee, by 2002 Rosenthal’s effort had become the “best grass-roots mobilization program of any political group in the country.”[5] In 2003, Rosenthal became co-founder and CEO of America Coming Together (ACT), a liberal 527 political action committee with a budget of $142 million, offices in 17 states, and 3000 canvassers, that claimed to have made 16 million door-to-door contacts prior to Election Day 2004.[6]

Consistent with this résumé, TOG promotes phone-banking programs, direct mail and door-to-door canvassing as important primary components of its “full-scale layered direct voter contact.”[7]

Staff

Steve Rosenthal

Steve Rosenthal has been known as a particularly aggressive campaign operative. In 2004, Donna Brazile, who would become chair of the DNC during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, complimented him for being “as mean and vicious as they come” and the “last great hope of the Democratic Party.”[8]

He has a history of extensive contacts with labor unions and high-level left-wing strategists and donors, including George Soros, many of whom came together in the creation and funding of America Coming Together, with Rosenthal as CEO.[9]
In 2007, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) unanimously ruled that most of ACT’s 2004 campaign cycle donations had violated federal election law, and assessed a $775,000 fine – then the third-largest fine ever imposed by the FEC.[10]

Jenna Fullmer

Jenna Fullmer, chief operating officer for TOG, began working for it in 2007 after various campaign jobs in Democratic politics and fundraising. For TOG she is listed as managing the “activities of several independent expenditure committees,” which includes the Working for Us PAC, and as having managed numerous campaigns for TOG clients.[11] During the 2016 federal election cycle, TOG was paid $100,000 by Working for Us PAC for “planning and campaign strategy” and “strategic services.”[12]

References

  1. “Meet the Team.” The Organizing Group. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/team.html
  2. “Approach.” The Organizing Group, Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/approach.html
  3. “Approach.” The Organizing Group, Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/approach.html
  4. “Meet the Team.” The Organizing Group. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/team.html
  5. Greenhouse, Steven. “Political Director of Labor Federation to Quit Post.” New York Times. August 5, 2002. Accessed November 9, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/05/us/political-director-of-labor-federation-to-quit-post.html
  6. Hayes, Chris. “Can the Democrats Win the Ground War at Home?” The Nation. November 30, 2005. Accessed November 6, 2018. https://www.thenation.com/article/can-democrats-win-ground-war-home/
  7. “Approach.” The Organizing Group, Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/approach.html
  8. Gerhart, Ann. “Ground War.” The Washington Post. July 6, 2004. Accessed November 9, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/2004/07/06/ground-war/f3811995-4fc2-4487-a151-7ca97f06185e/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ec95c71397c9
  9. “America Coming Together: 2004.” OpenSecrets. Accessed November 6, 2018. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2004&ein=200094706
  10. Vogel, Kenneth P. “Soros-linked group hit with huge fine.” Politico. August 29, 2007. Accessed November 6, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2007/08/soros-linked-group-hit-with-huge-fine-005555
  11. “Meet the Team.” The Organizing Group. Accessed November 9, 2018. http://www.organizinginc.com/team.html
  12. “Disbursements: Working for Us Political Action Committee.” Accessed November 14, 2018. https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00430876/

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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The Organizing Group (TOG)

888 16th Street NW
Suite 650
Washington, DC 20006