2012 Election

Akin Consultant Has Advised McKenna, Koster

By Josh Feit August 23, 2012



Controversial GOP senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin's political consultant, Rex Elsass (he did Akin's recent apology commercial), did more than $60,000 worth of consulting for Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna's AG campaign in 2008 and $37,500 worth of consulting for McKenna's 2004 AG campaign.

Akin reportedly fled Missouri and holed up at Elsass' office in Ohio as the "legitimate rape" scandal was blowing up—and Elsass apparently talked Akin into defying the GOP and staying in the race.

Elsass, whose firm Strategy Group Media is based in Ohio, was a consultant for former 2012 presidential GOP hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann. He's also a consultant for Tea Party US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and media adviser for anti-public union Ohio Republican governor John Kasich.

Elsass also did more than $90,000 worth of consulting for John Koster during Koster's 2010 run for Congress.

Elsass has not done any work for McKenna or Koster, who are running for governor and Congress (again) respectively, this year.

A recent profile in the Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch described Elsass as a controversial figure:
The rapid success of the Strategy Group for Media is personified by its flamboyant and controversial founder, Rex Elsass, a 49-year-old born-again Christian who owns a Bentley and gets around town in a chauffer-driven Cadillac Escalade and across the nation in the company jet.

Once a ringleader of a GOP dirty-tricks group labeled the “nasty boys” more than 20 years ago, Elsass has morphed into arguably the premier political adman in the country.

We have a message in to McKenna's campaign to ask why they have not worked with Elsass during this year's gubernatorial race.
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