Ladies, get you a man who loves you as much as Rep. Ilhan Omar loves spending money on her man’s firm.
The spigot at the Minnesota Democrat campaign’s headquarters continues to flow to the E Street Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that raked in a remarkable 77 percent of the Omar campaign’s disbursements for the first three weeks of July.
Federal Election Commission records released Thursday show that the E Street Group received $606,000 from Omar’s campaign during that period.
The E Street Group is run by Tim Mynett, Omar’s third husband.
This curious financial relationship began in August 2018, back when Omar and Mynett were both married to other people. They weren’t open polyamorists or anything, so one assumes the relationship at that point was, at least officially, a professional one.
Money changed hands, young wonk love began to bud, Omar’s husband said he found the congresswoman in a compromising position with Mynett while they were in their PJs, Mynett’s ex-wife Beth said in divorce documents that her former husband’s “travel and long work hours now appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments,” yadda yadda yadda, now Omar and Mynett are married.
You’d think that maybe Rep. Omar — a member of “the squad,” that quartet of young leftist firebrands ostensibly dedicated to tearing down the kind of moneyed Washington scotch-quaffing establishment that enriches itself by operating on the fringes of the rulebook — might have flipped through the Justice Democrats Rolodex and found any other left-leaning consultancy group to handle the kind of amorphous things Omar’s campaign is paying the E Street Group to do.
After all, there are plenty of firms in Washington that are set up to handle “digital consulting,” “fundraising consulting” and “mail production and postage” — three things the Omar campaign paid the E Street Group to do in July — that aren’t run by people who enjoy intimate relations with the candidate.
In fact, it’s an entire city where the economy is built on people who can’t get elected or get jobs in the halls of power who provide those services to those who can. If the flow of money to this hive of well-remunerated hackery were to somehow magically disappear, the District of Columbia would resemble nothing so much as “Harlan County, USA” with a lot of monuments and cherry blossoms.
This is technically legal, by the way. As the New York Post reported when the outlet examined Omar’s curious relationship with her new husband’s firm in a July 7 article, while spouses and other family members can’t be hired for jobs in federal offices, they can be hired to work on campaigns, all with campaign money. If you have a safe seat and you happen to be married or immediately related to someone who can plausibly be called a campaign consultant, this is one weird trick to turn campaign donations into household income.
Of course, what makes the continuation of this relationship a bit stranger is that Omar’s seat is now only safe-ish.
Granted, the district is a Democratic stronghold and Omar is a star, but she’s also a target. Attorney Antone Melton-Meaux has made news by outraising Omar in the race; he managed to rake in $3.2 million last quarter, six times what Omar did.
Melton-Meaux is unlikely to win — according to Newsweek, recent polling has him down 66 percent to 29 percent. However, anything short of the kind of beatdown major college football programs put on the sad-sack third-rate teams they schedule for homecoming is going to look like a dent to Omar’s national profile, proof to many in the media and Democratic establishment she’s too divisive for prime time.
It also didn’t help that Melton-Meaux was the genesis of a massive unforced error for the Omar campaign when they put out a mailer criticizing her challenger’s prominent fundraisers. It named four of them: three Jewish executives and “Michael, a donor from Scarsdale, New York.” (For those of you unfamiliar with the New York City area, Scarsdale is a wealthy, heavily Jewish suburb.)
It’s unclear whether the E Street Group was responsible for the mailer, but maybe a more, say, assiduous outside consultancy might have reminded the campaign it ought to be particularly circumspect around anything regarding people of Jewish descent, given the candidate’s problematic history with anti-Semitism.
They also might have been able to guard against a perfectly reasonable response from Melton-Meaux: Omar may have a problem with where his campaign contributions are coming from, but there are likely more voters who would be worried about where her campaign contributions are going.
Well, whatever. The point is that I don’t think Omar’s relationship with the E Street Group is about getting value for money.
This relationship has been under question ever since it emerged Omar and Mynett may be sharing more than campaign strategy — and that, back in 2018, she spent most of her money with the E Street Group after the primary.
She didn’t care then. She doesn’t seem to care now. This is going to continue as long as she’s in the seat and is legally allowed to do this. Here’s your anti-establishment outsider, progressives.
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