Show cover of Money in Politics

Money in Politics

Welcome to the Money in Politics Podcast, hosted by Andrew Blumenfeld! Join us for interesting conversations and takes on one of the most significant and misunderstood elements of our political system: money. You will hear from a variety of perspectives-- such as professional fundraisers, major donors, compliance experts, candidates and their campaigns, and the leaders of some of the most influential organizations in Democratic politics. If you work in or around politics- or just care about the health of our democracy!- this podcast is for you. Do you have a question about the podcast or want to recommend a topic for future episodes? Shoot us an email at hello@calltime.ai

Tracks

The Money in Politics Podcast
Welcome to the Money in Politics Podcast, hosted by Andrew Blumenfeld! Join us for interesting conversations and takes on one of the most significant and misunderstood elements of our political system: money. You will hear from a variety of perspectives-- such as professional fundraisers, major donors, compliance experts, candidates and their campaigns, and the leaders of some of the most influential organizations in Democratic politics. If you work in or around politics- or just care about the health of our democracy!- this podcast is for you.  
01:28 3/31/20
Political Fundraising During a Pandemic?
How are campaigns navigating the coronavirus pandemic? Are they fundraising? How? Kelly Dietrich is the CEO and founder of the National Democratic Training Committee, the largest Democratic campaign training program in the country. He joins the Money in Politics Podcast to discuss what he is hearing from campaigns as they retool and recalibrate, and shares how he is coaching campaigns during these uncertain times.
29:07 4/1/20
The Fundraising Gender Gap
Is there a gender gap in political fundraising? Amanda Renteria is a Senior Advisor and former Interim President of Emerge America, a national organization that recruits, trains, and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office. She is also a former candidate for congress and governor in California. Amanda joins the Money in Politics Podcast to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities that women face when it comes to raising and spending money in politics. 
29:22 4/1/20
Still No FEC Quorum. So What?
Since August 2019, the Federal Elections Commission has lacked the minimum number of commissioners it needs to undertake some of its most essential operations, including the enforcement of America's federal election laws. With the 2020 campaigns well underway, Blair Schuman, a compliance expert and the founder of Roger That Compliance, joins the Money in Politics Podcast to talk about why this matters, how we got here, and what may be in store for the future of the FEC. 
21:21 4/1/20
How Donors Think
How donors think can feel like a bit of a mystery. Hannah Linkenhoker has spent her career advising donors on their political giving, and as Senior Political Strategist at ICM Partners, she now works at the crossroads of Hollywood and politics. Hannah joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss how she advises clients, what makes donors tick, and how more people can and should get involved in funding campaigns. 
28:32 4/8/20
Money out of Politics
There's a lot about money in politics that is flawed. But how do we fix it? Betsy Sweet is running for U.S. Senate in Maine with a passion for getting money out of politics, and she has a history of work on the issue. Betsy helped write the Clean Elections Act in Maine, the nation's first full public funding system for state legislative and gubernatorial races. She ran for governor as a "Clean Elections Act" candidate and is now hoping to secure the Democratic nomination to take on Senator Susan Collins in 2020, a must-win seat for Democrats in their bid to retake the majority in the Senate. Betsy joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss how money can corrode politics, and some ideas she has to "reform Democracy." 
35:52 4/15/20
Reporting on Money in Politics
Money can play a big role in how the media covers campaigns. How much money have you raised? How much have you spent? Who's donating? Emily Glazer is one of the reporters covering the 2020 election for the Wall Street Journal and writes about the convergence of money, politics, and tech. She joins the Money in Politics podcast to share how she thinks about her coverage, and insights from her coverage of the Buttigieg and Biden campaigns, as well as those up and down the ballot that are retooling in light of the coronavirus pandemic. 
41:31 4/17/20
First-Time Candidate Fundraising
Fundraising can be a daunting task for any campaign, but especially for a first-time candidate. Karl Frisch was recently elected to the Fairfax County Public School Board in Virginia - the 10th largest school division in the United States that serves more than 188,000 students. He not only ran as a first-time candidate, but in the process, he raised an unprecedented amount of money. Karl joins the Money in Politics Podcast to talk about how he prepared to fundraise for the first time, to help dispel some first-time fundraising myths, and to discuss the influence of money in local elections.
30:22 4/22/20
How-To: How Campaigns are Adapting to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed how campagins are operating. But despite the circumstances, staffers continue to need to be paid, advertisements still cost money, and elections will inevitably take place. On today's "How To" episode of the Money in Politics podcast, Andrew shares best practices from what he has been hearing from campaigns and fundraising professionals across the country about how they have been adapting to these challenging times.
06:05 4/24/20
Digital Fundraising
While some campaigns have been slow to incorporate a digital infrastructure into their fundraising, others have come to rely on it. Toby Fallsgraff has spent more than a decade in digital communications and served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Now, he serves as Chief Strategy Officer of Do Big Things, a digital campaigning consulting firm. Toby joins the Money in Politics Podcast to discuss both how campaigns are spending on digital tools and using them to raise money, how that's evolving, and some of the ethical considerations involved in digital fundraising.
29:53 4/29/20
How-To: Fundraising on Day 1 - Your Campaign Launch
Launching your campaign can be an exciting time, but all too often campaigns make avoidable mistakes at one of their most high-profile moments, where fundraising potential is high. On today's "How To" episode of the Money in Politics podcast, Andrew discusses how campaigns can maximize their launch by ensuring that fundraising is an integral part of it.
06:19 5/1/20
Candidate Viability and Fundraising
How do candidates prove that they are electable and that their campaign is viable? Often, the answer comes down to how much they can fundraise. Viability- or at least the perception of viability- can dramatically impact which candidates stay in the race and which drop out, well before voters see a ballot. Alex Obolensky is a fundraiser and political operative who recently served as the Finance Director for Cora Neumann's campaign for US Senate in Montana. Despite what looked like a promising campaign, Cora recently dropped out. Alex joins the Money in Politics Podcast to discuss the viability calculations that led Cora to leave the race, how standards of viability may be applied differently to different types of candidates, and he shares his thoughts on the factors that "screen" candidates well before voters get a say. 
23:31 5/7/20
A Mystery PAC
Campaign finance filings are typically only interesting for those who work in campaign finance. That's not always the case, though. Zach Montellaro, a Politico reporter, made waves recently when he brought to light how a PAC, Americans for Progressive Action USA, seemingly raised and spent millions of dollars. The catch? The vendors they listed never worked with them and the ads apparently never ran. Zach joins the Money in Politics podcast to talk about his reporting on this mysterious PAC, and how it differs from traditional "Scam PACs".
24:43 5/13/20
Relational Fundraising
It shouldn’t be surprising that people are much more reachable and persuadable by individuals that they already know and trust. But how does this translate to fundraising? Shola Farber is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the Tuesday Company, a firm that helps organizations strengthen their connection with supporters to drive community activism and fundraising. Shola joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss how campaigns are leveraging personal relationships to enhance traditional methods of fundraising, which types of candidates or campaigns can gain the most from doing so, and what the future may hold for relational organizing.
37:15 5/20/20
How-To: Building Your Donor Database
One of the biggest barriers to fundraising is building a robust database of current and prospective donors. All too often, campaigns are quick to blame their fundraising woes on simply not having a good enough list. But building and maintaining your donor network is an ongoing endeavor, not something you either "have" or "don't have." On today's "How To" episode of the Money in Politics podcast, Andrew breaks down how campaigns can convert their existing networks into strong and evergrowing donor lists. 
14:10 5/22/20
How Data is Changing Fundraising
"Machine learning" and "artificial intelligence" get tossed around a lot these days. And many people are rightfully skeptical about all that people and companies claim to be doing with big data in politics. Adam Boaz-Becker is a data engineer and Co-Founder of CallTime.AI. His work in data science has enabled campaigns across the country to utilize actionable data to fine-tune their fundraising operations. Adam joins the Money in Politics podcast to talk about how he thinks about leveraging data to help campaigns target the right donors with the right asks, and the interaction of human expertise with artificial intelligence to yield the best results for campaigns.
35:08 5/27/20
Preserving a Strong Democracy
The health of our democracy has increasingly come into question in recent years and decades, and the role money plays in our politics is a big part of that discussion. David Hawkings is the Editor in Chief of The Fulcrum, a nonprofit and nonpartisan newsite that is dedicated to covering the problems that threaten our democratic system, and the work being done to help address those problems. David joins the Money in Politics podcast to talk about this mission, the platform's recent "Democracy Madness" tournament in which money in politics played a big role, and how he's thinking about covering our democracy's health for the balance of the 2020 election cycle.
31:08 6/9/20
How-To: Strong End-of-Quarter Fundraising
The end of a quarter (EOQ) is a critical time for fundraising. For many, a quarterly financial reporting deadline can mean an opportunity to demonstrate viability and momentum that could be crucial to the campaign. On today's "How To" episode of the Money in Politics podcast, Andrew shares some best practices for end-of-quarter fundraising so that your campaign can make the most of this opportunity.
07:08 6/11/20
Training Women who Run for Office
Ryanne Olsen is the Training and Curriculum Director at Emerge America, an organization that recruits and trains women to run for office. She joins the Money in Politics podcast to share the specific strategies Emerge uses to prepare women to fundraise, how they overcome the hurdles that are unique to women candidates, and how the advent of women-centric donor circles is changing the political landscape. 
30:28 6/17/20
Congressional Insider Trading
The Department of Justice recently opened investigations into lawmakers who sold millions of dollars in stocks after attending closed-door congressional briefings about the COVID-19 pandemic, soon before the market experienced a sharp downturn. Prior to the 2012 passage of the STOCK Act, however, it was completely legal for members of congress to use private information they received as part of their congressional duties to make trading decisions for their own financial benefit. Unsurprisngly, they frequently did. Craig Holman helped draft and pass the STOCK Act, along with some of the most influential ethical and financial regulations concerning public officials. He's done so as the Capitol Hill lobbyist for Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization. Craig joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss these most recent allegations of insider trading, as well as his other work to fight back against the negative impact of money in politics.
32:03 6/22/20
More Money in Politics
We've spoken with a lot of people on this show about their efforts to get money out of politics as part of their work to preserve and protect our democracy. While Noah Maier shares this same ultimate goal, he takes a completely different approach. Noah is a professional political fundraiser who wants to get more money behind progressive political candidates and causes. To that end, he currently works as a fundraiser for the One for Democracy Initiative, which seeks to get people to pledge at least 1% of their wealth to empower community organizers and to defeat Donald Trump. Noah joins the Money in Politics podcast to address skepticism about big money in politics and to share how political giving can be a high-impact way to bring about change.
26:02 7/1/20
State Legislative Caucuses
House Caucuses can play a huge role in state legislative campaigns, but to many people, they can be a little bit mysterious. Da'Quan Love serves as the Political Director of the North Carolina Democratic Party House Caucus, and he previously served as their Deputy Finance Director. Da'Quan joins the Money in Politics podcast to talk about the role of the House Caucus in campaigns and elections, how fundraising for the caucus looks different than individual candidate campaigns, and he shares some best practices for state legislative candidate fundraising. 
31:57 7/9/20
Season One Finale
Today's episode marks the Season One finale of the Money in Politics podcast! Throughout this season, we have learned a lot from incredibly interesting people with a wide range of perspectives. Reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Politico have helped us cover new developments in the 2020 cycle, the authors and lobbyists for landmark ethics legislation have shared how they enact tangible change, and those who advise major donors on their giving have helped us better understand how donors think. We've spoken with organizers on the ground who are recruiting, training, and coaching candidates in this pandemic; and we have heard from the multitude of voices calling for less, and sometimes, even more, money in politics. Though we will be on a brief hiatus, Season Two will be here soon! In the meantime, please reach out to us. We want to know the topics you want to hear more about, and the guests you want to hear more from. Shoot us an email at andrew@calltime.ai
03:05 7/16/20
Draining the Swamp, with the Directors of HBO's 'The Swamp'
Welcome to season two of the Money in Politics podcast, and what better way to begin this new season than by diving directly into the deep-end of the swamp?! We're joined today by Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme, the directors of a new HBO documentary, The Swamp, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at congress through the experiences of Representatives Matt Gaetz, Thomas Massie, and Ken Buck, as they, in each their own way, combat the financial interests that play such a big role in congress. DiMauro and Pehme share what they learned from a year of following around these three congressmen to make this film. 
43:56 8/12/20
Perspectives from a Professional Fundraiser
The 2020 election cycle has been a roller coaster for professional fundraisers as they have adapted to a global pandemic, an unprecedented presidential election, and new waves of racial justice activism throughout the country. Mather Martin is an experienced political and non-profit fundraiser who currently works with Senator Cory Booker but has also worked with Senator and Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris, as well as philanthropist and mega-donor Sean Parker. Mather joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss new trends in the fundraising sector.
31:25 8/19/20
Black Political Power & Fundraising
Black Americans are underrepresented at almost every level of elected office, from the state legislature to the United States Senate. Quentin Jones is the Founder and President of The Collective, a PAC that seeks to attain political equity for Black Americans by educating voters and donors, and by equipping candidates with the resources they need to win. To this end, The Collective has raised and bundled over $10,000,000 and amassed a subscriber network in the hundreds of thousands. Quentin joins the Money in Politics podcast to share how The Collective approaches its support of candidates and what must change about the current role of money in politics to ensure an expansion of black political representation.
26:46 8/26/20
Misusing Campaign Funds and Taxpayer Dollars
It seems that all too often, we find ourselves reading another scandal about the ethical lapses of our elected representatives, and this past month was no different. Chris Marquette, a reporter for CQ Roll Call, recently reported that Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. may have used thousands of dollars in taxpayer dollars and campaign funds for personal expenses on gas fill-ups for him and his family, greens fees at country clubs, luxurious trips, school tuition, and an extravagant Christmas party. Chris joins the Money in Politics podcast to talk about how this happened and the accountability mechanisms that exist to help protect against bad behavior.
22:36 8/28/20
A Loophole: Foreign Money in Politics
Issue One, a crosspartisan organization that brings together Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, recently published a report detailing a concerning loophole that can allow for anonymous money to flood our electoral process. Michael Beckel is the Research Director at Issue One and is the author of that report, "Mystery Money." He joins the Money in Politics Podcast to share more about what he found when it comes to potential foreign influence in our elections.
32:03 9/2/20
Fundraising for Latino Candidates
If you've listened to the podcast before, you'll know that we like to discuss how people of all identities experience the process of political fundraising. After all, money can ultimately determine who is considered a "credible" candidate. There are several organizations that are working to even the money-playing field for candidates of all backgrounds. Daniela Fernandez is the Finance Director of the Latino Victory Fund, a progressive organization looking to grow Latino political power by increasing Latino representation among elected officials and building a base of Latino donors. She joins the Money in Politics podcast to discuss the work of the Latino Victory Fund and the experiences of Latino candidates. 
28:36 9/9/20
Breaking Fundraising Records in a Red District
Phil Ehr is running for Congress in Florida's 1st Congressional District against incumbent Representative Matt Gaetz. Ousting an incumbent is difficult enough under normal circumstances, let alone when they are one of President Trump's most vocal supporters in a heavily Republican district. Peter Cowley works on Ehr's campaign fundraising team and joins the Money in Politics podcast to share how the campaign has approached fundraising and broken records in a red district. 
34:44 9/16/20