Stacey Abrams worked two full-time jobs during her 2018 run for governor. How did she do it? #Stacey #Abrams #worked #fulltime #jobs #run #governor Welcome to Viasildes, here is the new story we have for you today:
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As Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams gears up for her November rematch against Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in a reprise of the race she claimed to have won in 2018, the rising star in the Democratic Party has some explaining to do. Voters deserve to know more about the creative financial arrangement she had with her donor-connected employer the last time she campaigned for governor.
According to IRS filings reviewed by the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) where I serve as a distinguished fellow, Boston-based BlueHub Capital reported that Abrams received almost $115,000 (Page 8) of compensation in 2018 for full-time work as an underwriting manager. How did she manage to simultaneously campaign full-time, raise $40 million, and still spend 40 hours a week as a full-time underwriting manager?
“I spend most of my time engaged in politics and social justice,” Abrams wrote in a March 2019 piece for Ted.com in which she professed to believe in “work-life Jenga” over work-life balance. “Letting go of the finite distinctions and the moral judgments we hear beneath our choices clears the way to allow us to set priorities without condemnation,” she wrote.
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But it wasn’t just hard work and work-life Jenga that propelled Abrams in a race she nearly won. She had an advantage many candidates don’t enjoy—a full-time salary from a donor-connected nonprofit. In this case, one that explicitly reported to the government Abrams was being paid to work 40 hours a week.
Campaigning for statewide or even federal office is hardly a 40-hour-a-week commitment. It tends to be much more. Most candidates are lucky to find time for a haircut, much less a full-time job. For me, campaigning meant going months juggling a series of part-time consulting arrangements.
So, who was paying Abrams as a full-time employee during a time she would arguably have been laser-focused on winning a marquee race?
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GAI looked into that question, too. What they found raises even more questions, not just about the integrity of candidates themselves, but about how tax-advantaged special interest groups influence which candidates can afford to run in the first place.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks to the media during a press conference at the Israel Baptist Church as voters head to the polls during the Georgia primary on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
It turns out that Abrams’s employer at the time, BlueHub Capital, isn’t just your garden-variety non-profit organization. Elyse Cherry, BlueHub Capital’s CEO since 1997, is an Abrams supporter, political activist, and former board member of LPAC. LPAC bills itself as the only organization whose mission is the election of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer women.
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Founded in 2012 by “a group of LGBTQ women seeking to create a place, and voice, at the power table for our community,” LPAC claims to endorse and invest in candidates directly and to support them through independent campaign expenditures. “We’ve raised more than $6.3 million and endorsed more than 150 candidates,” the group claims, “and we’re just getting started.”
The group seeks to support candidates like Abrams “who share our values: LGBTQ and women’s equality, women’s health, and social justice, while helping coalesce LGBTQ women as a concrete and powerful political demographic.”
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Cherry, who was Abrams’s boss in 2018, made significant donations to LPAC both before and after the 2018 election. The ties between Abrams’s employer and her donors don’t end there.
LPAC endorsed Abrams for Georgia governor in 2018 and made two $3,300 contributions to her campaign efforts. Furthermore, the group held a fundraiser in February 2018—in the home city of BlueHub Capital—Boston, Massachusetts. One of the hosts was none other than Elyse Cherry.
Another host—Naomi Aberly—donated a total of $15,100 to Abrams’s political campaigns before, during, and after her time as an employee with BlueHub Capital. In addition, Aberly donated $30,000 to Abrams’s Fair Fight political committee in 2020.
The underwriting job began in 2017, not long after it was reported that Abrams resigned her Georgia House seat to focus on running for governor. During the year Abrams worked in her role as underwriting manager for subsidiary BlueHub SUN, she ostensibly reviewed applications to ensure that each loan was thoroughly underwritten and that SUN was the right fit for all successful applicants. So just how much underwriting did Abrams actually do?
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Document reviews can’t tell us that. But it’s hard to imagine Abrams’s employer was unaware of her extracurricular campaign activities. Did they hire her knowing she would be unable to perform full-time work? Did they expect her to spend her time running for office? Was she chosen for the job because they supported her platform and wanted her to run?
While I have no problem with candidates earning an income while running for office, I question the declaration to the government in this case claiming Abrams was working 40 hours a week. How can that possibly be true? This is not a private individual or company doing what they want with their own money. This is a tax advantaged non-profit.
What are the implications of a world in which donors can use entities that don’t pay taxes, funded by donations that are tax exempt, to propel candidates like Abrams who are obviously favored by the wealthy elite? At a minimum, shouldn’t such arrangements be disclosed as campaign donations?
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For her part, Abrams has been showered in accolades for her strong work ethic. “In 2018, I finally had enough money to do all the things we dreamed of,” she told Stephen Colbert in a November 2020 interview. “I raised $40 million for my gubernatorial race.”
As the midterms approach and a high stakes presidential election follows, voters deserve to know which candidates are running to represent them and which ones are running to represent specific special interest groups. Abrams needs to come clean about the fact that donors are hiding behind nonprofits to pay her to run for office.
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Jason Chaffetz is a FOX News (FNC) contributor and the host of the Jason In The House podcast on FOX News Radio. He joined the network in 2017.