With Friends Like These: Minyon Moore

In the drama that is Hillary Clinton, the build-up to her announced candidacy pitted different loyalists against one another and at the center of the “resolution” is Minyon Moore.  Hailing from Chicago, she has deep roots in Democratic Party politics starting in 1984 when she became a volunteer in Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition eventually working her way up to deputy political director.  In Jackson’s 1988 effort, she was his deputy field director then jumped to the Dukakis campaign when he became the nominee in the same capacity.  In 1992, she led a youth voter registration drive in Georgia on behalf of Jackson before eventually becoming Bill Clinton’s Director of Public Liason.   During this time, she became affiliated with Hillary Clinton.  When Bill left the White House, she became the chief operating officer at the DNC and in 2004 became John Kerry’s director of minority outreach.  She later joined the Dewey Square Group, a consultant company for the Democratic Party based in Washington DC.

To understand her connection and importance to Hillary Clinton, we have to go back to 2008.  Having forged ties with Hillary during her tenure in the White House, she became a huge booster of Clinton.  She eventually became a senior adviser in Hillary’s 2008 effort and that is where the sleaze begins.  At the time, most were unaware of her efforts, but they became public knowledge in an unrelated case- that of Washington DC mayor Vincent Gray.

The Washington Post, has extensive coverage on his problems involving illegal campaign contributions.  The controversy centers around city contractor Jeffrey Thompson who admitted to illegal campaign finance activities.  In order to avoid donation limits, he encouraged friends, business partners and associates to donate money and he would then reimburse them.  In the 2008 Democratic fight for the presidential nomination, Hillary was running into problems against Obama.  In effect, a shadow campaign emerged with Moore at the center.  Using the same techniques as with Gray, Thompson in court filings noted that Moore was more active than originally believed having searched out Moore for needed cash to develop street teams to support Hillary’s floundering campaign in key states like Texas, Indiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

The Dewey Square Group refuses to allow Moore to be interviewed, but insists she did nothing wrong and merely asked Thompson to provide funds which totaled $608,750.  However, Thompson insists that Moore was more active than originally believed and that she secured the funds, guided strategies and received reports regularly.  In summary, she came as close as one can get to the campaign finance violation line without going over that line.  Regardless, the five year statute of limitations on any potential prosecution has passed and Moore gets off free.

Between that time and now, Moore has become Hillary’s political eyes and ears.  Enter a Super Pac known as Ready for Hillary.  This organization, considered a grassroots effort, has irked some in the Clinton camp.  One of the things they believed doomed her in 2008 was the air of inevitability in her effort.  The name itself exudes inevitability.  Also, the campaign finance landscape had changed dramatically between 2008 and the present and Moore had become an expert in this area.

Complicating things is another Democratic PAC called Priorities USA which was transitioning from an Obama 2012 reelection PAC to one supportive of Clinton.  In order to get the ball rolling to resolving the conflict between the two groups, Moore arranged a meeting between Dewy Square Group operatives and Clinton in her Washington townhouse.  Realizing that the conflict and tension had to be resolved before she could officially announce her candidacy, Clinton also realized that her direct involvement would violate provisions against coordination of her potential campaign (she was not officially in the fray yet) with outside groups.  The drama unfolding was brought to the attention of Clinton via Huma Abedin who was sought out by operatives from Ready for Hillary.

It was Moore and John Podesta who eventually worked out a resolution.  There are reports that Podesta originally wanted to shut down Ready for Hillary, but Moore dismissed that idea for fear of bad press of Hillary shutting down the grassroots.  They discussed a merger between the two groups, but that went nowhere.  Instead, there is an uneasy alliance and allocation of duties.  Ready for Hillary has compiled a huge mailing list of e-mail addresses via social media.  They will be responsible for collecting donations under $25,000 with large donors being handled by Priorities USA.

However, the introduction of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina at Priorities USA complicates matters considerably.  There is some bad blood between Messina and Clinton supporters that dates back to Messina’s days as an Obama supporter.  Regarding those e-mail lists compiled by Ready for Hillary, there is no guarantee a person like Messina or Podesta will rely on an upstart PAC and may instead turn to any number of private voter targeting companies that have sprouted up, including two run by former Obama operatives- an area where the Obama campaign excelled.  Further complicating the mess, Moore is said to be behind the lists held by Ready for Hillary because they are also launching a major voter targeting campaign in all 50 states and this is an area where Moore excels having the grassroots organizing experience she possesses.

If anything, the presence of Minyon Moore illustrates the complexity of the Hillary Clinton drama where competing personalities and groups sometimes working at cross purposes need to be kept in check.  She is believed to have blessed the American Bridge’s (another Super PAC) Correct the Record offshoot.  Both founded by Priorities USA’s David Brock- an Obama operative- Correct the Record is a rapid response team designed to shield Hillary Clinton from negative attacks in the media.

Minyon Moore, as Clinton’s “political eyes and ears,” is the glue that holds the various orbits of this campaign together.  As a close Clinton adviser and member of the Dewey Square Group, she is the bridge between Hillary Clinton and the outside groups like Priorities USA, Ready for Hillary and others.  Because she works with Dewey Square, a consultancy firm, she is doing what she does best- sleazily coordinating between the campaign and outside groups while staying under the radar in no official campaign role.  In effect, she is exactly a more prototypical example of what the Democrats accuse Republicans of on a daily basis.

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