Who are Adler & Morrison paying?

Raising money is an important part of politics. But fundraising skills only get you so far if you don’t know how to spend your money wisely (See: Romney, Willard M. and Clinton, Hillary R.).

Over the past six months, Mayor Steve Adler has raised around $291k and spent roughly $236k. Here are a few expenditures that stuck out:

  • He paid $25,500 for polling from Austin-based Opinion Analysts in May
  • He paid $13,500 to Stanford Campaigns, the opposition research firm run by his former aide, Jason Stanford.
  • He has three paid staff. He’s paying longtime aide Jim Wick $6,600 a month after taxes (the campaign paid about $24,000 in payroll taxes over the six month period) to run the campaign. Another longtime Adler aide, Laura Hernandez, is making $4,600 a month as a fundraiser. Finally, Marika Nadel-LaMotta is getting about $2,100 a month as a “financial assistant,” according to her Linkedin profile.
  • He spent $511 at Amy’s Ice Cream on Jan. 15

As for Laura Morrison, she raised about $92k and spent about $44k. Some highlights:

  • She has spent $14,000 on Wetzel & Co. for “contract labor.” That appears to be Eric Wetzel, spent many years working for Shipley & Associates, a local consulting firm. One of the roles that led him to was as a spokesperson for SignOnAustin, a group backed by billboard companies that was pushing for the legalization of digital billboards in Austin. Billboard companies, in a bizarre, Machiavellian twist, have also played a key role in financing the anti-CodeNEXT petition.
  • $2,500 on Sheryl Draker for messaging/consulting. Draker’s background is in training attorneys in “communication skills and client development strategies.”
  • $5,000 on Weinberg Strategies, firm run by David Weinberg, a longtime public relations guy who used to run Texas League of Conservation Voters.




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