The RNC Gave Massive Contracts to Companies Linked to its Chairwoman’s Husband and Political Backers

The president of that particular office is Patrick McDaniel, the husband of the RNC’s chairwoman.

Reed, the party spokesman, told ProPublica that the Hylant contract “did not violate any RNC policy,” despite the organization’s written guidance about awarding business to members of an employee’s family. Reed said the RNC’s then-treasurer “solicited and signed off on” Hylant’s services. He did not not address who recommended Hylant or why the work was done out of the company’s Detroit office. Reed added that McDaniel’s husband “does not own this company and he received no financial benefit from this work.” Neither Hylant nor Patrick McDaniel returned messages seeking comment.

The two companies whose executives made contributions to McDaniel’s PAC had not received work from the RNC before she became chair.

Less than a week after McDaniel took over the party in January 2017, the RNC made its first monthly payment to the Templar Baker Group, a small political consulting outfit in Michigan headed by Robert Schostak, who chaired the Michigan Republican Party before McDaniel. Since she has been at the RNC, campaign finance reports show, Templar has been paid more than $550,000 for “political strategy services.”

Schostak is also a partner in MadDog Technology, a firm that is chaired by Peter Karmanos Jr., who helped found Compuware, once Michigan’s leading computer technology company. Last year, according to FEC filings, the RNC paid MadDog $50,000 for “website services.”

During McDaniel’s first month as RNC chair, Karmanos and a political spending entity used by the Schostak family contributed $10,000 each to McDaniel’s PAC, federal tax filings show.

Reed, the RNC spokesman, did not describe what services Templar and MadDog provided the organization, but he said they were “invaluable.” When asked about McDaniel’s relationship to Schostak and Karmanos, and the timing of their PAC contributions, he said that ProPublica was “trying to connect dots to come up with something scandalous.” Moreover, he added, McDaniel “has no financial relationship” with MadDog and Templar.

Reed also disputed that the vendors had not worked with the RNC before McDaniel became chair, an assertion that is contradicted by FEC reports. When asked to explain the discrepancy, he referred to Kim Jorns, who, he said, “has worked with the RNC prior to the Chairwoman’s tenure.”

Jorns is an employee at Templar and previously was an RNC staffer, serving as regional political director in the 2016 election cycle. She didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Karmanos and Schostak did not respond to requests for comment.

Last year, Ronna for Chair received no contributions, but it continued to spend money, a practice that is legal and common among elected officials.

McDaniel was reelected as chair of the RNC in January 2019, with Trump’s endorsement. Two days earlier, her PAC paid $5,000 to Kathleen Berden, a voting member of the RNC, a volunteer position. Reed said the PAC paid Berden because she “whipped votes” for McDaniel’s reelection. He would not address why McDaniel needed Berden’s services or whether it was appropriate for McDaniel to pay a volunteer RNC voting member to influence fellow voters.

When reached for comment, Berden declined to elaborate on her work for McDaniel.

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» The RNC Gave Massive Contracts to Companies Linked to its Chairwoman’s Husband and Political Backers | Mike Spies Jake Johnson Pro Publica | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/03/16/the-rnc-gave-massive-contracts-to-companies-linked-to-its-chairwomans-husband-and-political-backers/ | 2021-09-18T11:29:52+00:00
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