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You’ll Never Guess Who Was Actually Behind Those Shady Voter Shaming Mailers


During the heat of the 2016 election, we reported on voter shaming mailers that were hitting mailboxes in key swing states. It was a giant mystery who was behind them. One day before the New Hampshire primary, voters in the Granite State complained about a sketchy letter they received in the mail attempting to embarrass them into voting in the primary. The letters angered voters who called them voter intimidation. In an earlier post, we even questioned whether they were legal. 

Well, the mystery seems to be over. Now we know who was apparently behind them. It appears it was a group with strong ties to Governor John Kasich, who was running for president at the time.

“Records reviewed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), however, now reveal a close connection between the non-profit responsible for the letters and Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s (R) political operation. The nonprofit has since morphed into an explicitly pro-Kasich operation, albeit with a new name,” according to a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The mailers were paid for by Public Policy Matters.  According to IRS records obtained by CREW, nearly all of the group’s money was raised by Brook Bodney who also happens to be a finance consultant for Kasich for America. Earlier, there was some indications that the mailers were linked to Sen. Marco Rubio, because the law firm who registered the non profit had been hired by Rubio previously. Now the clues are pretty clear that it was Kasich supporters behind the effort.

Public Policy Matters was also registered in Ohio and listed J.B. Hadden as director. Interestingly, Hadden contributed $2,700 (the max allowable) to Kasich for America at around the same time reports of the mailers first surfaced.

In addition, Public Policy Matters recently changed their name to Two Paths America whose explicit purpose is to champion Gov. Kasich’s policies and counter Trump’s narrative. 

We reached out to Governor John Kasich’s office for comment but haven’t heard back. We will update when we hear more.

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Rachel Stockman is Editor in Chief of Law&Crime and The Law&Crime Network. She is a former local news reporter, and was named Atlanta Press Club's 'Rising Star' in 2014. Rachel graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and Yale Law School.