News & Politics

Presidential "Shadow Campaign" Was for Hillary Clinton

Figures described in court documents were influential advisers and officials inside Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.

Photograph via Shutterstock.

The 2008 presidential candidate who was the beneficiary of a “shadow campaign” allegedly funded by DC businessman Jeffrey Thompson was in fact Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post reports that multiple campaign officials described in court documents were high-ranking staffers in Clinton’s unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Thompson, a former accounting executive and city contractor, is also suspected of funding $633,000 worth of unreported campaign activities on behalf of DC Mayor Vince Gray’s successful 2010 run. That shadow campaign is at the center of a federal investigation into local campaign finance that has stretched on for more than two years.
In the 2008 matter, Thompson allegedly funneled money for to New York City marketing executive Troy White, who pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a misdemeanor charge of not filing corporate income taxes during a four-year period that included the 2008 presidential cycle. White’s company, Wytehouse Marketing Inc., specializes in “street teams” of people distributing fliers, posters, and other merchandise on behalf of a client.
White pitched his services to the Clinton campaign in January 2008 and was rebuffed. However, he was approached a few days later by a campaign insider who wrote to White and a senior campaign official that the street teams could come in handy during the Texas primary. “Let’s [find] some money. I will fight for it,” the Clinton aide wrote. According to the Post, that aide was Minyon Moore, a longtime adviser to both Hillary and Bill Clinton who now works for the Dewey Square Group consulting firm. The senior campaign official was Guy Cecil, the Clinton campaign’s field and political director, who now runs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
A lawyer representing the Clinton campaign told the Post that it turned down White’s services. In court yesterday, White said that his company was paid with money funneled from two Thompson-owned companies through a third company, Belle International. That firm was run by Jeanne Clarke Harris, a key fundraiser on Gray’s 2010 race who last year pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with the investigation around that campaign.
Federal Election Commission records show that Thompson raised money for both Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 cycle, though far more for the former First Lady and New York senator. Thompson and his companies raised $65,000 for Clinton, including $40,300 at a December 2007 fundraiser that she attended.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.