Person

Jill Alper

Nationality:

American

Political Party:

Democratic Party

Occupation:

Political Consultant

Partner, Dewey Square Group

Former Political Director, Democratic National Committee

Former Coordinated Campaign Director, Democratic National Committee (1994-1998)

Associated Organizations:

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

EMILY’s List (Campaign Training)

Hillary Clinton for President, 2008

Al Gore for President, 2000

Bill Clinton/Al Gore for President, 1996

Jill Alper is a top Democratic strategist [1] who has worked on seven presidential campaigns [2] including as the national electoral strategist for the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, and Hillary Clinton. [3] She is also the former political director of the Democratic National Committee. [4]

Alper was one of handful of strategists who were tapped by Democratic leaders in 2000 to oversee Florida’s recount of the 2000 presidential election results in that state. [5]

In 2015, Alper and her husband David Katz hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at their Grosse Pointe, Michigan home where the highest-priced tickets were $50,000 and included a special reception with Hillary Clinton. [6] In 2016, Alper was a member of the Democratic National Committee and was a superdelegate endorsing Hillary Clinton. [7]

The nonprofit Center for Michigan publication Bridge Michigan linked Alper to a 2020 voter turnout campaign—described by a Democrat as “creepy”—in which mailings warned citizens they would be contacted about whether they voted. [8]

In 2020, Alper’s firm Alper Strategies and Media received more than $2 million in funding that was traced to a grantmaking initiative funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for an ostensibly non-partisan voter education campaign. [9]

Background

Alper graduated from Boston College in 1987. [10] Alper is married to David Katz, who was chief of staff in Wayne County, Michigan, [11] and the former campaign manager for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D). [12]

Career

At the age of 23, Alper was a field representative in Florida in 1988 for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. [13]

She was a partner at Dewey Square Group in Boston from 2001 to 2017 and was described by the Boston Globe as a top “lieutenant” [14] at the political consulting firm, which also worked with businesses and trade associations. [15] The Dewey Square Group includes high-level Democratic Party strategists, according to the Tampa Tribune. [16]

In 2017, she founded Alper Strategies and Media, [17] which works out of suburban Detroit. [18]

Frequent Media Source

With John Truscott, a former aide to Michigan Governor John Engler (R), Alper co-authored a political column by the Detroit Free Press in 2010 to 2012. [19] She has been quoted by national newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, [20] the New York Times, [21] and the Washington Post. [22]

Controversies

From 2016 to 2020, Alper was involved in a series of controversies involving herself or her public relations firm:

Interview with Mark Halperin

In 2019, Washingtonian reported Alper gave an interview to former MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin for his book on President Donald Trump. [23] Halperin was fired from his MSNBC political analyst position in 2017 after 14 women accused him of unwanted sexual advances, according to Mother Jones. [24] The book was described by Washingtonian as a way for Halperin to salvage his reputation amid the sexual harassment controversy. [25] Alper said in 2019 she regretted talking to Halperin as a source for his 2019 book How To Beat Trump and their discussion focused only on how the Democrats could beat Trump. [26]

Linked to “Mail Shaming” Campaign

In 2020, Bridge Michigan linked Alper to a “mail shaming” voter turnout campaign. [27] The Voter Participation Center and the Center for Voter Information participated in “social pressure” mailings that stated that voting is a matter of public record and stated after the election “local organizations may follow up with you on your voting record.” [28]

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum, a Democrat, called the practice “creepy” and said the campaign was trying to shame voters. [29] Bridge Michigan reported that Alper was on the board of the Voter Participation Center. [30]

Voter Education Campaign

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the grantmaking brand of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, gave a $69.5 million grant to the Center for Election Innovation and Research to provide “non-partisan voter information” as well as to promote safe and reliable voting, according to its website. [31]

The Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration then received grant money from the Center for Election Innovation and Research, according to Michigan Radio. [32] It then gave Alper Strategies $2,088,000 in 2020, [33]purportedly for non-partisan voting education efforts. [34]

Ned Staebler, who is treasurer of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration, ran as a Democrat for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2010 and was defeated in the primary. [35]

Undermining Obamacare

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Alper both worked as a strategist for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) — who had praised the Affordable Care Act [36] — while also working as a partner with Dewey Square Group, which was working for business interests trying to undermine Obamacare, according to left-wing website The Intercept. [37]

Failed Ballot Initiative

Alper was a strategist for the Protect Our Jobs Amendment in Michigan. [38] The 2012 ballot proposal would have prevented future state legislatures from changing laws related to unionization and guaranteed a number of union privileges in the state constitution. [39] The ballot proposal was rejected by 57 to 42 percent in 2012. [40]

References

  1. Associated Press. Jan. 22, 2004. “Democratic Candidates Regroup For N.H.” Accessed 9/17/2021. ^
  2. Alper Strategies & Media website. Accessed 9/19/2021. https://www.alperstrategies.com/about ^
  3. Maggie Haberman. “Hillary Clinton’s Shadow Campaign.” Politico. Jan. 5, 2014. Accessed 9/17/2021. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/hillary-clinton-2016-shadow-campaign-101762 ^
  4. Ron Fournier. “Demo Fat Cats Are Stroked To Refill Party’s Kitty.” Associated Press. June 12, 1997.  Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. ^
  5. Ron Fournier. “Demo Fat Cats Are Stroked To Refill Party’s Kitty.” Associated Press. June 12, 1997.  Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. ^
  6. Frank Witsil. “Clinton Voices Support For Small Business In Detroit.” Detroit Free Press. July 21, 2015. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/07/21/clinton-voices-support-small-business-detroit/30494645/ ^
  7. Lev Facher. “Who Are Michigan’s 17 Superdelegates, And Which Candidate Are They Supporting?” Michigan Public Radio. June 8, 2016. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. https://www.michiganradio.org/politics-government/2016-06-08/who-are-michigans-17-superdelegates-and-which-candidate-are-they-supporting ^
  8. Jonathan Oosting. “Liberal Groups Bury Michigan With Mail Shaming People To Vote. Many Hate It.” Bridge Michigan. Oct. 26, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/liberal-groups-bury-michigan-mail-shaming-people-vote-many-hate-it ^
  9. Grants. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://chanzuckerberg.com/grants-ventures/grants/ ^
  10. JillAlper.com website. Accessed Sept. 21, 2021. http://jillalper.com/ ^
  11. Matt Helms. “Security Breach Delays Metro Flights For Hours.” Detroit Free Press. Jan. 9, 1998. Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. ^
  12. Cameron McWhirter. “The Class Of ’88 Grows Up.” Detroit Free Press. Nov. 24, 2002. Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. ^
  13. Judi Hasson and Phil Fernandez. “Polls Show Democrats Each Leading South; Bush Is Ahead.” Fort Myers News-Press. March 4, 1988. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. ^
  14. [1] Glen Johnson. “Eyes On ’04, Kerry Tightens Inner Circle.” Boston Globe. Dec. 3, 2001. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. ^
  15. Glen Johnson. “Dewey Square Quietly Flexes Its Political Muscle.” Boston Globe. July 28, 2004. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. ^
  16. William March. “Campaigns Focus On Voter Turnout.” Tampa Tribune. Oct. 31, 2002. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. ^
  17. Ballotpedia. Accessed Sept. 20, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Jill_Alper ^
  18. Alper Strategies & Media website. Accessed Sept. 19, 2021. https://www.alperstrategies.com/about ^
  19. Jill Alper and John Truscott. “Enjoy Inaugural; What Follows May Not Be Pretty.” Detroit Free Press. Jan. 13, 2013. Accessed Sept. 13, 2021. ^
  20. Janet Hook. “News Analysis:  Biden Preps To Be President As Trump Fights For The Job He Is Ignoring.” Los Angeles Times. Nov. 22, 2020. Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-11-22/split-screen-biden-preps-to-be-president-trump-fights-to-keep-the-job-yet-doesnt-do-it ^
  21. Sydney Ember. “Bernie Sanders Had Heart Attack, His Doctors Say As He Leaves Hospital.” New York Times. Oct. 4, 2019. Accessed Sept. 17, 2021. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/04/us/politics/bernie-sanders-hospital.html ^
  22. Washington Post. March 7, 2020. “For Bernie Sanders, Michigan Is Now The Make-Or-Break State”; https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-bernie-sanders-michigan-is-now-the-make-or-break-state/2020/03/07/70956512-6077-11ea-b29b-9db42f7803a7_story.html ^
  23. Andrew Beaujon. “Should People Apologize For Talking To Mark Halperin.” Washingtonian. Aug. 23, 2019. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/08/23/should-people-apologize-for-talking-to-mark-halperin/ ^
  24.  Madison Pauly. “Disgraced Pundit Mark Halperin Resurfaces On Super-Trumpy Newsmax TV.” Mother Jones. Nov. 30, 2020. https://www.motherjones.com/media/2020/11/mark-halperin-newsmax/ ^
  25. Andrew Beaujon. “Should People Apologize For Talking To Mark Halperin.” Washingtonian. Aug. 23, 2019. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/08/23/should-people-apologize-for-talking-to-mark-halperin/ ^
  26. Andrew Beaujon. “Should People Apologize For Talking To Mark Halperin.” Washingtonian. Aug. 23, 2019. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://www.washingtonian.com/2019/08/23/should-people-apologize-for-talking-to-mark-halperin/ ^
  27. Jonathan Oosting. “Liberal Groups Bury Michigan With Mail Shaming People To Vote. Many Hate It.” Bridge Michigan. Oct. 26, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/liberal-groups-bury-michigan-mail-shaming-people-vote-many-hate-it ^
  28. Jonathan Oosting. “Liberal Groups Bury Michigan With Mail Shaming People To Vote. Many Hate It.” Bridge Michigan. Oct. 26, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/liberal-groups-bury-michigan-mail-shaming-people-vote-many-hate-it ^
  29. Jonathan Oosting. “Liberal Groups Bury Michigan With Mail Shaming People To Vote. Many Hate It.” Bridge Michigan. Oct. 26, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/liberal-groups-bury-michigan-mail-shaming-people-vote-many-hate-it ^
  30. Jonathan Oosting. “Liberal Groups Bury Michigan With Mail Shaming People To Vote. Many Hate It.” Bridge Michigan. Oct. 26, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/liberal-groups-bury-michigan-mail-shaming-people-vote-many-hate-it ^
  31. Grants. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://chanzuckerberg.com/grants-ventures/grants/ ^
  32. Tracy Samilton. “New Campaign Will Educate Citizens, Especially First-Time Voters, How To Vote.” Michigan Radio. Oct. 11, 2020. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://www.michiganradio.org/law/2020-10-11/new-campaign-will-educate-citizens-especially-first-time-voters-how-to-vote ^
  33. Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration, Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Section B. https://filing-service.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/scanned-pdfs/202012/263393063/18363873/263393063_202012_990_2021052418178365.pdf ^
  34. Michigan Center for Election Law And Administration, Return of an Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part I. https://filing-service.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/scanned-pdfs/202012/263393063/18363873/263393063_202012_990_2021052418178365.pdf ^
  35. Ned Staebler. Ballotpedia. Accessed Sept. 16, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Ned_Staebler ^
  36. Lee Fang. “Top Hillary Clinton Advisers And Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare And Dodd-Frank.” The Intercept. Feb. 8, 2016. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2016/02/08/hrc-inner-circle-lobbyists/ ^
  37. Lee Fang. “Top Hillary Clinton Advisers And Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare And Dodd-Frank.” The Intercept. Feb. 8, 2016. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://theintercept.com/2016/02/08/hrc-inner-circle-lobbyists/ ^
  38. [1] Jill Alper and John Truscott. “Are People Or Politics Behind Ballot Initiatives.” Detroit Free Press. April 29, 2012. Accessed Sept. 13, 2021. ^
  39. “Trump Names Two Michiganians To Labor Panel.” Detroit News. July 20, 2017. Accessed Sept. 15, 2021. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/07/20/michigan-labor-panel/103875744/ ^
  40. “Michigan ‘Protect Our Jobs’ Amendment, Proposal 2 (2012).” Ballotpedia. Accessed 9/13/2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Michigan_%22Protect_Our_Jobs%22_Amendment,_Proposal_2_(2012) ^
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